This morning I played in my first ever tennis match. This is huge for me.
Despite being generally active (and liking the outdoors), I've never been what you would call athletic. And team sports? My sister can corroborate: the Odom girls do not do team sports. Too much chance of jamming a finger or somebody ending up crying. Yes, there are moments from my brief childhood church softball career that still haunt me. Like the time I was in the outfield and managed to catch a fly ball. I was so surprised and thrilled that I just stood out there doing a special little dance instead of throwing to second base. It was awkward. Watching adults try to restrain themselves from pointing out my mistakes was not my idea of a good time. Better to go inside and play Trivial Pursuit.
Yet last winter, I let Normal Neighbor talk me into getting on a beginners' tennis team she was starting. During my first team practice, I pulled a muscle in my butt. I felt like such a jock! Glutes! GLOOTS! I practiced for several weeks before getting sidetracked by the whole breast cancer shebang. I had to quit before I ever got to play.
But spring doubles has started back up, and we got together for practice yesterday and had our first match today. Boy did I miss Normal Neighbor at the first practice. She was our team captain before she had to quit and deal with her own cancer stuff, and I needed her out there to put up with my shaky serve and gossip during water breaks.
And today we had our first match. I was put in line 5, which means I'm mathematically the worst player on the team. My partner was very sweet, though, and our opponents, Misty and Christy (no joke) were also newbies.
Y'all, it was really fun. We lost, but I had some good moments, I really did. I'm not uniformly bad in all areas. I think the 30 Day Shred really helped me. I ran around and didn't get tired.
One especially super awesome moment was when I had to yell out to our team captain, across another court, "HEY WENDY, IS IT OKAY IF I SERVE UNDERHAND? THAT'S LEGAL, RIGHT?" Everyone from the other team paused and looked over to see the Venus Williams in their midst.
Then I served underhanded, the ball was in, and we played the point. I heard my name being called. I turned back to see the captain and my other teammates shaking their heads. "No, Becky," they called out. "You can't bounce it for a serve." Oops.
You see, at an earlier point in my life that might have been embarrassing. But somehow my self-image is unassailable by that kind of thing. We all laughed.
Live and/or learn.
It was really fun. I was happy just to play and I can't wait to get better. Another plus is that, in this league, there is major food after the match. I already hold a Grand Slam title in women's snacking and I will be defending it vigorously.