Growing up, I wasn’t much of a sporty girl (dare I say a girly girl?) I was usually that kid, chosen last for sports, and I certainly wasn’t climbing trees or perfecting a cartwheel, which seemed to come easily for everyone else. I suppose I was afraid of failing and impatient, wanting immediate results. It looked easy, but it took practice.
It wasn’t until my early twenties that I discovered Jane Fonda (I know, dating myself again) and aerobic classes. After that, I found my passion, fitness and music, it was a perfect match, and I was good at it, so much so that I became an instructor and taught for 20 years!
Fast forward to now, I’ve met my guy, who’s an avid tennis player. I might add he looks smashing in his tennis whites too;) So what’s a girl to do? Take tennis lessons, of course!
I’m learning to play tennis, a sport which involves “LOVE,” so it has to be great, right?! I’ve always admired the game; a classic at its best. In fact, I was ten years old when I took my first tennis lesson. I wasn’t horrible at tennis, but I wasn’t great either. Many more lessons followed over my lifetime; sadly, I never had the opportunity to play or improve.
I love watching tennis players and how they move on the court, so elegant in their tennis whites, making it look effortless. Guess what? It’s not easy; it was everything I could do to get that stupid little green ball over the net. So frustrating!
So here I am again, 45 years later, and another crack at the same little green ball. It’s still a challenge, but I’m getting the hang of it. My tennis instructor (god help him) has his work cut out for him. Trust me.
We’re using many terms, like “hand, hip, catch, now keep your elbow in!” My backhand is a two-hand grip. Basically, it’s a left-handed forehand. My instructor tells me, “Draw the sword, swing it, and now look over your left elbow!” “Put it all together while looking elegant!” LOL! I’m trying to!!
“Practice! Practice! Practice!”
I love my tennis lessons, and I’ve come a long way, proving I can do this. Very exciting, for the first time, I feel confident on the court, and yes, there will always be someone better than me, and that’s ok. But now that I have the proper tools, I’m ready to take my game to the next level.
So now that I can confidently hit the ball, serve and return, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment. However, I have a long way to go to a level where I feel confident playing an actual game. But, it shows that if you put your mind to something and commit, everything else will fall into place. I’ve had many moments lately thinking about a few ambitions and agonizing about “why am I doing this?”
It would be so easy to throw in the towel. That said, I need to stop listening to those outside noises. I am good enough. It’s essential to have a purpose and be validated for those efforts. Plain and simple, we want to be rewarded when we work hard towards a goal.
“Earn the skirt” is a metaphor of sorts. It’s working towards a goal, being able to play tennis properly. Donning the skirt wouldn’t have felt right if I didn’t reach my goal.
I believe I’ve earned it, the reward being the tennis skirt; it’s the cherry on top of my efforts. Will it make me a better tennis player? Too soon to tell, but it might give me more confidence going forward or an advantage when playing tennis with my guy;)