Poetry On Odyssey: Pure

You were beautifully and wholly pure.


Your eyes looked like the ocean.

The gold faded seamlessly into the green,

And then perfectly into the blue.

You just looked so beautiful.

Your freckles were showing like crazy,

You still had on your stupid hat,

And you had the slightest red tint to your cheeks.

Your smile was there,

Painted across your face,

As if you were seeing the most beautiful person in the world,

For the first time.

All of the bad went away.

You were beautifully and wholly pure.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.

I fell in love with the game in second grade.

I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass, and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school, and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone, it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach:

Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off," and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake, I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself, not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, but you also turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It's about the players.

You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won't have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time

Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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A Poem About Hypocrisy, Mistakes, And Moving Forward

A poem of opposites and confusion in navigating the world.


Right and wrong

and wrong and right and trying

and changing

trying to heal, not fight

I say one thing and do another

while knowing I should have not done one

and result in the other

Changing and trying

and trying is hard

to stick to your values

your ethics

your consciousness barred

stagnant and evolving

and trying and true

so much to say and so much to do

there is peace in this space

between and within

you know what's right in your heart

and feel it from within

your spirit doesn't lie

and it can set you free

but how can I get there

and bring it out from within me?

This poem is all about the reclamation of my mistakes and my ownership of all of it. No one is perfect. No one completely knows right from wrong, to stay or go, to talk or stay silent. They mess up, learn from it, and take the world with fresh eyes, and open heart, and is more empathetic and understanding to themselves.

I do a lot of preaching without practicing at times, and although it's difficult, I try my best to do everything I have value for, stand for, believe in, while giving myself room to grow more. Whether it's taking my own advice or others, taking a pill that's hard to swallow, or truly cutting things out of my life that aren't good for me, it's so important to notice inconsistencies within yourself and change them.

I feel like I never come across as self-conscious or insecure of myself, but when it comes to many things I am hazardous and cautious- when I seem to be telling myself I am confident about everything when deep down I do have my doubts. But this is learning. This is loving.

However you interpret this poem, I hope it helps you treat yourself kinder, and helps you to grow and reevaluate all aspects of yourself- good and bad.

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