Anyone for Tennis?

Although by dint of attending Multnomah I am, I suppose, an Evangelical Christian, I spend more time preaching the merits of tennis than I do ol’ J.C. This imbalance doesn’t reflect their relative importance to me; it’s just that people take it better when they’re told they should pick up tennis than if they’re told they should find Jesus.

6-year-old me playing tennis

I’m being facetious, of course. But it’s true that I’ll tell anyone who will listen what a great sport tennis is. Tennis requires strategic thinking, precision, power, mental toughness, great stamina and a lot of coordination. It’s a social sport and you can play it into your 80s if you take care of your body. What’s more, tennis is a gentleman’s sport: you call your own lines, apologize for unfair advantages like a net cord and shake hands and congratulate each other at the end.

One of my very favorite parts of my life in Portland is belonging to a tennis team. I play out of Cascade in Gresham. Every couple of weeks I get to participate in intense competition and share in the life of my team. We celebrate our victories and mourn our defeats.Competition is vital, invigorating and addictive. The feeling of facing your opponent across the net at the beginning of a match, knowing that your only goal in that moment is to put everything you have into beating that person is an intoxicating feelings not matched in the rest of  life. Competition makes your blood flow right. Competition quickens your step and sharpens your eye. My arena of competition is the tennis court but it’s the same for a distance runner, a soccer player or a swimmer. It’s all about testing yourself to see if you will prevail or if your opponent will. Competition may be primitive, I suppose, but I don’t have any problem with being atavistic. I’ll take the primal over the pretentious any day.

The inspiration behind today’s blog post? My tennis team won our match today and WE’RE GOING TO PLAYOFFS! Playoffs start Thursday in Beaverton!!

My mom playing tennis on our old court.


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