Thursday, April 05, 2007

I Can Swing a Racket





When the days were less troublesome and time was in more abundance, I occasionally found myself [no, not in the soul searching way] on the tennis courts behind Dixon Middle School. Usually, I was in the company of my friend Jory. While neither of us ever had ambitions of playing competitively, we managed to occasionally impress each other with our abilities. In other words, we advanced from the novice level of the game.

It wasn’t long before my SIL Rebecca discovered that I was sneaking into her field of interest and the challenge of a game was issued. What young teenage boy can resist such a challenge? For her, it must have been like stealing candy from a baby. If ever it was possible to finish lower than Love, I certainly came close. For the sly spider lured the fly to the safety of her net. The wicked serve with the spin on the ball left my eyes spinning, my hand eye coordination was more like a drunken stupor….and so my play time resumed with Jory.


And then the days grew shorter. Time began to issue its call to responsibility and adulthood and eventually a mission.

In the first couple of post mission years I played a game or two of tennis. I don’t rightly recall with whom. For years, my racket moved with me from place to place— always collecting dust, zipped up— the bag over its head, muffling its cries to get out.

Enter Spring of 2007. An invitation is made by my friend Adam in the ward to come join him and his “tennis” friends. With great hesitation, I accepted his invite [those who know me know that my body feels old and is out of shape and suffered two long term injuries playing softball last year]. Two weeks ago, in spite of nature’s fury, I found myself on a lighted court at night with four other players eager to get their game on. A silent prayer was offered, asking for help in not looking the fool. When the match was over, I told Adam that he served like a girl…like my sister in-law. That was a compliment. Aside from not being able to return his serves very well,

I held my own.

My serve was on and off like a light switch

My backhand is still in hiding. When I find it I’ll have to dust it off too.

I held my own. And returned to play again last night. I even returned a few of Adam’s serves. And no injuries to report. That is my report.

5 comments:

Pappy Yokum said...

I too have been lured back on the court - this time by my 17-year-old daughter who plays on the varsity tennis team. Unfortunately for me, she can beat me but not soundly and not all the time.

btw - good for you not having a run-in with injury so far. If you do, it will make it all the more easy for your wiffy to make jokes about your tennis abilities. Come on, I know she must be doing it - they all do. It's their way of making sure we stay humble.

compulsive writer said...

Way to go! Keep playing. My grandpa--the one who just passed away at the ripe old age of 98--played regularly well into his 70s. It's a great sport!

(p.s. Absolutely LOVE the "you serve like a girl" comment. You're so evolved!)

mayday said...

Good job. Fear is the devil. If you stay away because of your injuries, it's no good. Try, try again I say. You can only get better and one day you will be your old self again. Keep playing and one day if you're in town, Davey might like a game, I won't play with him.

Papa J said...

Poor raquet, can't breath in there.

I hate to say it but Raquetball is the only true raquetsport. You just don't move fast enough in tennis unless your somewhat good and then only for the sporadic volley.

Mammy said...

Looks as if Pappy is askin' for a lickin' from mammy! Basketball court - you name the time! You're toast! Pretty pathetic when you boys have to be injured in order to save face from being beat by a "girl"! You don't need woman help to stay humble, you take care of that need all by yourself.