Summer before high school. I can't believe it, I'm going to be in high school. Not only have i thought about it all summer, I've fantasized about it for most of my life. Now, it just occurred to me, what am i going to do in high school? I guess i could join a sport...but i don't play a sport. I should never have quit dance. I loved to dance, but that was a few years ago. Anyway, a club maybe? But those aren't exactly going to be as exciting as a sport. Oh well, I'll figure it out eventually, right? Sure, sounds good. It's the week before the first day of school, or in other words "Hell Week" for those who play sports. A friend of mine suggests maybe trying out for the tennis team: "what do we have to lose?". Keep in mind, i have never played a match of tennis in my life before this moment. But me, being strangely optimistic I agree, why not. We decide to have a sleepover before the first day of tryouts, we wake up at 7 and not only is it dark it's cold. I take an old tennis racket with no gripping on the handle and strings that have most likely never been changed. But I didn't even notice how bad the racket was, after all i had never owned one. On the way to the school I talk with my friend, she's way more athletic than me. A lacrosse player with natural athletic ability, her odds are better than mine. We pull up to the school and i notice some older girls that i recognize but have never met, and not one person my age. We walk on to the courts, of course the varsity and j.v. coaches are standing talking to one another and greeting girls from the team last year. As expected me and my friend don't say much because we know the score, most of these girls have been playing tennis since they could hold a racket. We stretch, and another future ninth grader arrives. We're not alone! But this means more competition, more of a chance i have of being cut. 2 more girls i know show up, and i realize my chances of making it are slowly shrinking before me. The coaches take our names and grades and divide us into those who will try out for varsity and those trying out for j.v. The j.v. girls (myself included) walk to the middle school courts across the street. There were probably about 15 of us. We begin drills. Not only do i miss every ball that is tossed at me, i throw, drop and fling my racket (and my body) everywhere. But still i persevere, "what have I got to lose, I'll give it all i have". Day one of try outs passes, day two, three, four, and the same result. I am probably the worst trying out. Cut day has arrived. I brace myself for the worst, expecting to be cut but not feeling too bad about it if it happens. The coach has us all gather around in a circle and announces he's sees a lot of potential in all of us and a lot of work that needs to be done. He looks right at me. Crap. Then he says, he will not be cutting anyone. He has to be kidding. We're all silent and he speaks again, he tells us he expects us to work hard and blah blah blah. I'm not even listening, I made the team! I can't wait to tell my parents.
If at first you don't succeed, there's always JV!
March 21, 2010