With sweat streaming down my face and sunlightblinding me, I tossed the ball up. With a strong arm, I struck the ball with suchforce that it left my opponent in awe and disbelief - an ace.
The game oftennis and the strategy, endurance and mentality that go with it are notunderstood by everyone. Yes, eventually, it is just a game. But to me and othertrue lovers of the game, it is also a passion. Tennis gets inside me, like anelectric shock. It might seem a simple and even lazy sport, but those whoscramble to get to every ball know that not only is concentration important, butagility and tenacity as well.
The inner struggle to focus and implement astrategic plan of attack, combined with the physical aspect, yields amazinglessons on and off the court. In any game, it is important to accept defeat anduse mistakes to go farther. It's not winning that matters, it's knowing I pouredmy soul into trying. Alone on one side of the net with only a racquet and my mindto defend myself, giving my all is the only thing I know how to do. As with mylife in general, I have learned to do my best with what I have. Whenever achallenge comes my way, I plan a strategy to solve it, and see itthrough.
Tennis is not a team sport, but I believe that by "teamingup" my sportsmanship, endurance and desire, I can achieve anything.Independence is pulling these qualities from within and piecing them together. Mypassion is not playing to win, but reaching higher than I thought possible andaccomplishing more than I imagined.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.