Knock On Wood Edition: I’ve totally committed to raising my tennis game and it seems to be working

Wait, is that Novak + Maria I spy here?
Wait, is that Novak + Maria I spy here? Thwack!

On my birthday last month (I’m a Scorpio…..hissssssss), Hubby gifted me with the killer Head racquet you see here. Love, love, love.

I’d had my previous “stick” for so long that the grip was literally disintegrating, so it needed to go bye-bye. Plus it had seriously bad juju because it was given to me by someone I refer to as Practice Husband. (PH, for short.)

I don’t harbor especially fond memories of PH, but at least he kept me sporty during our time together. Holy moly, I would just want to lay around eating bon-bons and reading British Vogue and PH would have me up and at ’em. Skiing! Golfing! Tennising! It was exhausting.

SIDEBAR: I realize it’s a tad unseemly to blog about PH when I have a super-awesome RH (Real Husband) in my life. But trust me, RH isn’t even remotely threatened by PH, nor any other former beaus. Including that wildly disciplined Johnny Depp lookalike I’ve told you about, the “Are You a Doer Or a Talker?” dude. That chap was actually really inspiring. So in the Momover spirit of self-improvement, I will continue to extract useful nuggets from my relationships – past and present – for you, my beloved readers.

So back to my birthday, and my new racquet, and tennis…

That evening, I headed to our club for the weekly Women’s Clinic. Quite frankly, the Clinic can be super, duper intimidating, so I’m a little surprised that I chanced it on a happy occasion like my birthday. Some of the best players at our club show up for this hour-long she-bang, and it can get real out there.

For me, it went south pretty much from the get-go. Because it was the first time playing with my new racquet, I didn’t know how much more power it had compared to my disintegrating-grip / bad juju number; my shots were flying all over the place.

I also got paired with players who were way above my skill level. When you’re mentally prepped for it, hitting with better players is challenging but uplifting. You learn from them, and that’s the entire raison d’ĂȘtre of the Clinic.

But when you’re feeling less than confident about your game, as I was that night, it can be utterly demoralizing.

By the time I got home, I was a bit shattered. And right as I walked in the door, my sister called to catch-up.

Sis: How was your birthday?

Moi: Not good. I’m a terrible tennis player and everyone at the Racquet Club hates me because I always make us lose our points.

I’m ashamed to say that I continued my pity party even after I got off the phone. To the extent that I even said to RH – the very RH who had just that morning gifted me with a new racquet:

“I’m at a fork in the road with tennis. Either I really commit, or I quit.”

We all know the happy-ending-in-process that’s coming next, right?

In the past six weeks, I have seriously seriously seriously doubled-down on my game.

1. I take Cardio Tennis class at least 2x a week. Whoa.

2. I show up for Women’s Clinic like clockwork, and I do everything in my power not to get anxious and discouraged if I’m partnered with some rockstar. I also don’t apologize profusely for bad shots; no one wants to hear that. Suck it up, babe. Move on.

3. I partake in a weekly doubles group lesson with my “snowbird” buddies Elise and Mary, who are super-sweet and, more important(ly), at the same level as me.

4. I hit with Hubby when he lets me. That’s usually only for a few minutes before he starts his games with the guys. That’s okay, I understand. He’s really good. Besides, he’s my RH, my not my PH, so I just enjoy our time together. Mr + Mrs Tennis Nut. Thwack!