Sunday, 12 June 2011

The High Life

I don't think I've got the mentality to make it big as a sportsman. Shame. After seeing how the real honchos do the business last Sunday, I had my own tilt for glory in the first round of the tournament at my tennis club.

Having spent the week getting into the zone - avoiding too much alcohol - walking up the steps at the radio station and anything else that could pass for sacrifice, I went off on Saturday to play the match.

But of course did too much in the morning by taking the boy out with one of his chums. It meant that my lunch was rushed and the course to calmness was under threat.

Fortunately Ligne 9 didn't let me down and I was at the club at 1.10pm ready for the combat.

Down in the locker room - OK , I won't get too sporty. Down in the changing room, it was rather unanimated. So I did some warm-up stretches and when I went up my adversary was there.

While knocking up I started to gauge his game and I did not like his habit of twisting his racket before he hit the ball. It wasn't annoying, it just meant that I was watching the twirling rather than the ball shooting back towards me.

He had this forehand in which he got under the ball and it went flying into the air and when it bounced, it went galloping up into the skies.

Fortunately he ditched this once we started playing.

I now realise that games are like recovering alcoholics: one point at a time. While playing it suddenly stuck me that I could go all gospel and instead of One Day At A Time Sweet Jesus, I could just hum: One Point At A Time...

But entering into the realms of sacrilege isn't good for focus.

The adversary had his son with him and I thought is this a ploy to get me to be less ruthless. How can you destroy the image of the boy? But the first round of the tournament is no country for young men.

I ploughed on. One point at a time. 6-0. I knew the crunch was the first game of the second set. Don't lose this I said to myself. Maintain the grip. Hold your serve. Idiot boy lost the first game. And then at 5-1. Serve it out. Idiot boy missed a match point and dropped serve.

Well it was 6-2 in the second. Hardly Federesque or Nadalien. But it was never going to be anything approaching those lofty warriors.

I knew that. As God is my judge.