Ping. Pop. Bounce. Spin. Satisfaction.
Smash. Slam. Whiff. Shank. Frustration.
That’s right– it’s the sport of tennis I describe. If you’re looking for schmaltzy romance, you’re on the wrong page. In this game, love means nothing. Literally: Nada. Zilch. Zero. What is to love about that?
Supposedly the scoring system reflects the notion that one plays for the love of it, and nothing else. Not points, not victory. As I chip away at the (many) layers of rust, I might have a tiny understanding of that–finally.
I grew up a tennis player, and put a lot of time, sweat and tears into my game. I loved it as much as I hated it– and after my last high school match the latter feelings forced me to take a 17-year hiatus.
Much has changed since my final days on the court. My knees are creakier, my eyesight is poorer. I have grown into my large feet… and also into my sports bra. I might– just might– have developed some maturity and perspective, too. I’m appreciative for all that my parents gave to me: lessons, encouragement and a lot of court time with my dad. He and I even won a mini-tournament, a highlight (I think) of his parenting years.
In my return from retirement, my stroke actually hasn’t changed much. Timing is another story. What a fine line there is between miss and a winner! If I can keep enjoying the sport, I know that I can only improve.
As my game is coming back to me, my expectations increase. I have to check my irritations at the gate, accepting that less fit women with much less finesse will lob and “push” their way through the points. It gets me every time. I will not bend to that kind of game– never have, never will. I vow to work only on my stragety and also to silence the profanities that are eager to fly from my mouth. Remember– the maturity is still very much in development. I have to actively remind myself that it’s all about the love.