They usually say it with pleasure. The thing is relished--with glee and a flourish,even. We all want to see something (or someone) we took for granted as if experiencing it in the early blush of novelty. A lover or friend, of course. A job. Returning to a city where one lived. And then there's tennis.
I used to know every inch of the singles court. I didn't think about it. My brain turned off and the body just knew what to do. It wasn't perfect, and some days it certainly wasn't pretty. All in all, I got a lot of satisfaction and grew steadily in the particular style of game I played. I believe I took it as far as anyone could. Then more advanced players challenged me in new ways. And that was okay. I could retreat to the old stuff, and venture out, trying and augmenting That Thing. Then the growth slowed down, understandably. Don't get me wrong; I learned new things on my way up to my tennis "peak." They were little things--stand a little farther over on a return; do a backspin on this shot.
The game of doubles, many days, is unrecognizeable. Tennis is not the mindless escape from every day it once was where the cares and stresses of the world just magically went away in the swoosh to running back and forth. It's different now. I have to focus--for extended periods--on a completely different concept and rhythm of a game that happily, no longer feels completely unnatural. (That's growth, right?) Now, I understand "on paper" (theoretically) what works in doubles, and I see people do it. I GET it. But many, many days, I can't bust out of my safe zone and THINK enough to DO it in the heat of competition, with a partner who's depending on me.
When's the last time YOU tried and committed to a physical activity that's new? That looks an awful lot like the old one but isn't anything like it?
Well, this is just whining, isn't it? Tennis is different now. Just step up and accept the challenge, thinking and trying all the while--or sink into total mediocrity, pining for the lost days. (ew) Neither sounds good. I think I better just work on my serve.
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