I’m addicted to winning, I always was. Growing up I played basketball and softball. In basketball I hated running up and down the court endlessly and I was too passive to play defense it wasn’t in my nature to be that aggressive. But I still enjoyed the sport because I loved the feeling of getting a basket. There was nothing like it, your heart racing, mind flourishing as the ball leaves your hands and makes its way up to the basket. You watch it with anticipation as the destiny of the ball is left from the control of your finger tips to fate. I also played softball growing up, and there was nothing more boring to me than standing out in the outfield, I would stare out into space holding back a yawn, resisting the urge to lay down on the outfield and bask in the warm spring sun. But I still enjoyed softball because I loved the feeling of going up to bat for the same reason, I was in love with that rush of adrenaline I always received upon walking up to home plate, helmet on, bat in hands, I got butterflies every time. However when I was in the ninth grade I found a sport that gave me the same feeling that I once received while getting a basket or hitting a home run constantly. A sport where you’re constantly up at bat you constantly have the chance to shoot a three pointer. Lets just say, the moment I picked up a tennis racquet I quit both basketball and softball instantly.
After the moment I first picked up a racquet in freshman year I began playing all of the time. I constantly hit with anyone who was available, I remember practicing in the rain, getting dropped off alone at the courts with a handful of balls so I could practice my serve for hours on end. I would run sprints up and down my driveway, do jumping jacks until I felt sick, and stay up late at night tossing a ball in the air and catching it repeatedly. I would beg my mom or my sister to go to the courts and hit with me. One day I even went down to my basement and lugged a huge board up the stairs and outside where I tilted it up against the face of my shed and created a backboard to hit balls against. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing; all I knew was that I liked the feeling playing tennis gave me, I loved the way that improving a shot, having a long rally, or hitting a winner made me feel.
Tonight I write this after setting a 4:55am alarm on my phone which will wake me up to go play tennis indoors with my sister and friend for an hour and a half before school. Then from 3:00pm- 5:00pm I’m going to play for another two hours. Hitting the same shots over and over again, the same service motion, the same stroke, the same footwork, yet I never get bored of it. I’m always sad when practice is over. I go to bed thinking about the way my wrist rotates inward on my forehand and the pronation of my left elbow on my slice backhand. I constantly crave the feeling of getting a point, nothing motivates me more. When I’m not on a tennis court, I’m wishing that I was.
Someday when I have a job, I hope that I will be as happy as I am when I am on a tennis court. I hope that I feel the same sense of satisfaction and achievement through my future profession as I do when I hit an ace during a tennis match. I hope that every moment I’m working my future job it feels like I’m hitting a forehand down the line winner, not like sitting in the outfield or running up and down a basketball court. I want to be addicted to my job, obsessed even. I hope that I will wake up feeling as eager to go to work someday as I will feel tomorrow morning at 4:55 when I wake up and lace up my sneakers and gather my racquets in the dark.