Tennis = Memories

October 11, 2018

I have started playing tennis again. It feels so good! For me playing was never really so much about beating an opponent, but about the poetry of hitting the ball. It was about the beauty of repetition, and the zen like feeling that inspires. That feeling when you strike the ball perfectly. If that resulted in beating who I was up against, that was a bonus. I taught myself to play hitting against a wall at my grade school. We had just moved to a new place and I did not know a soul. It became my happy place. I spent hours and hours hitting against that wall as a 10 year old until the coach for the high school team drove by and asked if I wanted to take lessons from him. I started winning titles at 11. The game became a defining part of me then, all through college, then becoming my profession. Tennis taught me so much about life. Daily I think of life lessons I learned along the way. At 30 I needed to try something new, and that is when my life in the creative world began. But I always knew I would come back to it. Sport of a lifetime, as the tag line goes. Recently I had started missing it. I am now back to hitting on that wall just like I did when I was a kid. But that wall is now in the lovely Volunteer Park, or hitting with a pro at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on the University of Washington campus. It really is like riding a bike. Muscle memory is something else. The flood of memories exceptional. I feel so much of my dad with me when I play. He was my biggest supporter. The scent of his cigar the signal that he had broken away from work and was now in the stands watching. Tennis taught me hard work. That nothing comes to you without putting in the work, the time. It is a lesson that has stayed with me always. To live in the moment, which is paramount in sport as well as life. It taught me joy. Joy in doing your best.