Tennis is what I love to do right now. My hobbies and passions change often, but this one has stuck with me for the past 6 years. I started playing tennis to get out of volunteering, following a wise friend’s lead. She had started taking lessons twice a week, so that she would be “busy” and wouldn’t always be available to say yes to volunteer requests. I thought that was brilliant. And it wasn’t that she didn’t volunteer, she was just the UBER volunteer and was so good at it, that people were always asking for her help. I really admire her and followed in her footsteps.
I still volunteer and love that part of my life too, but I really also love having something for myself. I love the practice and skill building. I love the social aspects. I love the physical and mental challenges. I love the new friends I meet and hearing their stories. I love working hard, playing hard and winning!! There’s always something new to learn and practice and perfect and it’s always changing and stimulating.
Tonight we had an evening match in a beautiful location. However, I screamed out loud twice when I noticed a squirrel trying to get a nut out of my bag. Someone had to shoe him away and off the tennis courts twice. This was a bit distracting, however we still won our first set 6-1 and were having a lot of fun. At the beginning of the second set, my partner hurt her knee. At first she tried to keep playing, and then sat out for the 3 minute time period allowed for physical injury recovery. We iced it, rubbed some aspercream on it, and wrapped it in a brace. When the 3 minutes was up, she bravely decided to come back on the court to play again, yet her knee just wouldn’t allow her to continue and we had to forfeit the game. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to continue our match, but was thankful that she didn’t fall down or hurt herself more seriously. I know that she was disappointed too, but she handled herself with grace. And hey, that’s just part of the game. Life happens.
I decided to stay and watch my teammates play on the other courts and this is where the photo above was taken. It was a gorgeous night out. One of my opponents came to sit by me and we enjoyed a lovely conversation about our match, while nibbling on healthy kale and quinoa salads and sipping wine. She told me that she didn’t play as well tonight as she usually does, and then proceeded to tell me that she is a breast cancer survivor and was proud of her short , dark, hair that had grown back. She told me how she played tennis through her chemo and recovery and that she didn’t give up. I told her that I had a friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and was just beginning her treatment. Right away, she had a compassionate look on her face, like she was a sister. She gave me her contact information and told me to tell my friend to call her, if she needed someone who has been through the experience. She said that so many people helped her and that she wanted to help others too.
And that my friends, is another reason why I love tennis. The stories, The hope. The friendships. The movement. The personal growth and challenges. It’s all good. Even when your game gets forfeited.
Love this life.