Tennis is My Racket, Love is My Game

I started playing tennis when I was four-years-old. I was obsessed.  My dad was grooming me to turn pro. That was the thing to do back then.

For years, my parents (both of them!) chauffeured me to my various tennis lessons and tournament venues.  I twirled my racket, constantly, even when I wasn’t holding one.

I was a little smitten with a guy named John “What do you mean that ball was out? It was on the line. Are you kidding me?!” McEnroe and was completely enthralled as I watched all the tournaments on TV – analyzing their strokes and admiring their fitness levels. To me, McEnroe was spirited but others might challenge my “spin” on his behavior.  I used to have a t-shirt that read “Tennis is my racket, love is my game.”

I was fortunate that I grew up a couple of a blocks from a huge tennis complex. All of the tennis courts were packed!  People would crowd around and fight over who gets court times and the people would hover over the court as they waited for their start time to kick in.  It was crazy!

One day I was at a tennis lesson after school. I was playing doubles with three other people and took a very lazy forehand with a furious and intense  follow-through (to make up for the wimpy wind up) that caused the graphite face of the racket to smack the front of my mouth.

I laughed. In fact, I could say “it cracked me up” but that would be really bad.  I heard the crack of my two front teeth and promptly put my hand under my mouth to catch them. The other three players gasped and uttered such thoughts as:

“Holy cow, I just saw your teeth fall out of your mouth!”

“That was cool, can you do it agin?”

“Glad that didn’t happen to me!”

Shocked, I walked off the court to the waiting area to wait for one of my parents to pick me up. A NUN came up to me and blessed me for my misfortune and I just stood there, drooling and mourning the loss of my two front teeth.

Years later, I am happy to say that I am back on the court.  I’m grateful that I can still play! Each time I play, I get more and more stoked that I learned the sport in the first place.

Sadly,  people aren’t playing like they used to. I put a call out to my local Facebook peeps asking them to catch the tennis buzz with me – silence!  Come on, get the rackets out the basement and let’s hit the courts!

What happened to this awesome sport? It’s not just fun to watch, it’s fun to play. Commit to fun, I’m here for you!

Posted on July 23, 2013, in Rant, Rave and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My son has 2 friends who are just as obsessed as you. In this world of soccer for kids they are certainly the odd ones, but they love the game. In fact the one boy is going to Community College and actually researched the city on where he could play while in school. I could hook you up if you are ever in Philly!

  2. This is my Racquet, Love is my Game. What more is there to say?
    I am so very sorry about the graphite and your teeth. Just another sports injury!
    Your writing is so fun and clever.

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