Saturday, September 27, 2008


I have played a lot of sports in my life, but tennis was never one of them. I did learn some basics during gym class my senior year of high school. I remember Megan and I hitting the ball a little too hard over the fence and often having to go and get it. (We were use to hitting a softball and were trying to get home runs.) Other than that, I think I played once or twice with my little cousins when I was in college, but they were like 8 and 10 at the time, so it doesn't really count. Well, all that is changing due to the mass exodus of missionaries on station (secondary to home assignment). Bill and I are the only ones left who use to play basketball. Despite 1-1 being about the only thing I can beat Bill at, it can get old after a while, so we have taken on a new sport. Bill played a lot of tennis on furlough, and when he came back we thought we would give it a try.
The court we use, is our basketball court. Changing it to a tennis court is quite a process in itself. 1st we have to move the large rocks from the portable basketball hoop, and then move the hoop, which is quite heavy, to the side of the court. Then we get the net from the mail room and set it up. After that, we try and move any rocks, sticks, and trash from the court. The court use to be a smooth surface, but over the years it has gotten a lot of wear and now there are lots of holes and rough surfaces to contest with. These extra obstacles make playing more challenging, especially for someone who is learning. At times, you think the ball is going to bounce one way, and it bounces the other and you have to quickly change from forehand to backhand, or change where you were planning on contacting the ball.
When the weather cooperates, we have been playing 2 times a week. Recently, the rainy season has come, so if it rains all night the court is too wet to play in the morning before work. We have been playing for about a month now, and I am definitely improving, but have a long way to go before I beat Bill (the goal). Today he beat me 6-0, 6-3. He wanted to quit after we got to 4-2, but I said no this is my chance. He was on call last night and was tired, both sleepy and physically since we had been playing for a bit. Needless to say, we kept playing and he quickly finished me off.
I learned today that patience is a part of tennis. We had a good volley going and then I got impatient and tried to finish the point off and hit it into the net. This wasn't an isolated event. I often want to try and make the spectacular shot that will get me a point, instead of just trying to keep it in play and waiting for him to make a mistake. Maybe someday I will beat him.