Dream vs. Reality

May 21, 2017
By Jillian8599 BRONZE, Park Ridge, Illinois
Jillian8599 BRONZE, Park Ridge, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The feeling of sweat running down your temple by your forehead. The sensation and confidence of making that final shot or scoring that basket. All that hard work and training for something so small that could lead you down the path of your future. You face many obstacles and life changing decisions in your life. You don’t know what will happen in the future but you can control and alter how you want your future to look. My hardest life altering decision was choosing between tennis and basketball. My decision was based off of what will benefit me in the future not in the present. It was between a sport I enjoy playing because of the people I played it with and the overall feel of playing and having people watch, or a lifelong sport that provides you closer relationships with friends that also gives you the chance of playing in college.

At around age 7, I realized that I wanted to play a sport because all my friends were. My first choice was ice skating. I really enjoyed it and loved going to my practices but later I quit ice skating because of an event I can clearly replay in my head still to this day. I was ice skating on the smooth slippery ice when all of the sudden I had fallen and girls began to pile up on top of me when I had then saw my pail, whitened, flushed out, frightened face in the reflection of the shiny, clean cut blades of the skates right by my eyes.  Along with that, my family on my mom's side plays a sport that had really interested me. I didn’t know what it was called but I knew all you had to do was hit the green fuzzy ball back and forth over the net. I later had realized that this was something I wanted to try. Tennis. I told my mom that I was interested in this sport and she became so happy since she knew her side would be ecstatic that I took interest in the sport they have enjoyed their whole life. I began to take group lessons with a coach I really looked up to. I still remember his name. It was coach Mark and he favored me and always had used me for examples since I was a consistent and skillful player. This only gave me the confidence to get better and pursue tennis. When I got into sixth grade, I began to go to the school's basketball games. Since there was no school team i wanted to join something at school that everyone could watch me at. Basketball seemed really fun and I loved the intensity of the shouting crowds and how it would pump up the players. I began to play at camps for basketball and  I kicked tennis to the side without even realizing it. Sort of like how some friendships end up. You just drift apart without realizing it. With this being said, I began intrigued with basketball.

You are only allowed to tryout for basketball in seventh grade and eighth grade at Emerson but there was a junior hawks team which was a feeder league for younger athletes. I started to give it a shot and try out for junior hawks. After a hard sweat, I made the B team. I was so proud of myself because there were many girls that didn’t make it who wanted it as much as I did. This was very unfortunate but only made me want to try harder to prove to the coaches that I was a true player. As the first season passed, I tried out again the following year. I remember getting an email saying I had made the B team yet again. I was a little disappointed because I was hoping for the A team since it would be my last year playing for the Junior hawks. I would be too old for it next year. Yet again, I was proud to have made the team. I remember this next event so vividly. Later in that same month, I remember my dad getting a call from one of the coaches while I was in Sanibel Florida. My dad was on the phone and the coach had asked if I was able to play on the A team. I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement. Our team ended up getting a pretty high title that year and it was a great way to end the season. Once my team had gotten that it was like a dream that had somehow been fulfilled and once it had happened, I had nothing to chase anymore. That’s when I realized the answer was right in front of me. I was so caught up in basketball that I had pushed tennis to the side and didn’t realize the potential that playing tennis could give me.
To this day, I’m playing tennis. I have made it every year at my high school. Tennis has made me a successful, confident, and stronger person. It has shaped me into who I am today. Choosing tennis over basketball was a big step but made me realize that you have to think ahead and realize what will benefit you in the future. It’s like that with anything. Nothing lasts forever, but you can for sure help yourself along the way to make the right decisions in order to get you where you want to be in life. This made me realize that tennis was not only a sport that would last me a lifetime, but that it has a special place in my heart because of the way I feel while playing.

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