“BEEP BEEP BEEP” 6:45 a.m. The dark, gloomy morning consumes my bedroom. Time to start another day of high school. The soft pillows hug me tightly, begging me not to leave. I glance at the clock, and it reminds me that I can’t stay in bed forever. I make a deep sigh and forcefully drag myself out of bed. This should be illegal; no student should have to wake up before the sun does.
As a freshman attending a public high school, I get free transportation! What’s better than taking a bus that’s going at turtle speed with a cranky bus driver and loud, obnoxious kids? And don’t forget about the free massage from the jerk behind you that’s always kicking your seat. Also, you’ll always get the latest fashion news from the girls who gossip nonstop.
After a long ride of torture, I finally arrive at school, getting pushed against lockers and shoved in the crowded hallways.
I never say a word to anyone during class or lunch. They probably think I can?t speak English.
But today is going to be different. In all of this chaos, I somehow manage to find something that completely transforms my entire high school experience.
Entering the gym, an over-friendly student stands at the door and greets, ?Welcome to the Club Fair!? I stroll by all the club booths in amazement of the different options. Key Club? Dog Club? Then a purple banner with big, white letters catches my attention; it lights up the words: “Racquetball Club.” Racquetball? Never heard of it. Out of curiosity, I step up to the racquetball stand, pick up the pen, and write my name down on the sign-up sheet.
A few weeks later, I show up to the first meeting. As I enter the Athletic Club for the first time, I immediately notice the racquetball courts. Wow, that’s what they look like? The smell of sweat and rubber balls pour into my nose. I jump in shock from the loud, sharp noises that sound like gunshots. My hands are shaking and my body’s getting warmer. Maybe I shouldn’t be here.
When I finally step into the court, a cold breeze gushes through my body like a ghost just drifted past my soul. My heart beats faster and faster. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. First, my coach demonstrates how to hit the ball by swinging his racket.
“Here, you give it a try.” my coach gestures. I hesitantly walk up, drop the ball in front of me, and swing. The ball goes flying towards the blank wall. BANG.
Suddenly, all of my fear and nervousness vanish as fast as the speed of light. With every fluid motion, the heavy weight lifts off from my chest and disperses into the air like it never existed. Before, the noise scared the living daylights out of me, but now, it plays a beautiful hymn in my head. I’m in my own world, free from my worries and responsibilities.
Being a part of the racquetball community has helped me to express myself. As a team captain today, I offer a significant influence during practices. I change from conversing with nobody to teaching new players techniques and encouraging teammates to play their hardest. Racquetball has granted me such joy in high school and will continue to help me in college and beyond. The 5’2” girl who got pushed around and stepped on in the school hallways, became the girl who fights fiercely in the racquetball court with total energy and dedication.
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