Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Love-40 or 40-Love?


After a 2 week lay off from tennis (minor wrist injury), I was back on the courts this morning and it always amazes me how much I have missed it when I am back at it. I could write an entire blog about the benefits of tennis. Wait. That is what I am doing. OK, no, I won't go getting all preachy on you here, but if ever there was a sport that encompasses everything from cardio to balance to stretching to precision to social interaction, this is it.

And it is fun to boot. I could go so far as to say that tennis has been such a joy in my life that when I find myself absent from it for some reason for any length of time, I get a bit grumpy. It can restore my chi like nothing else. The fresh air (excluding indoor winter tennis of course), the sunshine, the competition, the feeling of absolute focus and the social - did I mention the social? Every time I have made a major move in my life, tennis has introduced me to people and put me on the fast track to getting to know my new community. It encompasses all ages, both sexes and people from all walks of life.

Now, where was I going with this? Oh yes. So, this morning, as I joined the ladies at 6:30 am for our weekly round robin doubles play, I clearly had a wee advantage as the morning was coolish for these tropics dwellers and they found it had a bit of a negative effect on their usual game. I, on the other hand was in my element. It was exactly the weather conditions that suited my game. Sun just coming up, dew on the ground, about 16 degrees - woo hoo! 

I came on fairly strong compared to the others and really felt like this was going to be a winning day for me and whomever I partnered with in any given set. I was on. Passing shots down the line. Overhead slams. Perfectly placed lobs. I could do no wrong. But, like golf, it is only a matter of time before one is humbled. 

There I was at the net, set and ready to execute the perfect backhand overhead volley - sure to be a winner, when of course, it landed about 3 inches outside the line. Ugh! My opponent was relieved to see the unforced error and I turned to her and said, "Well, that just takes the cocky right out of ya, eh?" I  laughed at myself as we never take anything too serious out there and she turned around and said, "I like that expression. I think I will use it sometime." As I had just made it up off the cuff, it got me to thinking that it was pretty good and could apply to just about any situation where cockiness trumps humility.

It is easy to get caught up in our wins in life. When we are on a real roll with work or sport or success in any area, cockiness can creep in and it is not pretty.  We have all been there I am sure. Like when you are really succeeding with diet and exercise for instance. You are losing weight, toning your abs, people are commenting on how amazing you look and you are only too happy to share your secrets and success story. Feeling in charge, in control, cocky as hell. But then the inevitable strikes. Something knocks you off track. You get injured or you take a holiday and you can't seem to get back into your routine when you get home and before you know it, you step on the scale and it has gone up. Hmmm, not so cocky now. 

No, just human. That is when you have to eat a little humble pie and start again. I know there are folks out there who manage to maintain their bodies and lifestyles 24/7 and I am in awe of them. Have you checked out people like Rich Roll? Google him. But he did not start out so perfect, so at least he gives us hope. Hope that there is still time to find perfect balance in our mind, body and spirit.

In the meantime, stay humble and be conscious of when it is time to kick the cocky to the curb.

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