Friday, November 04, 2005

Bad Highschool Flashback

Perhaps I was jaded or my memory is shot. But if you ask me about tennis in gym class at BHS, I recall being sent out to the courts with a racquet and told to play. No coaching, nothing. I'd whack the ball, and it would go over the fence and into the street. Gym Teacher would yell at me: "You're a smart girl. When you hit the ball like that, it goes over the fence."

Duh! No shit. I have eyes. "Now do it again!"

I'd hit the ball over the fence again, and he'd scream "Now go GET IT!"

That was it. That was all I learned. I suck at tennis.

In 1977, I went to Australia. They had gorgeous tennis courts there. I got invited to play. I was sure I would suck, as I had always sucked. And sure enough, no one could explain to me how to play the game, and pretty soon, no one wanted to play with me. That was fine. In Australia, everyone brings desserts to the tennis club and then watches carefully which men eat whose desserts. Sort of an Outback Maiting Ritual. That was fascinating, but didn't improve my ability or interest in tennis.

Fast forward ahead, what, 27 years? Today, I had a tennis lesson. I had someone explain to me how to stand, how to hold the racquet, how to hit the ball. And you know what? I hit the ball over the net and into the other side of the court. Sometimes better than other times, but mostly okay. There were more balls on the other side of the net than on my side. Backhand and forehand. And you know what else? It was actually fun.

The teacher told me, "It's a pleasure teaching someone athletic."

Huh? Are we talking about me?

"Many women I teach take five lessons to get to this level," he said.

Hey. I'm athletic!! Who knew?


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