Frustration and Joy
Two weeks ago, I was sitting at the exact same spot: On the couch in our living room, feet at the table, laptop on, well, my lap and extremely frustrated.
I was about to write a blog post about how I am done with tennis, the sport I have been doing for 18 years. I was about to write how frustrating it is to try to play at a higher level than the one I am able to play now – to expect that level of myself. How annoying it is to not be as fast as I used to be – or fast at all. How frustrating it is not to be able to trust my own body enough to take him through two or even three intensive sets of training a week. How ridiculous it feels to be out of breath after only 15 minutes of sparring. How sad it is to even spend time on it – time I could use doing other things. I would have written about how I have been telling myself the last 8 years in fall that I want to do a proper preparation next season. How I will hold through the next season without injury and how I still imagine how fucking awesome it will be when I am able to play up to my limits.
That night, I was just coming home from two hours of playing with my brother and I had all that feelings at once. It is April, the season is coming up, I’ll be playing the 3 (down from 2 and 1 the years before), I’m underprepared and – for playing the tennis I want to play – overweight. I was standing there and had the feeling like I was wasting my brother’s time.
Today, I am sitting here again, coming home from two hours of tennis for the first time on clay this year. I am still not prepared and I obviously won’t be in two weeks when the season starts. But I am happy. I am exhausted, my feet hurt, so does my right shoulder, but it was fun. I tried as hard as I could to be quick on my feet. I almost broke down on the court once after some longer rallies. I tried hard to play for control, not for beauty. I managed not to be stupid, throw the racket all over the place and make my brother feel ashamed for myself. That feeling, when the ball hits the line on a longline winner after a long rally. When it lands exactly where you wanted it, not a bit shorter or longer. That feeling when you sprint to reach a dropshot and convert it into a winner. That little swagger you get when you slowly feel your legs coming back under you. It’s just beautiful. And I don’t want to miss it.
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