Pumps of adrenalin surge through your veins as you cross the short expanse of the tennis court- legs flying over the green surface, breath gasping in short puffs, muscles stiffening in preparation for the impact;– then, all of a sudden, time stops. The ball falls slowly, exaggeratedly towards you as you screech to a stop, squint your eyes in utmost concentration and shift the grip in your hand infinitesimally, and then swing. The loud, satisfying pop reverberates in your ears as the ball rebounds off the racket and swerves towards your opponent, landing just out of their racket’s reach.
It all comes down to that split second- the refining of the racket’s angle, the fluidity of the swing, the balance of power and control.
Tennis is not merely a sport; it is an art with finesse.
I suppose you can say that with any sport, but like with any sport you can’t just spout about its beauty. You have to practice. Practice, practice, practice. The training and stretching of your muscles, the repetition of hitting balls over and over again, until it becomes an involuntary response- until you reach the stage where it is not thought, but intuition that drives you forward. You know exactly where and how to hit the ball; but not by physical or mathematical calculation or estimation- you just know.
But then your hand shakes. Your muscles quiver and hesitates. That millisecond before you hit the ball, you already know it’s not going to make it. It’s all wrong. Your muscles have disobeyed. The confident swing breaks into a cry of indignation, and you curse your lack of refined control over your arms, your legs, your fingers–
And that’s what makes tennis so great. It is not a battle between you and your opponent; it is a battle between your body and mind. Anything is infinitely possible within the confines of your mind, but translating that to reality requires years and years of sweat and exertion.
And so I persist. That’s the only thing I can do, and I enjoy it. I enjoy the strain because I know that I could only be getting better.
‘He that is not getting better is getting worse.’ -Aldous Huxley, Time Must Have a Stop
And so that’s my Sunday morning, every week without fail. Depending on how busy my workload is, my schedule for the rest of the day is just as gratifying. We grab some groceries on the way home; I get some sashimi and my family some local fare- and then we go home and cook (or just simply eat.) After a good game of tennis, pretty much anything that satiates that hunger for food and that need for energy tastes like heaven. A nice cooling shower rinses off the sweat and grime, and then I sink languidly into my chair, and write.
On holidays it’d be blogging, on school days it’d be homework. The first full week of IB gave me much homework, but having cleared all of it during the week, I had time to type away on my computer (even with completing part of my economics project on China as a transitioning economy)!
And so here I am. About to emerge from a dazed stupor to whisk up some tantalizingly sweet milkshake meringues (an invention of mine; basically a chocolate and vanilla flavored swirl of sugar) and then to help cook dinner (which, by the way, is a delightful medley of Angus striploins and Wagyu tenderloins, smothered in balsamic glaze with a side of carrots and of course, cheese. We’re not usually that extravagant when it comes to choosing meats, but they were irresistible and on discount).
If only everyday could be a Sunday, but then, Sunday would lose its novelty.
So, see you on Monday.