My Magic Beans For A Dino Cup

By Julie Boulton

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away there lived a young boy, Adrian Wouts, whom, for this story, shall be known as Jack.

Jack loves jellybeans, especially the black ones, but more than jellybeans, Jack loves volleyball. In fact, Jack even stops eating jellybeans in order to passionately describe his feelings about the game of volleyball.

It’s like a daily constant challenge," he sates. "Every day you are striving to achieve your maximum potential. That’s the challenge that keeps you coming back."

At 23, Jack possesses the intelligence, desire and intensity (shown both on and off the volleyball courts) that will help him win the goose that lays the golden eggs, the harp that talks and the bags of golden pennies.

Favourable endorsements from his coach, Greg Ryan, whom shall be referred to as the Friendly Fairy, points out the obvious: "If he is the captain then he must have something going for him."

Whilst eating a handful of jellybeans-red, green and purple-Jack affirms that he is loyal to his kingdom-Canada. For him, Canada is home, for not only does it have the best beer but it is "such an impressive and unique country." Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the aim of thMy magic beans for a Dino Cup is leading character is to represent Canada in volleyball.

"There could be no greater honour or experience than wearing your country’s colours," Jack states.

Reminiscent of the original Jack’s duel with the stalk-climbing it for the first time he thought, for a moment, he would go back, but, knowing that the way to succeed in anything is not to give up, he went on-Jack tells of his own battle with adversity. Grabbing another handful of jellybeans-yellow, white and pink-he tells of suffering from a rotator cuff injury (a shoulder injury) four years ago which resulted in shoulder surgery at the end of his second year. Jack, in true fighting spirit, has also persevered, the incident only serving to make him stronger and more determined to keep fighting for his love.

By introducing his family, "my moral support network," Jack demonstrates that he is a kind-hearted and affectionate young lad (characteristics essential to the hero in any fairy tale). Choosing only black jellybeans this time, Jack mentions his role model; his father, whom shall be known as the Noble Knight.

"My dad supports me in everything I do and challenges me to go further, to pursue and rise to the challenges of life."

In order for the fairy tale to become an epic journey (and to be snapped up by Walt Disney for a multi-million dollar movie), a less violent, but more symbolic battle must take place within the hero himself. Jack must embark upon his final battle: to cut down the beanstalk while the giant is angrily descending.

Already a Canada West All-Star, Jack’s desire is to reach his full potential in his sport.

"My biggest fear is not succeeding-not reaching my maximum potential in volleyball."

By becoming more rational, Jack believes his maximum potential is to play for team Canada, a prospect that the Friendly Fairy also believes is possible.

"He’s got all the physical tools and he’s strong enough mentally, he just needs the experience."

The penultimate chapter of a fairy tale has to contain one final obstacle: Jack must return to the castle in order to face the Giantess. This weekend, being the Dino Cup, encompasses one part of this hurdle. Jack is openly positive about his team’s chances, rating the U of C team this year as the strongest he has ever seen.

"I’m really excited about this year," Jack enthusiastically states. "I believe we are definitely contenders for the play-offs."

The Friendly Fairy echoes these sentiments, highlighting that last year the team lost narrowly in the finals and this year it is an immensely better team.

As with any fairy tale, there must be a happy ending: Jack, the hero of the fairy tale, slays the giants, takes possession of the hen and the harp and regains his castle with all its riches, succeeding, as the fairy noted, because he showed an inquiring mind, great courage and enterprise.

For our Jack, then, the real life hero who politely leaves the last jellybean-orange-in the bag, the beanstalk is his for the climbing.

Undoubtedly, with his mind, courage and skill, our Jack has the capacity to slay giants.

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