When I was in basic training in the United States Army, we had to do what they called the confidence course. It involved climbing a ladder up to a 30 foot platform, and I do mean climb, because we quite literally had to climb to each rung. Once on the platform we had to repel down a 30 foot wall. Then we had to side step across a ladder made of rope going from a 15 foot tower to a 20 foot platform or catwalk, then lay down on a single rope and pull ourselves back down to the 15 foot platform. Then we had to turn back around and walk up a third type of rope (walk on a single rope while hanging on to two ropes) to the 20 foot catwalk. From the catwalk we had to climb back up a wooden ladder to the 30 foot platform. From there we had to climb down a 30 foot wall by way of rope webbing.
I don’t regret having done this in the least. I was terrified at the time, but I did it. And, now, each time I lack confidence, I think back to that accomplishment. Suddenly, my lack of confidence goes away.
I went to a Subway shop and ordered a sandwich then sat down to eat. An elderly man was in a booth behind mine. He got up to leave, gathered all of his things in a black plastic garbage bag and walked to the door. He was homeless. I had another meals worth on my Subway gift card, so I gave it to him. He was the sweetest man. We talked for a little while and had a nice conversation. I will never forget him.
My decision to join the United States Navy Reserves. They give you challenges you think you can’t accomplish. Then upon completion of that challenge, you realize you do have the ability to succeed. I have brought that into the civilian world with me. Through it all, I have gained self-confidence in all of my endeavors.
For my junior and senior years in high school I went to the Rueben Daniels Lifelong Learning Center for the latter half of the school day. It was there that I learned more about dance itself beyond learning dance moves. I studied various choreographers, different styles, and a choreographer from New York City was a guest in our studio and taught us some dance steps. It was an experience I will never forget.