Whooping Those Sinners for the Lord...
Last night, I played tennis with Tom. If you don't know who this cat is, he is the one that I ranked as #99 (for humor)in Brett's World Tennis Rankings. He did NOT like that ranking one bit! He was downright PISSY about it. I am sorry. I gave Tom that ranking to MOTIVATE him. I wanted Tom to improve his game. Hell, I know I sure benefit from NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT.
His game was ON. He arrived at the tennis courts before I did. He was practicing his serves (his strongest suite). He was serving those tennis balls at 90 - 100 MPH. He had a menancing look about him from across the net. IT WAS VERY FAMILIAR TO ME. It was the look of... "I AM GOING TO KICK YOUR ASS!" Boy did he try! My wrists began to hurt from trying to hit those supersonic serves. Amazingly, the line score didn't tell the tale of how close the first set was. I waxed him on the first set 6-1. The key was my hustle and my stealth-like pinpoint accuracy. I returned that ball FLAMING one inch over the net and skipping only about a foot high. Most were unreturnable.
Hmmm? What can I do to help poor Tom out. Since I needed practice with my serves, I announced that we should try to play "First In". This is where you can serve as many times until you hit it inbounds. This discourages those "poofs" across the net on the second serve which saves you from a humiliating "double fault". Lord, as soon as I let us play "First In", Tom was on fire. Those balls were coming at me so fast. We had our most competitive set EVER! I struggled and fought, but eventually prevailed 7-5. Whew!
And Tom was a good sport. He asked me repeatedly if I wanted to quit out of concern for my wrists. I said "NO" because he was doing so well and I didn't want to ruin what may have been his first set victory against me. After the match, he announced that he had a surprise for me. What?! A surprise... for me??? Oh God! What is he giving me? Books about "Being a Good Sport" or "Winning isn't Everything!"???? To my amazement and delight, it was exactly what I needed to pick up my game. He got me a bucket of balls and one of those ball cages where you can stand up next to you as you practice your serves. Awww.... THANKS TOM BUDDY!!! You are the best!!! What a thoughtful gift.
SHOUTOUT TO MY BUDDIES: I feel so enriched by my friends. Lately, some of you have gone out of your way and lifted my spirits by doing small acts of kindness for me. You know who you are. I probably don't deserve it, but I want to thank you all for being thoughtful recently when I was in a deep hole. I love my friends, and you guys are the best! :)