By John William Johnson
For Hometown News
VERO BEACH - What does Kelsey Patrick plan to study in college?
The pretty and petite recent Vero Beach High School graduate shifts slightly in the seat at McDonald's in South Vero Beach where she works.
She shifts again, and shrugs.
"Don't know," she says finally. "I'll see what life serves."
That observation was made without it being an intentional pun because Ms. Patrick's play is not on words, but rather on a tennis court.
At 5-feet tall, the just- turned 19 year old began playing tennis when she was 8, "and I've played every year since then."
She sits up straighter and tugs gently at some hair over one ear.
"I was on the high school team for four years," she said.
Playing tennis competitively requires frequent trips to the gym or running on the beach.
"Your legs are the issue, because footwork is the biggest thing in tennis, figuring out where you need to be before you need to be there," she said.
Beyond that, Ms. Patrick said competitive tennis requires players, "to tune everybody out and pretend no one is there except your opponent.
"And if I lose it's because I've lost concentration," she said, smiling. The smile becomes a sheepish grin when she added: "I'm easily distracted. It's something I have to work on a lot."
What will she work on the most in college?
She shrugs again, noting: "I'm an average student," meaning the scholarship opportunities are dramatically reduced. That won't stop her from going to college, she said, "because I'm going to go into the military, and then use the GI bill."
Her eyes widen momentarily as she understands that the question is what branch?
"The Navy. I really don't know why, except that I have a cousin in the Navy and I look up to her."
She's worked at McDonald's just off U.S. 1 in South Vero for about 11 months, and came there because, "I didn't get enough hours at Little Caesars."
Noting earlier that her mother, Patricia Woodmansee, was a cancer survivor, she expects to enter "probably the Navy this fall and I just hope I can get into some kind of medical training."
She added that she hopes whatever military branch she enters will in turn result in an experience similar to what she's had in tennis, where "we're like a family."
"We'll see," she said. "We'll see."