If You're Not An Athlete

              If you’re not an athlete, you don’t understand “the grind.”

You don’t understand the clanks in the weight room:

it’s not just a sound.

You don’t understand 6 AM.

You don’t understand the string of curse words someone lets loose,

the words that announce one’s failure to improve.

But the words show you’ll be at it tomorrow.

 You’ll be back at it again and again.

And again.

          If you’re not an athlete, you won’t understand one’s drive.

 

 

          If you’re not an athlete, you haven’t met motivation.

You are a seat in the stadium, ready to bench the fans.

You are the boundaries of the court that lead to shot after shot after shot--

you are what makes the grass stand up.

You give support and you take it.

You take chances and you make them.

          If you’re not an athlete you can’t know motivation.

 

 

           If you’re not an athlete, you don’t know the “baseline.”

It’s a thick line painted in school colors and something fans tread on.

But that’s not how you get acquainted with the “baseline.”

When those two words come up,

you panic with memories the words brought you before.

“Baseline” could mean, you’re running ‘till you puke.

“Baseline” could mean that the team’s getting new equipment.

“Baseline” can mean new drills.

The “baseline” is an athlete’s unknown fear.

          If you’re not an athlete, you can’t know the “baseline,”

only an athlete does.

 

 

         If you’re not an athlete, you don’t know an athlete’s aspiration.

Not all of us are dreaming to be a Michael Jordan.

Not all of us are dreaming to be a Danica Patrick.

Some of us are just dreaming to redefine our name:

I’m not a slacker,

I am worth it;

I am not a failure,

I’m a dream waiting to be achieved.

Some of us aren’t waiting for a scholarship.

 

Some of us are waiting for you to recognize our name.

 

     If you’re not an athlete, you can’t understand an athlete’s aspiration,

only they can.

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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