Anyone For Tennis?
No doubt everyone is aware by now that the Australian Tennis Open is currently being played in Melbourne. It's been very exciting to watch. I wake bleary-eyed every morning with every muscle in my body aching from all the activity and energy I'm exerting.
On the subject of sport, I never excelled at anything, really. I hated running at school. A friend and I used to take it in turns who would come last, or we would hide in the locker room until the race was over. I played basketball in high school and managed to represent my school in a trip to Maryborough and continued playing for a short while after I began working. I gave up basketball to take up surfing, body and board, because my every weekend was spent at the coast. Years later, when I lived in Noosa, I took up golf and thoroughly enjoyed it, not disgracing myself on the course. I continued swimming and surfing throughout the years but when it came to tennis, I was absolutely hopeless. I love the game, watching it, but when it comes to playing tennis, my dire limitations are obvious to anyone and everyone who dares to watch. I have two speeds. I either miss the ball entirely or if I do manage to hit it, the ball flies high over the surrounding fence, soars above the buildings next door into the street beyond never to be seen again! No skyscraper is safe when I'm in full flight! As a child, I had a couple of tennis lessons, but the coach shook his head, defeated and suggested I take up disc-throwing instead. My bludgeoning tennis career was brought to a rapid end.
In Noosa, during the time I lived there, the Ken Rosewall Tennis Courts on Noosa Sound were very popular amongst the tanned, fit locals. I'm not sure if the courts are still operating. I guess they are. A "Round-Robin" competition was organised. A friend and I decided to enter. Her capabilities as a tennis player were slightly, only slightly, above mine, but we thought it would be a bit of fun. At the very least, in the ensuing years we could brag that we'd been in an "Round-Robin" event on the Ken Rosewall courts. Ken Rosewall, for those of you who are unaware, was a champion Australia tennis player in years gone by.
I was married at the time. My husband, who had never seen me play tennis or even show any interest in playing tennis, said to me in stunned amazement.
"But, honey...you don't play tennis. You've never played tennis!"
Those few words stirred my competitive spirit!
"I've had a couple of games," I retorted. "Penny doesn't play either, but we're going to enter for the fun of it! Who cares if we're in 'Z-grade'!" I added indignantly.
The day of the tournament quickly arrived, allowing us no time to practice. Well, to be honest, we would have needed a lifetime of practice under the expert guidance of Federer, but I won't elaborate on that small point. We donned our shorts, t-shirts and caps, hired racquets and definitely looked the part. It was at this stage that any similarity between tennis players and us ceased.
Because of our 'high' ranking, we were up first to play. Within minutes, it was 'game, set, match'. I think the spectators believed Penny and I were the warm-up comedy act. We said nothing to dispel their belief. With our racquets under our arms, our heads held high, we walked off the court acknowledging our adoring fans. Hastily, Penny and I made it around the corner of a building, where, out of sight of our adoring fans, we collapsed in hysterical laughter.
It was at that very moment, an epiphany came to me. The time was nigh to hang up my racquet. If it meant disappointing my adoring fans, so be it. "Epiphany" had spoken.