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Overcoming Obstacles This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It's hot - really hot. I'm standing on the tennis court in tennis camp, thinking. The sun has never felt this strong before. The sweat is dripping down my forehead; I am constantly wiping it with my sleeve. I know that my skin is beginning to burn; I can sense that my suntan lotion is not strong enough to fight the harmful rays. My arms and legs are stiff and achy. I feel like a robot because I have been playing tennis for hours, and my own movements have become involuntary. My stomach is growling and my mouth is beginning to water as I think about lunch. I can smell tomato sauce from the pizza and the chocolate aroma from the cakes. I am going crazy; I feel like I have not eaten in weeks. My stomach is as empty as a canyon. The sun is still blazing down my back. I feel myself slowing down. My energy level is decreasing and my movements are in slow motion. My eyes begin to close, and suddenly I start to daydream about being at home and sinking into my down comforter; placing my head on a soft, feather pillow. I am exhausted and my lack of sleep is catching up with me. I have been overworked and I know that my eyes must show my emotions. I don't think that I can bear the hard work anymore. Any second I could find myself lying on the court, unconscious.

Then, I finish the match. I get a sudden burst of energy that allows me to continue. My legs become strong and determination rages. I know that I want to win this match and that nothing can get in my way. Even though I am tired and run-down, my pride reminds me not to give up. I have worked too hard to lose.

I grasp the racket in my hand. As the ball approaches, I slowly bring back my racket and swing perfectly. I hear the ball bounce off my racket and watch it fly to the other side. It bounces on the base line in the left corner, keeping my opponent from returning it.

This was the shot that won the match for me. I overcame the heat, my hunger, and lack of sleep to win the game. I am proud of the outcome. It was my hardest ever, and I will always remind myself of this win, so that I will never forget how hard I can really push myself. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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