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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1891280
by Alexis
Rated: E · Short Story · Teen · #1891280
A teen has to figure out the difference between desire and talent.
Luke wanted to try out for one of the school teams. Trying to decide which team was the issue at hand, as well as finding the right time to tell the school newspaper adviser that he could no longer be the paper's editor. He loved writing and editing, but there would not be enough time for all that he loved.

If he were to follow in his brother's footsteps and play football, he would always be compared to his hero sibling. The more he thought about how annoying that would be, Luke decided against football.

He decided against track because it only held meets on the weekend. The same for the swim team. He wanted most weekends free for his creative writing. Luke's true love was basketball. He just plain liked the idea of playing an inside sport, partly because he always burned instead of tanning.

When Luke told the newspaper adviser Mr. Horne that he had to quit, it was one of the hardest things he had ever done. Breaking up with a girlfriend that he didn't have might have been less painful. Hypothetically having to move during his senior year would have hurt him significantly less.

The pain Luke felt about leaving the newspaper made him wonder if trying out for the basketball team was his best option after all. If he did not make the team, he would not be the newspaper editor. He would also not be a sports hero like his older brother had been.

The first basketball practice was on a Friday. By the end of this session, Luke  was worn out.  Even the shower he'd taken afterward did not help to relax his sore muscles. To make matters worse, he had to hobble to his car. On the way home, he realized he had to amplify his morning and evening workouts.

On Sunday Luke drove to a bookstore. He was still sore but no longer hobbling. After asking the clerk where to find a workout book, he found and leafed through the best picks. He chose one, then found one about sports writing and another on refereeing. Luke paid the clerk and drove home.
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The three books were spread out on Luke's bed. First he chose to look through the workout book, reading the first three chapters and using the tips  he found in an impromptu workout.

From what he could tell, he felt that this book would provide valuable insight into preparation for practice. After the workout, Luke read the last three chapters, then worked out again before taking a shower and getting dressed for bed. He was pleased, and now made the time to look at the other books.

Why he had bought these other two books was a partial mystery to him. While he had many interests, Luke knew there would not be time for anything other than workouts and b-ball practices. Sports writing and refereeing would simply be subjects to read about when season was over.

The number and complexity of Luke's workouts increased over the next few weeks, as did his ability to play the different positions he was assigned. He liked defense the best, but played offense with studied determination. Even though he played hard, he found that as time went by his commitment waned.

At home after workouts he would make time to read the sports writing book, because he had never written about sports during his school newspaper tenure. He believed he could be a sports writer if he didn't make the b-ball team. He believed he could be a referee, too, if only he wasn't a player.

Luke realized that the major reason he wanted to play b-ball was to show his family that he was sports hero material, maybe good enough to win a college scholarship as his brother had done.

He had gauged his own playing abilities against those of the other players, and he believed he was lacking. He did not feel at home on the court, as he had in the role of newspaper editor and felt that he would as sportswriter. He quit the b-ball team, and made an appointment to see Mr. Horne.

He was relieved when Mr. Horne was happy to see him.
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The sportswriter on the newspaper had secured the position of editor, so Luke  took on sports writing right away. He also enrolled in YMCA-sponsored refereeing classes which  took place one weekend. Feeling confident his book had adequately prepared him, he mastered refereeing with no problem.

Luke refereed at the b-ball practices and absolutely loved it. He had the first hand experience to really grasp what was happening on the court. When he was finished at the practice, he immediately went to the newspaper office and wrote an article on how having played the game made him a better referee.

It was the first article he had written since he left the newspaper. Luke's fellow students congratulated him on a job well done. Then he wrote another article that he thought was really more of an essay. It was on what he had learned in the past several weeks and how others might benefit.

Mr. Horne placed this second article on the editorial page because it was so powerful. It revealed that a negative belief, Luke's decision that he was not a good enough b-ball player, could evolve into a decision that led him back to writing and into refereeing.

Luke mentioned in the article how he had been determined at first to play b-ball, but his determination was partially based on wanting to emulate his sports hero brother. Winning a sports scholarship was laudable, but everyone knew there were other scholarships to win.

Also in the article was a replay of how instinct can play a huge part in decisions. Buying the sports writing and refereeing books resulted from Luke having paid attention to subconscious prodding.

Luke's article and editorial won statewide recognition. He was awarded a scholarship in journalism. He was overjoyed, and promised himself to never ignore his instincts. His motto..................belief yields such sweet relief.























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