When I hit high school I found myself at the worst place in the world, the bench. There’s much to be said about supporting your teammates, and being a positive encourager from the bench is one of them; but, I knew that this wasn’t what I wanted to define my high school athletic career. Leading up to high school I’d enjoyed the moderate success of any middle school athlete; if you have some skill you’ll have some success. However, I had never really felt like I was the best at what I did, or was looked at as someone who had a bright future in their sport past high school. The reality of fighting for playing time on the high school basketball court made me realize what I wanted was respect. I wanted to play, I wanted to win, and I wanted to earn a scholarship for collegiate basketball.

It took the mentoring of multiple coaches for me to take my dream into my own hands and lay out a plan to success during my sophomore year. Every morning before school I would wake up at 5am, grab my basketball and shoes, and head to the local YMCA. There I would go through ball handling drills and shoot until I had made at least 500 shots. I would then go about my day of school and various practices, hit the weight room, do any homework I had, and prepare myself for the next day of work. This routine went on for two years. Granted, there were times when all I wanted was to sleep in. I wanted to be lazy, and procrastinate, and be normal. But to do this would have been to do myself a disservice, to cheat my dream. Dreams require action, and fortunately my actions paid off. I earned my spot, playing time, and a scholarship to play college basketball that would also further my educational goals.

Every time I find myself stuck in a rut of adequacy, I think back to my sixteen year old self waking up before the sun to drive to the gym. I refocus on the relentless tenacity that I know is inside of me, and I lock onto it. I believe that everyone is capable of a relentless pursuit of their dreams. All we need is the commitment to honoring them. 

-Audra Thramer (MWD Intern)