The shambles of my game are smoldering in a pit of glowing coals and lava. Steam lifts as the sweats of anger evaporate. My earlier explosion caused the blaze--that and an unforgiving opponent. My tennis education continues.
During the 11th game of the 15 game mahut, after being up 40-love in the previous service game and losing to make it 5-5, I'd decided to quit tennis. My opponent went on to hold serve and win the 11th game, and then the abuse began. A crash into the fench, a smash to the hardcourt, even a hard chunk across the net, konking the bench, and careening to my opponent's feet. A classy moment. A fit. Like it was the racquet's fault, and further, the racquet must be punished. In an abusive and cold manner. Lunacy. The eventual loss of 7-8 was tainted with shame. Asked for forgiveness at the closing net shake. For stealing my opponent's tennis joy. And worse, attempting to steal his tennis glory.
Good mahut for me really, a better result than the previous week, where my pathetic mental game helped produce a 2-8 loss. Summed up in this note describing the mahut...
The humbling began early, my opponent taking advantage of my chronic mental weakness. His wounded shoulder in my mind. Sympathy is such a pathetic and useless emotion in sports. It can motivate those receiving it unwantingly. And so it did, 8-2. Sure, serves came to me with no pop, but the spins were wild, my feet were bumbling, my strokes were incomplete, my tennis anger turned into despair, then defeat. My opponent taught me a lesson today. I will take note, I will learn from it. Seeing him and his red brake covers, hearing the roar of his exhaust, squinting at the shine of his convertible camero, I could only marvel. I could only wonder. Has anyone actually seen this MRI indicating a torn rotater cuff?. Doctor priviledge, I guess, but think of it. Brilliant. Surely not, that would be too brilliant. To fake an injury to ruin the mental game of your opponents. I will learn from this, yes, I will learn from this mahut. Mahut!
Physically, everything is good, despite the extra few lbs being lugged around. Joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and back. The eyes are weakening and the glasses fog, but still strong on the court, the tennis elbow of two years ago defeated. Plantar fascia troubles no longer. The mental weakness, however, can lead to a motivational crisis. And this is where I stood in the 12th and 13th games of my morning's crumbling mahut. Quit tennis until the Thursday morning Houston mahut, traditionally played before attending the day session of the U.S. Clay Court Championships. A three week layoff would do me well I thought, all the while aimlessly firing forehands and backhands out, in the net, to the fences. At least I wasn't screaming profanities and abusing my racquet.....any longer.
Came back and won a couple, but only after ruining the tennis peace of the entire complex. The Indians were polite, as always. Maybe it was Green Day, the morning's musical selection. Perhaps punk rock should be for other venues. But the morning was jamming, til the emotions in my mind let me down. The quitting idea has already been abandoned, it is rarely the best option. Perhaps prayer, yes, prayer. Prayer is always the answer. God's Will. Amen. Mahut!