I think I’ve mentioned it once or twice here on the blog, but I enjoy a rousing game of tennis from time to time. In high school I played on the tennis team for three years, though I had been playing long before I decided to join the team. I started playing tennis as a youngster when we [my brother, my step-brother, and I] found some old tennis rackets in the garage. At the time, we had no idea how the game worked, so we mostly just hit the balls back and forth to each other, occasionally bouncing them on the blacktop. We made up our own rules and enjoyed the game.
Eventually we learned the actual rules of tennis and decided to play at the Bremen tennis courts. When our parents were young these tennis courts were used often, equipped with nightlights and court maintenance. Sadly, the courts fell to disuse and over time they turned into a nightmare. The pavement cracked and split, many places wide enough for a grass and weeds to grow in. The nets disintegrated and sagged to where they lay practically on the ground. The lights were turned off and no longer worked. And this was the state of the Bremen tennis courts when we decided to play.
We slowly brought the courts back to life, weed-eating and spraying herbicides in the cracks, buying new nets to replace the destroyed ones. Mostly satisfied, we played on the courts many days in our teen years. Nearly every Sunday in between church services a throng of us would show up and play doubles or singles, happy to be playing together and fellowshipping. And the courts, while not perfect, were something we were proud of.
College came and the Bremen tennis courts fell back into disuse. The nets were stolen. The grass and weeds returned. The gang that played—me, Jake, Adam, Chris, Jordan, Spenser, and a few others—all grew slowly apart, heading down their own paths. I didn’t know anyone at UofL that played tennis (not until several semesters had passed), so my playing faded to a bittersweet memory.
Fast-forward to now. I found out that Owensboro has a summer tennis league that begins tonight. For people that know how to play, you pay your money ($15) to sign up for the league and games are arranged for you up until August or September or something. For those that don’t know how to play (Keisha), you pay your money ($15 still) and get 4-6 weeks of professional lessons and then you’re assigned your own individual league for new players. This has got me terribly excited to play my first love again. I sincerely hope the league turns out well and that I can meet fellow players that are looking for somebody else to play with.
To me, tennis is a sport I’ve loved for years. I’m not great by any means, but I’m not awful, either. I play to have fun, to enjoy the sport and the sportsmanship. Sure, I’d like to win, but winning is not my primary objective. I’d rather play a match of great rallies and lose than play a boring match and win.
Wish me luck. Hopefully my dumb back holds out tonight. It’s been quite bothersome these past two days, leaving me mostly in constant pain and agony. Combine that with my sudden sinus attacks and I’m not in the best of moods. Still, a little sickness and pain is not going to keep me away from the tennis courts tonight. Now, where did I put my racket?