Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tennis elbow and other ailments

Tennis, tennis, tennis! Crapping all over my TV schedule! Well, maybe not all over, but it's totally rearranged my Must-See-TV.

I sat down this morning with a Diet Coke, the Sunday paper, and a plan to catch the news on TV at the same time. I expected to watch Weekend Today at 8:00, like I always do, so I was a little surprised when I flipped on the TV at 7:58 and Weekend Today was ending. Hunhh?

When Meet the Press started immediately afterward, I had to go look at two clocks to be sure I hadn't somehow lost a whole hour of my life. And then it hit me: Wimbledon.

I've never been either an athlete or an athletic supporter (old joke, sorry). I've never enjoyed playing games where balls were being hurled or batted toward my face. My instinct, which should have been to hurl or bat the ball back, has always been to throw my arms over my head and duck.

There are only two games involving a ball that I actually enjoy. The first is fetch, which I'll play with my dogs as long as they agree to bring the ball back to me, not throw it, and the other is bowling. I like the fact that the bowling ball moves relatively slowly and is supposed to stay away from people's heads.

I haven't been bowling in a long, long time, but I still think of it fondly. That's probably because the only athletic achievement of my life occurred when a friend talked me into joining a bowling league way back in the '80s. My score didn't improve much from beginning to end of the season, but I did win a trophy--for perfect attendance.

Tennis, on the other hand, evokes memories of nothing but pain and humiliation. I enrolled for tennis lessons in the early '70s. (What was I thinking?) At the first lesson, we chased balls for the better part of an hour, then we started working on our serves. I watched the instructor intently and listened carefully. Still, when it came time for us students to try it for ourselves, I was apparently the only one who'd missed a key piece of advice. With my left hand, I tossed the ball up into the air, just as he'd demonstrated, but with the racket in my right hand, I reached back and whacked the hell out of the backside of my head. Somehow the concept of straightening out my elbow had escaped me.

That first tennis lesson was the last one, too. Wimbledon, schmimbledon!

16 comments:

  1. I still like you even though you don't like tennis! This is exactly how I feel when basketball pre-empts my favorite programs.

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  2. Thanks, Janet. I appreciate people who are tolerant. At least TV tennis is a lot safer than real-life tennis--no hazardous rackets, fast-flying balls, or swivel-related neck injuries.

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  3. I'm waiting for the streaking to begin. I'm sorry your shows were pre-empted, Velvet!

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  4. That's it! We're going bowling when I come home. I looooove to go bowling even though I completely suck at it. Beer + ball + Rebekah = Bringing the funny.

    Think we can talk Kim into coming too?

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  5. Sassy-Sis, if I have to miss something, the news is not a bad thing, right?

    Rebekah, you've got a date! And I'm positive Kim will go with us. Maybe my other daughter will, too. (Don't tell Kim I told you, but the last time we bowled together, her ball accidentally went airborne--behind her.)

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  6. I'm with you on the automatice response to balls flying at your head! Always the last to be picked for a team here. I took bowling in college as a PE credit and did alright at it, hope you all have a laughing good time! That's probably at trip to the alley I would actually enjoy -
    Carmon

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  7. Carmon, we may have been separated at birth. Did you ever try Jazzercise? I did, and when all the other ladies were step-kicking to their right, I was the one moving purposefully to the left, all by myself.

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  8. Hello from Yorkshire, England.

    Ashamed to say I didn't watch Wimbledon and now I feel guilty coming here and saying so, but just wanted to say Hello to you lovely people over the water.

    It's a lovely day here today. I am looking out onto the moors as I write this.

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  9. Velvet...I think this is another sign from God...to turn the damn thing off!!!teehee.

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  10. Sweet-Sister, surely you jest!!! God created TV because he knew there were millions of people like me.

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  11. I happen to love the game. When watching football or baseball or other ball games viewers jump up and down and yell stuff at the TV and challenge calls as if the umpire is going to really listen to a TV audience. I do this with tennis. I hardly ever sit while watching. I'm too busy pacing back and forth, cheering or something equally as testosterone-ish. I’ve always loved the game! I remember dodge ball from when I was a kid. Finally the schools stopped promoting that abusive game! There must have been so many emotional disorders come from gym class just because of the torture ball game. Lord, it seemed like all the anger issues just spilled out. Those poor kids dreaded when I had the ball. No, I’m kidding. But I always hated that game. It seemed rather senseless. Hit people as hard as you can. Go down the social chain…fat kids first, geeks next, etc…I wonder if they were hoping to help us improve our reflexes. I can't see any other reason for that game but torture in the name of education.

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  12. Austin, you hit the nail right on the head. I could play Red Rover with the best of 'em, but dodgeball struck fear in my heart. I still have a love of "the game," too, but the games I love run toward Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, and Rummikubs.

    Hey, Rebekah, are you up some for Trivial Pursuit after bowling?

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  13. Ouch! I bet that first lesson hurt. I'm with you on the athletics, I hate it when they dominate the TV, why can't they keep the sports to the Sports Channel, and I never was much good with balls either. Hockey was my worst nightmare, always getting whacked in the shins.
    Sandy

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  14. I SOOOOO get it. I hate (and I mean hate) any sport that requires that I compete against another person for anything at all. I even consider Bar Pick Up as a sport that I won't engage in. Call me "unsportsmanly" if you will, but why would I bother? Really, why bother? I cannot see the point. Perhaps I am entirely lacking in some "competition" gene, but frankly, life is challenging enough.

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  15. Mrs. Nesbitt, I missed you up there, sorry! Don't be ashamed; you're in good company. Hope you'll come back.

    Sandy, I think getting hit in the chins would hurt worse than getting hit in the head--at least if the head is as hard as mine.

    Snuffy, it's nice to see you here. I'm so out of the loop that I had to google "bar pick up" to see if it still means what I think it means. Yup, it does, and it is indeed a competitive sport. I have a mutant competitive gene that doesn't kick in if I'm about to participate in an activity that will result in abject humiliation, but I do play cutthroat Scrabble.

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  16. Sandy, I meant "shins," dammit, shins!

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