Passion or Poison ?

(this blog topic is the result of a reoccurring theme in my novel where the father thinks his son’s life is empty because he lacks passion. To the father, his passion is football. To his daughter, it’s swimming. The son is an accomplished swimmer, and tried out for football, but failed to make the team. What is your passion, or don’t you have one?}

  • Do you walk around town in your tennis skirt or shorts every day?
  • Do you hang out at your favorite tennis club or barn all day to see if any team needs a sub?
  • How many times do you interject something related to tennis into every conversation even if the listener is merely
    How to store balls if your skirt doesn't have pockets
    How to store balls if your skirt doesn’t have pockets

    your dog?

  • Does your family vacation involve a tennis camp?
  • Do you always keep a racquet and can of balls in your car?
  • Have you started a non-usta league of your own?
  • Do you play 7 times a week or more?
  • Do you play injured as if you’re Captain America and nothing can hurt you?
  • Is your TIVO full of televised tennis competitions?
  • Do non tennis playing friends give you a wide berth when they see you on the street?

Sad to say, I’m guilty of some of these outlandish traits. But fortunately, even though I’ve been known to play 7 times within five days, I’m also a versatile person. I have my friends of 30 years who ignore my idiosyncrasies and still we get together. I have tennis partners who also happen to be friends. I have writing friends, totally non athletic when it comes to team sports, who offer positive feedback on my writing, as well as share ideas. I stay in contact with friends from previous jobs who I leaned on for emotional support, as well as they, me. I still stop to talk with women I met during Huff & Puff birthing classes, and later, In Vitro. I hope to never lose touch with most of these people, because it’s my belief that true friends stick with you no matter what faults you have. I am a die hard extrovert.

I occasionally do hang out at the tennis barn to see if I can get invited to play. But if that doesn’t work, I sit down and eat at the Jabo Jibo Cafe which sells delicious wraps, salads, soup and iced tea. In fact, I even pitch hit there once as a sandwich maker when they were short staffed.

I only wear my tennis outfit all day if I’ve played that day. Silly use of gasoline to drive home, change, and then run errands. In a previous blog, I admitted to being a tennis skirt addict. But that’s past news.

My husband always wants to know my scores after each match, and if I played well, I brag about it afterwards. But if I had a lousy game, was distracted, or mismatched, skill wise, he reminds, kiddingly, that I haven’t yet brought home the Tennis Cup. Door prizes are the furthest I’ve gotten. But, when they include tennis socks, all’s good.

Not only do I have a trunkful of balls, new and used once, but I also keep two racquets there, plus two visors, and old towels, to keep a court dry. I should probably buy a large squeegee too. When I was team captain of a spring league, I kept the license to play on a certain court at a certain time in my glove compartment. Just in case.

On my bucket list is “Tennis Camp” a venture I’ve long dreamed of doing, but family vacations are a thing of the past. In this economy I only  travel if I’m invited somewhere. I got lucky this past spring when my sister included me in a week in Hilton Head. I played a round robin at the Van De Meer Tennis Academy. That was exciting.

I do not own a TIVO, so I reduce my watching of Wimbledon, the U. S. open, or French Open to my tennis barn, which runs two large screen TVs 24/7.

Yes, I admit I play sick, injured and crippled. My feeling is that Tennis is my main form of exercise right now. I gave up the gym for tennis. So if I am wearing a boot for a broken or surgically repaired foot, the boot, an Ace bandage and heavy wool sock is adequate protection from further injury. You’d be surprised how fast you can move, wearing a boot. You cannot jump, though. As for bad backs, which most tennis players I know have, load up on Advil before and after a game. Endorphins keep the pain away too. I found this to be true when I was a runner, boxer and cyclist. Endorphins are what creates a runner’s high. As for playing with a broken arm, finger, or hand, make sure your orthopedist splints you well. You can even add cotton to the inside of the splint to cushion the injury and prevent further damage. However, I wouldn’t recommend playing a tournament with only one hand. Most important of all, do not ask your doctor if you can play. Of course he will say NO! But if you’re as passionate as I am, you are also missing a few brain cells, which tells you it’s okay to play.

All in all, Tennis is my passion, but if it also my poison. What remains my goal in life is to be happy.  Tennis fits for now.


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