First Impressions
Diego. Age 13. PA

I am sweating. The nervousness and helplessness are flowing through my veins. I wonder, Will I like it? What will it be like? Am I going to be good at it? I see the door. As I approach, I think about how morose I will be here. My thoughts drift back to the reluctance I showed when I was first told I would be going here. I approach the door through the stifling crowd. As I enter the room, I am cognizant of the few kids in the large open space, the mats rolled up and standing in the corner, the back of the room, where my friends stand. As more kids enter the room it is becoming pandemonium and the different noises are cacophonous; the only thing that is able to stifle it is the teacher that enters the room. As we sit down, I am filled with worry about what is coming.

I approach the door again. It is now normal, walking to the door, opening it, then entering the room. Yet something is still there plaguing me. I go and sit down with my friends and start to talk like we normally do. However one of them jumps up onto the rolled up mats and my friends and I follow him up there. As people try to push up, we start to jump off and climb back up. The uncertainty drains out of me and I notice that I am having fun. Despite my reluctance to go, I am laughing about all of the chaos and happy to be there. As the teacher walks in the malady returns. As we head outside, I think of how the morose feelings are deleterious to my health. This day is not looking to be very good as the one spot of sunshine is covered by the clouds.

I open the door; the usually stifling crowd is not there and I gleefully enter the room. I head to the back and I start to horse around with my friends. We have fun running around and pushing the mats down while the kids scramble to jump off in time. However, the teacher enters and the pandemonium ceases. As we head outside to the bus platform, we start to goof off again, but our warm-ups halt our childish acts. As we finish our warm-ups, we head to the tennis courts to do some baton handoff practice. My group and I excel in this, except for one kid, Jack B. He is not the best at handing off batons. Yet despite this setback, we quickly run through the practices and have time to goof off in between our practice runs, I am exuberant the whole time; the practice is a blast, and I realize that despite my first impressions, I might enjoy this after all.

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