Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tennis Lessons

public domain clip art, yahoo.
In tennis, as in life, "unforced errors" will get you every time.  Watching the giants of the game at the U.S. Open in New York reminds me of that.  It amazes me how these players, with all their enormous talent, strength and will to win, can lose a game, and even an entire match, because of  unforced errors, no matter how brilliant they are at their game.  The Federer loss last night confirmed that.

No doubt we've all had a few unforced errors in our lives.  A wrong turn, a bad decision, an unforeseen conflict, a loss of focus, questionable judgment, plain old mistakes. These are the errors that keep us up at night, haunt our dreams, force us to ask what we could have done better.  We see the errors of our ways, in retrospect.  We say I wish I knew then what I know now.  "I kind of self-destructed," a forlorn Roger Federer said after his match.

Some people I suppose breeze through life without any stumbling blocks, seemingly on top of their game to the very last inning. It's smooth sailing.  I'm mixing my metaphors here, but life's like that.   

On the other hand, some of us face obstacles and errors that cause anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. We are left pondering our fate, like Federer. We win some, lose some.  Some of us learn to have the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Some of us keep struggling to the end of the game, hoping to make things better.  We dream that it's the bottom of the 9th, last batter up, bases loaded, down by three, and we hit it out of the ballpark.  It happens.  There's always hope. 

Federer will be back, and that match with Nadal will happen, if not in this lifetime, in the next.  A tennis match for the ages, with no unforced errors.

Quotation of the Day: "I have three messages. One is we should never ever give up. Two is you never are too old to chase your dreams. Three is it looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team." — Diana Nyad, 64 years old, upon completing a swim from Cuba to Florida after five attempts over 35 years.

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