This I Believe

Kara - Healdsburg, California
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: purpose, sports
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I believe relieving stress is a necessity in life. I find that the stress society, school, parents and friends have burdened upon me must be released. I have found that allowing large amounts of stress to pile up can have negative effects causing constant mood swings and a decrease in patience.

I found my safe haven freshmen year, when I tried out for the tennis team. At first I was skeptical about joining the team because I had never played before, but I soon fell in love with the sport. From that moment on I knew that tennis was my sanctuary.

When I feel my stress load is reaching a dangerous level, I know what I must do. I call up a friend and tell them to meet me at the courts. I get dressed in a cute little tennis skirt, put my Wilson tennis shoes on, grab a new can of balls, my racket and I am on my way. The moment my foot hits the paint I can feel my stress diminishing. My friend and I warm up by hitting the ball for a few minutes then we begin to play a match. I bounce the ball once, twice then toss it in the air, watching and waiting until it reaches the perfect spot. Once there I jump at the right moment and hit the ball as hard as I can. Once the first point has started, I split step trying to anticipate where the ball will be hit. She returns it with a topspin forehand, I set my feet, bend my wrist, keep my eyes on the ball and hit an inside out forehand that gets by her. As the set progresses, all the stress I felt melts away, allowing me to enjoy my favorite sport and for the first time in a month, I worry about nothing but the next point. Stepping on to a tennis court, in cute tennis clothes with a new can of balls, is one of the best feelings ever.

Tennis is what I turn to when the stress of my daily life becomes too much to handle. Tennis is what I turn to when I need time to think. Tennis is what I turn to when I am in a bad mood. Tennis has saved me from the stress in life that many fall victim to. Relieving stress is a necessity in life, this I believe.