Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Can Do Hard Things

While life on the outside is good these days-- very good, in fact--  in these pages, I make it no secret that with regard to my inner life/emotional life, I am experiencing a few hiccups.  So, after writing about embarking on a stressful speech therapeutic journey with my son, I was looking forward to a chill Monday night tennis class.  Compared to the angst I was experiencing over this speech stuff, I thought, tennis is gonna be a piece of cake.  Turns out, God had other plans...
I am on the court warming up, returning short balls and ground strokes, feeling good, getting warm.  I notice that there are quite a few players on the court, more than usual. Apparently 3 or 4 extra people are there making up a class they usually attend on a different day.  Anyway, I am feeling unusually satisfied with my warm-up performance, when my instructor tells me to bump up to the advanced court.   

"Me??"  I ask in disbelief.  There are at least 2 or 3 other players in our class who are clearly better players than I am.

"Yes, you." He replies. 

"Are you sure?!"  I inquire in an almost accusatory tone.  I really don't understand this choice, at all. 

Shock.  Disbelief.  Confusion.  Panic.  

These players are quite a bit more advanced.  They have the power, the accuracy, the form.  They have strategy.  When they hit the ball, the goal isn't merely to get it over the net.  

I guess it's time to up my game.  Crap.  This is not how I saw this night going at all. 

I struggle.  The first drill is back-hand volleys, which I suck at.  This is immediately clear to everyone when I start playing.  Then overheads.  Even worse.  Holy.  Moley.  I miss a bunch of shots.  To quote Vitruvious, "(This) idea is just THE WORST."

As the evening progresses, I seriously consider sneaking back on the other court, but know I just need to buck up and do my best.  I get totally worked over.  I manage to make one good shot, and I'm so exhausted trying to keep up with the "big dogs" that when the ball is returned, I don't have the energy to get to it in time.  I count the minutes until the class ends.  By the end, I make a few decent shots, which surprise everyone-- me included. 

When the class is over and I finally catch my breath driving home, I feel really happy.  I did it.  I got through it.  It didn't kill me.  Yes, my game needs work, but I did it.  I played tennis for 90 minutes with people who are REALLY good at tennis.  Thank you, God, for showing me that I can do hard things.

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