This I Believe

Elizabeth - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on November 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks, sports, work

The School of Hard Knocks

Ever since I can remember, I have loved the sport of basketball. I have played

the game since I was about 4 years old. I started out at the YMCA and played with my

first and only co-ed team. I moved up to school teams and then AAU and played all year

round for the past 5 years. It hasn’t been always easy to find a team that had “the fit” that

I was looking for. Some teams were better than others, some coaches were better than

others. Sometimes I stood out like a star, while other times I did not. Every team was

different. I traveled with the AAU teams to incredible places like Hawaii and Italy. I

played against some very talented girls from all over the world. My life because of

basketball has been very fulfilling as I couldn’t think of a better thing to do with my time.

For the most part, I have been very lucky with finding a place on the teams that I have tried out for. I feel that I have worked hard for the positions that I have played. I always listened to my coaches and had a good attitude. I thought that I had done everything right. Life teaches hard lessons though. I just thought that I would play basketball for the school team for some time to come. This year would be different. The incoming talent was extremely competitive. Girls were bigger, more aggressive and quick. What I knew to be a challenge would be a really big challenge this year. Was I going to make it? I believed in myself as I did so many other times before when I was going through tryouts. My friends and sister were encouraging. First cuts were announced and much to my surprise, my school basketball career would end as I knew it. I couldn’t believe that even though you work so hard at something it could be over just like that. I was always told that “hard work” always paid off. Well, I could just quit trying at everything but that wouldn’t be fair to me. I know I’ve heard this saying a thousand times before, that “for every door that closes a window of opportunity opens somewhere else”. I could work on my tennis, or I could volunteer with elementary school kids. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but I do know that I’m not a quitter, I’ll dust myself off and pick up the pieces and look forward to new opportunities. I may even get to sleep in on Saturday’s now. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!