Chapter 2 // High School, College & Tennis
You already read about how I was spoiled by my parents. They probably had the most influence on me growing up. But eventually, I made it to high school where I first fell in love with tennis. My competitive tennis career carried me all the way through college. But it was during my high school tennis career that I first realized that sometimes, hard work isn’t good enough.
Tennis is an individual and team sport at the same time. You have to earn your spot to play an individual match which counts for the team score. I quickly realized the team was made up of people who were naturally athletic, quite unlike myself.
It didn’t take long for me to learn that you cannot be afraid of hard work. I had to work twice as hard as everyone else on the team just to be able to compete, not win, but compete with them. I remember in highschool, I would often stay after practice with my dad and go on weekends my dad who would do drills with me. I still lost more matches than I won despite all the extra work I put in. But I don’t regret one second of the extra time and hard work.
During my collegiate tennis career, I learned about true physical discipline through 6am running practices, hitting sessions, matches against teammates & strength training workouts. Sometimes, all in one day. I learned how to push myself physically and mentally beyond what I thought I was capable of, what other people thought I was capable of. God used my collegiate tennis career to teach me a lot about myself pushing through physical and mental limitations I had set for myself. And how much more he can push me through those limitations and barriers too.
I learned how to compete. Rather than playing not to lose, I learned how to play to win. Something I also try to apply to life.
It was also in college that God showed me how small steps lead to big steps, in both good and bad ways. I learned when chasing goals, sometimes, the first steps are the hardest and most difficult to take but they also come with the most rewards once you take that first step (no matter how small).
I also learned that you should never compromise in what you know is right. This is when small steps are bad because before you know it, they’ve turned into big steps away from God’s will.
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