I am trying to win a tennis match. In order to win, I need to focus. I need to concentrate on the ball. I need confidence. The fear of losing is now a monster lurking in the corner of the court. I bounce the ball twice before my service toss to shake him off. I play loud music in my head so I can’t hear his teeth gnashing by the fence.
Today, we lost the first set 2-6, then we won the first four games of the second set. For those four games, the monster was chained. I believed I could crush the ball and I did. I had pumped myself up with the Black Eyed Peas song, “Pump It” in the car on the drive to the club. Then Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind” (Tell by my attitude that I’m most definitely from — from….”) Even my kids sang along.
Of course those beats escaped me in the first set. Our opponents were slicing and lobbing. Slice, lob, slice, lob. Even Jay Z can bring rhythm to that game.
My partner and I switched sides. Why not? At least it will look different from the deuce court. Like magic, Will.I.Am came to the rescue. “Louder! Louder!” Like a pulse, it was there. Still, I seem only capable of rejecting the monster for a few games. 4-1 and I can feel him, hear him growling. 4-2, and I can smell him and he stinks. “4-all,” My partner’s serve and he’s standing with me in the ad court.
“Pump it. Louder! Pump it. Louder!” I chant in my head like a witch casting a spell. “I can make it anywhere”
We won the next two games, taking the second set. I am proud of the comeback after the comeback. We could have lost it at 4-all. We could have bowed to the monster, he could have gobbled us up.
We were rained out in the third. I was serving at 1-3. The game score was 40-5. One point to 2-3. One point and down came the rain. I just hope when we meet these lobby slicers again in two weeks, the beast of doubt and self-loating will get lost already. At least for a few matches. I am sick of him!