Regionals finished this past week and for the first time, I’m not going to state. Some of you might think, “Yeah, whoopee, big deal,” but to me this is a huge deal. Since before my freshman year, I told myself that my goal for high school tennis would be to qualify for state for all four years. Despite my injuries, I worked my tail off to get to where I wanted to be. After some reflection, here’s what I wrote as my last entry in my tennis journal for high school season. It’s honestly pretty sad, but it’s how I was feeling.
I honestly prefer not to comment on this match like I usually do. (Sidenote: I usually talk about what I did well, what I need to work on, and my opponent’s playing style.) After hoping I’d get a playback match, I sadly and unfortunately write that I will not be going to state this year. After all my hard work, I missed my dream and goal. Gone. Finished. After losing, I needed some time to think, and clearly even a day or two after, I am really still not emotionally ready. My dad tells me I was “this close” but for something like regionals, “this close” doesn’t cut it. What did I do wrong? Did I not work hard enough? What could I have done to actually make myself proud? I really didn’t want my season to end this way, nor did I expect it, but it is what it is now. I really saw myself going to state one last time. I really pictured the next patch on my letterman jacket. I really saw myself walking into Gates Tennis Center ready for another fun time with my teammates. I know I can’t take it all out on myself and I truly do recognize that she played phenomenally. I guess she wanted it a little more than I did. I guess she’s just a little more in shape than me. I guess that’s just how it was meant to play out. My high school season is over, and yes, it SUCKED, it watch the rest of my team play at the second day of regionals. I felt that I belonged out there with them. I wanted to go to state with our 2, 3, and 4 doubles as well as my sister. Everything happens for a reason and I hope that I’ll eventually see the good in me losing this match. Thank you to everyone who made my high school tennis career what it was. I’m sorry it ended this way but thank you for making it what it was, regardless. Thank you for making me the player I am today and thanks for believing in me, even when I didn’t. Goodbye high school tennis. It’s been a wonderful experience.
After reading over my own writing, and taking some time to think about it, this experience was very humbling. Regardless of what my results are, I’m SO incredibly proud of the girls on my team that did qualify for state. I know they’re gonna crush it this next week. I’ve also learned that there’s just some things and dreams you can’t completely control and you shouldn’t destroy yourself over things like this. If things always worked out the way we want them to, we’d never become better people or learn from our mistakes. I’m going to miss high school tennis a lot, but I look forward to all of the other opportunities tennis has in store for me. It’s a lifelong sport and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.