Okay, so I was listening to the song, "I Made It", by Kevin Rudolf ft. Jay Sean, Lil Wayne, and Birdman, and I thought, "This song describes a lot of what I'm feeling right now about my own tennis journey." So I was thinking, we could have a thread for people to post their own tennis stories, whether it was about that one epic match, about great success, or a heartbreaking loss. My own success story: My (humble) beginnings of tennis began when I was five years old, and I discovered an old aluminum racquet my parents kept in the garage. I used to hit tennis balls with it back and forth with my sister on our driveway. That was the extent of my tennis until age twelve; in between, I was a basketball fanatic (and still play a decent pick-up game). At age eleven, I rediscovered tennis, this time the real thing, at a summer activity program offered by my town. I got so into it that I began reading up all about it, learning everything I could, and my father, who is not a tennis professional, but instead a genius, coached me through the early stages of my game. This is what gave me my attacking style, with my one handed backhand, big serve, and crisp volleys. When I turned thirteen, I dedicated myself to tennis. I learned from the club pro three times a week for two hours each time, and played matches in between, and league games on weekends. My father stayed as my conditioning coach. My game (and my body) improved rapidly. To pay for all this, I got a job as soon as I turned fourteen. Even $8 an hour helps, especially because I was working three weekdays, three hours a day, and both days of the weekend, for five hours. Every week, I took the majority of the money I had earned, and my father put up the rest of it, to pay for my tennis. This helped (and continues to help) ground me, and keep me humble and grateful for tennis. Now I am sixteen. My game is reaching levels farther than anyone told me it could go. I'm gearing up to play ITF Futures tournaments. Hopefully I will be ready in a few months. My sectional ranking for USTA tournaments was top ten, but after the death of my grandfather last January, I took a lot of time off tournaments, in a time where I had a lot of points, and it slipped down to the forties. I have all but abandoned USTA tournaments now. My eyes are on the big prize. What are your stories?