Sunday, November 18, 2018

When it comes to tennis, perspective would help

How I sometimes feel after a missed shot
I posed this question to the pro at The Ludlow Tennis Club today: "Should I stop (USTA) league play and only play for fun?"

He said that all tennis is fun, and he wondered why I was differentiating.

I said I used to not mind the pressure of league play but in recent years I have felt it more, and so that has made it less fun.

Well, to be honest, I like it fine when I win. When I play for "fun" and the score isn't entered into a computer, as long as I play well, I don't care too much about winning or losing.

But if I lose in a league match, I get all verklempt.

The good news is that it never lasts long and is gone after the next time I play.

I don't know why I'm especially into Yiddish today. When writing something else, I wanted to make sure I had the right spelling and definition for tsuris – grief or strife – and I ended up finding something useful in Moment Magazine.

It was this comment, well, actually a quote, in response to the essay about tsuris, which can also mean worries, stress, or hassle:

Ibergekumene tsores iz gut tsu dertseylin.
(Troubles overcome make good stories to tell).
-Yiddish Proverb that appears at the beginning of Primo Levi’s book, “The Periodic Table”

Seen this way, troubles can be a gold mine. I've certainly had my share.

The reason I was kvetching to Edsel (the pro) was that a tiebreaker in a doubles match did not end up the way I wanted it to go.

Also my rating went down this year.

Edsel said, "Who cares about your rating? What does the score matter? Did you have fun while you were playing?"

He told me that he remembered when I had just come back and was so weak that I could barely pick up a racquet.

I said that it was nine years ago and I sometimes lose perspective. He said, not in so many words, that maybe I should get it back.

I couldn't remember if I had shown him my story in about how tennis helped me recover from leukemia. He said he hadn't seen it. We went over to the computer and looked it up. Through Edsel's reminder and glancing at my story, I began to feel a little more of that perspective thing.

Players from different teams were sitting around eating and talking. The home team from our group had brought fruit and yummy baked snacks. There were some fabulous fudge brownies. Also strawberries dipped in chocolate.

After a while I walked across the room to the table where two other teams were sitting. I said I had had a lot of carbs and wondered if I could have some of their protein. I know most of them so it came out as less strange than it sounds. They graciously shared: cheese and crackers, peanuts, veggie/chicken white pizza, and, for my second dessert, chocolate chip cookies and corn muffins. We talked about a lot of things. I kept saying goodbye and then sitting down. It was too pleasant to leave.

I told someone I couldn't stop eating. She said I should eat all I wanted; she remembered when I barely had any appetite at all, and this was much better.

I told Edsel I would miss this if I stopped playing league tennis.

He said that if I wanted, I could just come and eat the food and watch other people play.

Knowing me, I'd get shpilkes if I did that.

1 comment:

Peter Olson said...

I like that quote you referenced. ��