Thank you so much for inviting me on the Palm Springs trip. I really had a blast, and it was good for me to get away from Vegas for a couple of days. Palm Springs has always been one of my favorite places to visit for tournaments so getting the opportunity to visit with the No Quit Academy was something I couldn't pass up.
I don't train at the No Quit Academy, but I know the majority of the children through tournaments over the years. Through this trip I really got to see another side of a lot of the kids. Normally I only get to see them on the tennis court or at tournaments but not off the court. I also got to meet many new kids as well, especially the younger ones. Some of the children I got to meet and talk to were Kristen, Chloe, Eli, Anya, and Rema. I also got to see how much these younger kids look up to the alumni; such as Clayton to Trent, Tanner to Dillon, and even more to Patrick and Willie. Even the alumni look to each other such as Patrick to Frideric, and Ed to Trent. To have a positive community such as this is really unique. Honestly, however, I could not relate to many of the stories because I have come from a different background from the majority of the kids (specifically the "seniors"). It was really eye opening for me to see all the different stories shared in Ryan's suite. I never tried to get to know many of the kids on a personal level, and after this trip I feel like I got to experience something special with the entire No Quit Academy, so thank you for that.
If I had to pick someone who demonstrated the most leadership on the trip and in general I'd have to say Hadrien. Hadrien has one of the best attitudes towards life. He has endured tragedy and come out stronger from it. He has every reason to mope around and feel sorry for himself yet he doesn't. I saw him reading every morning in the lobby, and he came out and ran with the group. He has come such a long way, and it's all because of will power. He also was really good with the younger children, making them laugh all the time. Hadrien is a great role model for everyone of all ages.
Once again, thank you for taking me on the trip. I had a great time. Sorry the email is coming a little late, but I really did love going with you all. I hope you guys had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!