Ever since I was little, I was always playing a sport. In elementary school, I played soccer, but I eventually grew tired of kicking a ball around a muddy field for hours on end. I traded in my cleats for a pair of sneakers and joined my middle school basketball team. I played basketball for two years, then decided it was time to try my hand at tennis.
Initially, I hated the sport. It took up too much time, and the rules were too complicated for me to comprehend. I wanted to quit. When I told my mom that I was done with tennis, she wouldn’t hear it. She told me that she was sick of me quitting sports, and that this time, I was going to stick with it.
For the entirety of sixth grade, I would sacrifice my Saturday mornings, and head down to our local tennis bubble for tennis practice. I hated it. I couldn’t believe that I was spending my weekends playing a sport that I didn’t even like. Again, I asked my mom if I could quit, but she wouldn’t budge. Instead, she signed me up for a local Junior Team Tennis (JTT) team.
When I arrived at my fist JTT practice, I was prepared to hate it, but after a few weeks, I was in love.
Everyone on the team welcomed me with open arms. The older players gave me advice and helpful tips to improve my game, and the younger payers were eager to grow and learn with me. I even met one of my best friends through JTT.
I’ve spent the last six years of my life playing tennis with this wonderful group of people. They’ve seen me at my lowest point and at my highest. They’ve picked me up after a rough loss, and they’ve celebrated my victories. They’ve truly had my best interests at heart throughout the years. I’ve never bonded so quickly with a group before. As we grew up together, we became more than a team. We became a family.
Saying goodbye to my second family is one of the hardest things I’ll ever do, but i’ll be forever grateful that I got to spend such a huge portion of my life with them.