Passion Prevails

October 16, 2008
By Jillian Prejna, Rolling Meadows, IL

Names were being called like raindrops hitting pavement. My hands glistened with sweat as I stared down at my torn shoes. I held my breath, closed my eyes and waited to hear my name called aloud. After one last drawn out pause, it never came. The varsity, junior varsity, and sophomore teams walked away from the corner where I was. I stood, my heart cold, and my body still like a forgotten statue in the back of a museum. At this moment of my sophomore year volleyball had been my greatest passion. My heart lay shattered in a million pieces scattered all across the gym floor.

My confidence plummeted during each school day following the tryouts. In my view, the being cut had defeated my hopes, my dreams and me. I felt as though I was not worthy to talk to the other volleyball players in my classes. I labeled myself as a failure in the realm of sports and assured myself that I would never pick up volleyball again.
That November I was changing channels on the TV as a volleyball match popped on the screen and I became memorized by the event. At that moment I was ready to leave my struggles behind and move in a brighter direction. Rather than dwelling on my pain, I wanted so badly to overcome it. So that month I tried out for a competitive club volleyball team and participated for two seasons. My passion for volleyball was ignited once again.
People I encounter can constantly provide me with reasons to doubt my passions. To truly become a strong individual, I have learned to push away the negativity that can stop me from achieving my goals. I have become more comfortable with my strengths and weaknesses, and refuse to allow others to stop me from participating in what I love. I intend to live my life with optimism and purpose, because I know what it’s like to be a statue, and the world is much brighter when we learn to pursue our greatest passions.

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