A tennis match
|I got pounded on the tennis court yesterday. Or as it's so commonly said around these parts...'whopped,' I got my butt whopped'> Now, every muscle in my legs, from toes to hips is screaming in protest. It was pretty bad, the ‘whopin’ I mean. Even still I managed to enjoy myself, despite being pounded into humiliation. Did I mention that? How I got creamed? It’s just my muscles won’t let me forget it.
When I stepped onto the courts, I made my team’s lineup; being the team captain, it’s one of my responsibilities. I consulted the team – a joint decision; all of us huddled together, trying to plan our team's strategy. Actually, we didn’t have a strategy per se. Strategy involves a plan, and the presences of good solid players, (of which we had neither), it also involves pairing up a net player with a ground stoke person. But at our level, the beginning level, our ‘plan’ involved prayer and hope, mixed with a little of luck, stirred with two shots of rum. Well, not the rum part. Although, hindsight being twent/twenty, the rum should have been top priority. Anyway, getting the ball back over the net, landing in the green. Anywhere in the green; firm goals for novice players. On this particular day, we had extra players so I agreed to sit out. However, the league coordinator saw a different picture. It didn’t include me watching my teammates from the sidelines, cheering them on to victory.
This was what is known as a Social League. Played for fun, its primary goal is to get players involved in friendly competition early on. So switching around players from team to team is legal. Even encouraged as long as it ensures match play.
The coordinator placed me (temporarily I might add) on a team, which was short a few players. My team was scheduled to play the Lions. Don't ask me why they call themselves that, maybe their racquets roar on court or something. Who knows? I glanced around, trying to see where the pride might be gathering. Low and behold, there they were. Or should I say, there SHE was. Apparently, her entire team deserted her. I almost blurted out, "Did ya check the watering hole honey?" Self-control stepped in and I kept quiet. One lone Lioness. I don't think she’s gonna be making the Victory Roar later. Anyway, I was temporarily placed on her team, the same team my team was playing. The coordinator grabbed two more players from somewhere. It was quickly discovered neither of them knew how to play very well. The Temp Lion team now consisted of one regular member, two novice players, and ME. I eyed my real teammates, we were all giggling. We had this team win in the bag! Our behavior had a definite juvenile ring to it, but our third place status was at stake. We would take our wins any way we could get them.
The only problem was, I had to play singles. The singles spot is usually reserved for your number one player. Francesco from Italy held the number one slot on my team. Now, as a temp lion, he would be my opponent. Dawn, one of my real teammates grabbed my arm as I entered the court, "Throw the match," she whispered, offering some strategic advice. Yeah right. Francesco played on an intramural league for two years in Italy! Plus, and more importantly, he's 21! And I’m thirty-um, oh well, never mind. I'm much older than him. There wasn't going to be any 'throwing' involved. I knew I would lose all on my own.
I honestly did try to win. Really I did. Something about calling out. "Love-Forty" before you seve the ball, makes you fight for the next point. But my thirty-something muscles (and joints, and lungs) were not prepared for the youth who stood in front of me. He returned all my cross-court shots with way too much ease. He then proceeded to place some cross-court shots of his own. What was he doing on this social league anyway? He should be playing in Wimbledon.
MY team did get a win yesterday, even though I got pounded in my match. Who says you can’t win and lose at the same time?