3 min. read
By Candace Little
All five-feet-two-inches of me tried out for the high school basketball team. After a week of proving myself, I ran through the basement halls of my high school thrilled that my name was on the roster. Practice was hard, I went through a series of bad coaches and good coaches, and I worked my guts out. One time, I stayed after practice for two hours just shooting free throws. It practically took over my entire life, but I figured basketball was giving me something, too.
But I didn’t always feel like my dedication, sweat and stress was worth it. All five-feet-two-inches of me sat on the bench game after game. When I did get playing time, I wasn’t used to the pressure, quick decisions, and tall girls.. Over time, I improved, and gained experience I couldn’t have gained anywhere else, but my part of the bench was still kept very warm.
After three years on the team, my coach came to my home, sat on my couch, and asked me if I would like to be “team manager” the next year. Really? Be a water boy? I don’t think so. She didn’t have to tell me I was cut from the team and I never checked the list. Instead of hours of basketball, I started watching a Superman TV drama, and realized for the first time that Lois Lane was a journalist.
I also took up tennis that summer, made it onto the team, played doubles with a freshman, and all five-feet-two-inches of me placed second in the state tournament my senior year. Sad I wasn’t playing basketball still? A little. Sad I had learned to play tennis, had a spot on a fun, new team and felt rewarded after every match? Nope, not at all.
Then came college. As a Lois-Lane-in-training, my heart was not actually set on writing news (I thought I’d fit in better on the other side: public relations). After graduation, I accepted a position at a mainstream communications firm, and like my days on the basketball court, worked my guts out. And, like my days on the basketball court, they were also cut short by the powers above me.
Knowing the flipside to being kicked off the team, I figuratively donned my tennis skirt and took state — I called the largest business magazine in Utah and accepted a part-time internship. All five-feet-two-inches of me became a full-fledged journalist and even an associate editor in about two years. Yeah, it was definitely a personal record.
My silver lining story is not as much an instance or a single realization, but more of a theme throughout my life — and really, isn’t it throughout everyone’s? I wanted to share this string of events with you, the readers of this publication, because my last day on the basketball team gave me the perseverance I needed to eventually succeed as a journalist, and my last day as a public relations professional was really my first day of practice for writing for The Silver Lining News. I just didn’t know it yet.
Working my guts out, researching, discovering, writing, designing and building relationships with noteworthy characters is now a part of me. And for that I am grateful and excited to call myself a journalist.