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January 1, 2005

A Juvenile Dream

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Jones @ 12:00 am

As a child, I wanted nothing more than to become a professional athlete. It was all I ever hoped for, it was all I ever thought about, it was my life dream. I would practice, I would pretend, I would fantasize, and I would take my vitamins. Then one day, my dream was crushed. I still remember that fateful day vividly.

It was a cool calm summer day when Coach took me aside. He was an older man, getting on in years now. By the look of him he had once been in prime athletic condition, but the years weren?t kind to him. A short man, mostly grey hair, wrinkled skin; the kind of man who always gave off a warm fuzzy glow; the kind of man everybody always felt better when they were around. Today, however, he had that look of fire in his eyes, his brow wrinkled, for the first time showing a little bit of worry on his once calm, aged face.

As we stood there, under the shade of the old willow tree that grew behind the north end zone I looked at his furrowed brow, I gazed deep into his big brown eyes and felt a single tear slowly roll down my cheek. I knew what he was going to say. ?You don?t have to tell me Coach,? I said, ?I?m off the team aren?t I??

He opened his mouth as if to say something then quickly pursed his lips again. His eyes now open wider, the wrinkles slowly fading away; it was if he was almost choking himself. He took a deep breath, slowly exhaled and then said the words that will forever remain deeply engraved within my memory.

?You were never on the team,? he said ?You made that uniform you?re wearing out of some rags and towels, and that?s a toy space helmet you?ve got on your head. You show up at practice everyday and steal our ball, and make us chase you to get it back. You run out onto the field and tackle people at inappropriate times, and worst of all, this is a girls league.?

It was all true what he was saying, and yet as I stood there and looked at him I was overcome with thought. There is something special about this coach, there is something brewing inside that ingenious head of his. He sees something in me, some kind of raw talent that he can shape and mold into a superstar, I knew I had potential. If I worked hard, ate a good diet, stayed with it and kept my mind sharp everything would be ok. A smile slowly drew itself upon my face and I hastily turned around towards the practice I had left. Suddenly I saw a tall man that I had never seen before. He was much younger than coach and dressed all in blue. That?s when I felt the cold steel of the handcuffs firmly tighten around my wrists.

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