It’s possible I overdosed on sports today. Breakfast at Wimbledon is my Fourth of July weekend tradition, so I settled in this morning to watch the men’s final between Nadal and Federer at 9 a.m. thinking I’d have the afternoon to Get Stuff Done. By 4:00 in the afternoon, I was still glued to the TV watching the end of an epic, record-long match. I’m exhausted. All that watching is so…fatiguing. Two convenient rain delays allowed me to eat and shower, but aside from those mini-breaks, my eyeballs were darting back and forth all day getting a good workout.
I suppose the players were tired too but then they’re conditioned for this with all that endurance training. With my focus on the game sharp as an athlete’s, I still had time to think back to my own tennis career. My first day of practice was sophomore year in high school when, for a moment, I fancied myself an athlete. It’s possible I just wanted to wear the cute skirt. After about an hour that involved running and hitting drills and chasing down balls that rolled to the remote corners of the court, I thought how little it all resembled the tennis I loved watching on TV. Where were the ball boys? Where was my towel? The towel would have been especially nice because my body was experiencing a strange, damp sensation. Am I sweating? I don’t like sweating, I remembered.
So, after running and sweating and enduring a constant feeling that I might faint at any moment, my tennis career ended. I felt like a ball that had lost its bounce: flat, tired, and happy to roll off the court into the grass to rest awhile. What I liked best about tennis, I discovered, was watching others play it on TV.