Things I Love: Tennis

Tennis was something  stumbled upon in high school out of my rampant frustration with Track and Field. Tennis was a sport that is one on one for the most part.  I needed to learn to rely upon myself more instead of others.

My thought of tennis was that you grab a racquet, and get to work. Talk about sorely mistaken. Slowly but surely, I became a decent tennis player, and developed a love for the game through extensive practice. This had a lot to do with me not wanting to quit something. I had and still have to some extent the need to quit something when it becomes to “difficult” for me. That is for another post though.

What attracts me to tennis so much is the amount of passion and hard work required for tennis. Even though there was no chance of me becoming a professional tennis player, the work that the true greats put in is nothing to laugh at. It is respectable at best. They put in hours serving, volleying, running, lifting weights, net play etc., all to play a match for a few hours.

In the prime

At some point, I found myself almost obsessed with tennis. Not so much tennis itself, but the work required to become great at it. I admired what they had to do to become great. In saying this, this hard work required reflected something that I was not doing. Working hard.

During my junior year, I became somewhat complacent because I did not know what I wanted to do while it seemed like everyone else knew or had some idea. I was still stuck at ground zero. At this point, all the pressures of college began to surface from everyone that had some sort of contact with me. “What do you want to major in?”, “What school?”, “What career?” blah. I was 17, and I knew I wanted to go to college however the last thing on my mind was choosing a major and career. I wasn’t even excepted yet! Besides my biggest concern was which girl would be my next girlfriend. I was a hormonal teenager.

Tennis became one of my loves because it allowed me something that others would not seem to give me. Piece of mind. Hard work. Determination. When I stuck the ball, it did not talk back. Tennis has been a metaphor for me to relieve stress. I felt like every time I hit the ball, a little piece of stress was falling off. I could clear my mind. Just like with baseball, It took a hold of me and hasn’t let go.

Dear tennis,

I love you.


Far From Idle


2 thoughts on “Things I Love: Tennis

  1. FFI,

    I like your reflections. Putting things into words on this site will help you really “see” yourself, like a mirror. I noted the following sentence especially:

    “This had a lot to do with me not wanting to quit something.”

    Perhaps your unwillingness to quit something should be further addressed. Why are you this way? In the [few] times you have quit something, WHY did you do it? Do you regret it today?

    You know I believe that in your journey of self-discovery you have to be able to quit something once you discover it is not high priority of not congruent with your most important desires. For example, I will stop learning Spanish. I have some more important things to do with my commute (music listening), and it is more important for me to brush up on Ndebele (Zimbabwean language) and Igbo (my own language) anyway.

    Still, I’d say that learning a new language is an excellent way to exercise the right brain.



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