Friday, December 13, 2013

OMG Again With the Balls

Facts that condition the current playing of the tennis in my sphere of operations:

1) I has rained for most days in December.
2) When it isn't raining, it is freezing.
3) Everyone has other things to do this time of year.
4) We have barely enough girls on our winter team to actually have a team.

So the tennis has been tough to make happen. Lots of makeup matches and then makeups for the makeups. It's my turn to be captain of this winter team, and it's been challenging to deal with these four facts.

Anway. This week we've had dry, though cold weather, and we got back out there. Yesterday we started at 9:15 in the morning. I am not kidding you in saying that it was 31 degrees when we started. There was no breeze, but the courts we were on were in deep shade. Oh, and, I didn't get to start playing right away, I sat and watched for over an hour, thinking, most of that time, "We are nuts." I got a new puffy throw blanket from Lands End so I was wrapped in that. I had all kinds of different performance layers on so it was tolerable.

I said, "When I'm old, I'm not playing winter tennis." Pretty Neighbor goes, "Old? I'm not playing next year."

It was cold.

Finally, when I took the court with my buddy J, it was a balmy 35 degrees. I started playing in gloves. That doesn't really work. This was J's third match ever and we did well, but we got beat. It was okay. Then, after we shook hands with our opponents, one of them offered me the match balls. I said, "That's okay, you keep them." And she goes, "But we're getting the new can of balls."

And I was like, oh for the love. That arcane and difficult ball exchange rule that I wrote about here does not apply to USTA league play, only to the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association.


So I said, "Oh, do we do the ball exchange in USTA? I thought that was only ALTA." Knowing full well it was only ALTA. But she was all, "Uh huh, yes we do." This girl had been playing for four years and should know better. So I took a new can of balls out of my bag and handed them to her and was pleasant. All GRACIOUS-LIKE. And my friend was like, you didn't have to do that, you could have cited the rules, etc. And I was all, I'm not gonna pull out the rules over a can of balls. But one day she'll realize her mistake and if there is a loving God, she'll feel like an ass.


Actually it was pure fun. And later, J and I sat watching our teammates play, and Pretty Neighbor and Peg were playing against these girls who had to have a conference between every single point. We could all feel our blood freezing while we watched and waited. And at one point one girl walked off the court in the middle of a game, I never did figure out why. And J goes, "Look at Pretty Neighbor." And I said, "Oh, yeah, that's Pretty Neighbor's WTF face." And one of the girls on the other team heard me and turned around and looked at me and I was like, OH IT IS ON BIDGES! Or what I actually said was, "That chicken soup is delicious!"

Oh tennis.

Then, THEN, today my teammate V and I were playing a makeup match against these girls from Fancy Land. V was back by the baseline and I was up by the net. The ball was coming toward her and somehow, I'm not really sure, I fell down. Maybe I was scooting out of the way or I was changing positions, but my heels caught and I went down on my booty and then all the way onto my back. Whoa, I never fall down on the court. And I was worried that I wouldn't be able to scramble up in time, or that V would stop playing.

I needn't have worried. V yelled, "GET UP!" And then she hit a winner to end the point. I cracked up laughing. She said, "I just wanted you to know the ball was still in play!" And I said, "Thank you! I was so worried you'd stop playing and come see about me!" If I could have communicated with her as I was going down, I would have said, "Watch that baaaallll...." But I didn't need to. She was on it! It was one of my favorite tennis moments of 2013.

There's a video of Rafael Nadal falling down, and in slow motion you can see that during every instant of his falling to the ground, he's watching the ball and planning to hit it. I totally get it.


And we won. It was one of those matches where all your stuff just goes in, and even the dumb crap you try just works. LOVE IT.

Okay. I just needed to talk about it?

All week I have been a bit snippy and emotional. I think I haven't been sleeping enough. Or that's what my new fitness/sleep tracker tells me. But today was a good day and I think I can hit the reset button over the weekend.

You have my love.


delaine said...

Gee whiz! Your week wore ME out. I need to go to bed. I cannot believe y'all play in those cold, wet conditions! Crazy! I can see you wrapped in your pinkmpufy throw trying in vain to stay warm. When will the madness ever end? Spring tennis?

Keely said...

Yeah, that's a little cold for tennis. I'll even cop to that and it's -9 here right now.

What fitness tracker thingie did you get?

Becky said...

Matt got me the new fitbit wristband for my birthday. It's cool. I had one of the Basis bands for a month or so, and in addition to being really big and chunky, it just tracked all this stuff I didn't care about--like perspiration? So it was interesting but then I sold it on ebay. This one is more streamlined.

Amy said...

So many things you and Rafa have in common--you totally relate now! Lol

Beth said...

I had to put on a sweater and a performance fleece just to finish reading that post.

Elizabeth said...

Despite my hatred of tennis (sorry!), I loved this post. And the last bit about you falling and your partner yelling -- that was the best. You inspire me -- not so much to take up tennis, but to get fit and sleep more.

Marsha said...

These posts make me want to take up tennis again. I played as a kid, but gave it up to play softball instead (back in the distant mists when children did one activity at a time) and you just make it sound so fun. My kids take lessons grudgingly under my "unlikely to experience head trauma" sports program, maybe I can piggy back with them.

AlGalMom said...

Our 11 year old just played her first tennis tournament last night, so this post is eminently appropriate. There was a wunderkind playing (maybe a 6 or 7 year old tiny little girl) and some kids from the rich side of town (I mean, we're all from the rich side of town technically, but these were the ones that PAID for their tennis lessons) so our little gang was pretty intimidated. But they did fine and had fun, and we had fun goofing around with the other parents.

Anonymous said...

we've decided to suck it up and join a country club, so maybe I'll take up tennis and get a first hand glimpse into the world you so hysterically describe! Bring on the tennis bitches!

Rebekah said...

I love it - The chicken soup was delicious, I'm sure. Wish I could have seen your game of the year. I want to play again too!