The Tank and The Beast

RJ Fresen

Junior Tennis Champions Center’s RJ Fresen

The following two poems were written by Junior Tennis Champions Center player and 7th grader RJ Fresen:

The Tank
By RJ Fresen

If you tank
You will get in trouble
With Coach Frank

If you tank
You will lose more and more
Because you will hit shank after shank

If you tank
Your level will go increasingly down
You will certainly lose your high rank

If you tank
You will never play as a pro
No winning speeches, no one to thank

If you tank
Deep down you will always be hollow and guilty
A waste of the dreams in your savings bank

I NEVER tank
And because of that
I will NEVER get in trouble with Coach Frank!

Note:  Coach Frank refers to JTCC Senior Director of High Performance Frank Salazar.

The Beast
By RJ Fresen

One day, not long ago
I was the top seed at a tennis tournament.
Things were going as expected, and then…
The beast woke up from within.

What was this beast?
The searing pain
Ripping through my gut
Rendering me helpless
Me rolled up in a ball
Lying there no hope at all.

My next match in three hours
I cannot stand up
I cannot move a limb
I barely can breathe
I can only lie there
As the beast is devouring me from within

In my weakened state
I try what I can through the pain
Massage, medicine, energy drinks.
Nothing works

The pain was like a tsunami
Rising to demolish a small helpless island
But the island is proud, strong and refuses
To go down without a fight

In my mind
I picture the island
Winning the battle as I lose consciousness.
In my fitful slumber
I continue to fight the beast.

I wake up and I can feel the beast losing strength
I can win this battle
Five minutes before match time
I am still far from well
But there is a glimmer of hope.

A lesser man would been devoured at the beginning
He would have given in to the beast.
Not I!
I will never say die…

With the beast still rumbling
But I, not letting go of the reins
Am fighting two battles now…
On the court and with my beast within

I prevail
I win
I am…
The beast.


One thought on “The Tank and The Beast

  1. RJ your poems are wise beyond your years! Keep working hard… The more you prepare in your training the more control you’ll get over the beast. Don’t ever give up and tank but you still my get in trouble with Coach Frank 🙂

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