Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lazy. Late. Lucky. Ugly.

“You’re late, Jess, you’re late!”

This is one of the six sentences that my tennis instructor yells at me over and over again. He’s not talking about what time I show up for my lesson. He’s talking about my not taking my racquet back early enough. Which apparently I never do, time and time again.

Here’s another sentence:

“C’mon, get there, Get There, GET THERE!”

I never seem to be in the right place at the right time. I like to think this is only true for tennis, but I’m not so sure.

My tennis instructor thinks I’m lazy. I know this to be true because here’s another sentence: “Stop being lazy, Jess! Get to the ball!”

I have tried so mightily to explain to him that what I actually have is a perception problem. I would happily be where I’m supposed to be if I had any clear idea of where exactly that was. I argue this point with him vehemently. “I’m not lazy! I just can’t judge where the ball is going to be.”

I hate when people think I’m lazy. Probably because I really kinda am.

Sometimes I feel like I’m mentally defective. He feeds me a ball, calls out that it’s short, tells me to come to it and still I’m standing at the baseline not moving, or not moving fast enough, because, hello, that’s quite a lot of information for me to process all at once.

Once in a while he’ll feed me a shot that’s really hard to get. And I’ll get it! At those times I like to mention to him that I just hit a good shot. That’s when I get this sentence:

“You were lucky, Jess. I don’t want you to be lucky. I want you to be consistent.”

Lucky isn’t ok? I love being lucky.

Other times I’ll hit a ball that makes us both cringe. “That worked. But it was ugly.”

More often than not, there will be a moment during my lesson where I’ll think, “Why am I doing this? Why am I trying to learn a game that I cannot possibly think fast enough to play? And why am I paying someone to talk to me this way?”

It’s like therapy. Humbling, relentless, arduous work with a few peak moments thrown in for good measure. Like therapy, I can’t stop.

1 comment:

  1. That was one of the best reads... I have had in a while...I think I am going to produce a reality show based on you. JT