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The Whole Point of “Tennis”

Wow I’m terrible at tennis! And just to be clear, in my dictionary “tennis” means whacking a tennis ball with a tennis racquet in or around the vicinity of a net; I don’t know the rules or how to keep score. I’d just be happy if my hubby and I were able to hit the ball back and forth more than a few times before it flies off in entirely the wrong direction!

There are some free outdoor tennis courts in the park near our house, and we played there with a couple of friends about two years ago. Long before I had any clue just how ridiculously packed our summer schedule would be I decided to make tennis part of my goals for this summer. I wanted to encourage us to use the awesome free city facilities, to dust off our single-use racquets, and to enjoy the summer sunshine. I thought we’d have plenty of random evenings or weekends with little to do and I didn’t want to waste the awesome weather just sitting around inside. Then it was suddenly September and we hadn’t played once! Boo.

The window for completing my goal of playing tennis 6 times this summer is closing quickly; our cowpoke neighbours to the south got a dump of 15cm of snow last week but somehow we dodged that bullet – phew! Still, it’s the middle of September already and the air has grown cold. The last few weeks have been grey and blah, and honestly I can feel my hibernation tendencies starting to kick in. But, faced with not being able to complete such an easy goal, I was determined to at least take a stab at it while we still have some decent, if not nice, weather to work with. So last week I told Tavis that I wouldn’t give up without a fight, and that he and I were going to play tennis on Saturday morning come hell or high water! (As a side note, comparing h-e-double-hockey-sticks to “high water” doesn’t seem like an equal comparison to me at all, but I digress.)

We were incredibly cheered to see lots of bright sunlight streaming through our bedroom window that morning! It had been so long since we’d seen the sun! We eagerly got on our bikes and rode over to the tennis courts. The sun was out but the air was still quite chilled at about 9am, and there was frost on the grass in the park, but it was really beautiful. I was reminded that the reason I stay in a province with 8-10 months of winter is for the sunny days where the frost on the trees and the snow on the ground just sparkle.

Anyways, we spent the next hour laughing at our complete lack of coordination, our inability to hit the ball in any anticipated direction, and our knack for hitting the ball right over the court fence while narrowly missing the puddles in the grass. Next time maybe we’ll bring more balls so we’re not playing fetch rather than “tennis.” Ha! Needless to say, we didn’t play with any creases or boundaries or points because we didn’t need that extra challenge. By the end of that hour though, we were able to lobby the ball back and forth up to 5 times, and we considered that a success. And on Sunday, boy I was feeling it! My arm was sure achy. Hitting a tennis ball takes a lot more work than hitting a badminton birdie, which is what I’m used to. I knew this would be the case, and I was okay with that. It was a satisfying ache.

As for my goal overall, it remains to be seen whether we’ll find the time and the weather and play another 5 times before the snows set in. Even if we don’t though, that was a really fun morning that we wouldn’t have had if I’d never set that goal in the first place. And that was kinda the whole point.


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