When I was in my early 30s, I picked up a tennis racquet for the first time. I worked part-time in a gym where tennis seemed to be all the rage. There were teams who came in with food each week- people who would call days in advance to reserve courts in the winter, spring, summer, and fall. What was all this madness? Tennis? Really? It didn't take long before my curiousity got the better of me. I joined a beginner's team ...not because I expected that I would be this PHENOM of a player. Rather, I wanted to get a bit of that 'fun' that everyone else seemed to be experiencing.
I remember my very first match like a bad dream. I had not even been told how to keep score. I had no idea that we switched sides on odd games. I put forth so much effort in trying to play and remember how to keep score that I am surprised I was able to hit the ball at all. But, I enjoyed it. I stuck with it. I absolutely FELL IN LOVE with tennis.
Now, years later, I've had an opportunity to win division titles, championships, sectionals, gift certificates, trophies, and bag tags. All the things that we, as tennis players, covet. I managed late in life to find this sport. I have made friends that are lifelong friends. Tennis, for me, is much more than chasing a ball and winning matches. It's a social, sporty outlet that has served me well & helped me to get to/through some of life's ups and downs.
I love the picture of Serena below and what it says...
If I had walked away
I wouldn't be here now.
This past Friday, I won a singles championship match. Yes, I am a chamipion! Prior to this season, I had not ventured into the land of singles tennis since 2011 or so. I wanted to play singles to get my timing back and to hit a few more balls. I went into the season with limited expectations. But, as the season progressed, I felt good about my progress. I started thinking ... hmmm... maybe I can win the division. Then, post season happened!!!!!! I started thinking .... hmmmm.... maybe I could win this thAng!!!
And, so I did. :-D
When I started Friday's final match 0-2, I told myself "that's ok. be glad you made it here." So, I relaxed and ExHaLeD! I began playing like I had nothing to lose. My opponent was a good player. She was what I called a 'worthy opponent'. I knew that I'd have to play smart tennis to beat her. I'd have to be consistently good or better. More importantly, I had to BeLiEvE that I could win. I won the match in straight sets & on a forehand winner. I was thrilled!.
Yes, the win was good ... but what was better is that I did not walk away from tennis. Even after a double mastectomy and several months to find my timing (though it was very frustrating), I kept swinging.
Today, I played a mixed doubles match (w/a fantastic partner). We won. But, what was really humbling were the compliments that I received from both my teammates, opponents, and opponents' teammates. I am so glad I didn't walk away from this game I love when the going got tough (and downright ugly hitting when I first returned to the court last year)
In life, no matter what the trial, we sometimes just have to remember to keep swinging!
Today, I was reminded, too, of this ...
Habakkuk 3:1 - The sovereign Lord is my strength. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on new heights.
Hugs & Love, CC