Monday, September 24, 2007

Methodical Madness with a Purpose

The Butterflies will surely come. They always do. You step onto that court. It is judgement day. Have you properly prepared for this battle? Your opponent is trying to knock the snot out of you. One lousy match will get you bounced right out of the tournament for good. Every win advances you through the bracket. The more you advance, you are exalted by your peers and get patted on the back. Lose? You may get a few "sorries", but no one's looking at your pretty dress at the party anymore.

In twelve days, hundreds of athletic gay men will descend upon Dallas for the Texas Open 2007. While Whipping Boy and E.Shrew are approaching this tournament with more cavalier attitudes, I already have pre-tournament jitters. This is serious business for me. I have forsaken the gym for three months to prepare for the tournament.

If you want to improve your game, you play against the very best. That's why I have joined an adult men's tennis league locally where the competition is ramped up. In my tennis league, everyone hits hard and every ball is chased after. The net is aggressively protected and defended. Overheads always come raining back down on you like missiles. These individuals take every single point as seriously as I do. It's kind of nice to find out you are not the only freakish competitive person.

To expose myself to a variety in styles of play, I have consistently played four individuals (Whipping Boy, Office Guy, Heath and E.Shrew). Each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses I must counteract. Playing different people actually helps me build up a menu of "weapons" to be used against future opponents.

The Office Guy serves extremely hard with a wicked curve. I first must break Office Guy's serve (hopefully by the second game), before I can even began playing the match. Whipping Boy hits hard sideline shots (his speciality) and hustles as well as I do. Heath is an aggressive net player who covers the court well and places his shots with precision. E.Shrew plays for 100% in and will try to draw your ego into many unforced errors as you try to beat him with winners.

I have done everything I can think of to prepare myself for this tournament. Some think I am overdoing it. The knots in my back may attest to that. But, I purposefully sent my body into shock to properly prepare for a successful run during the tournament. Nothing is guaranteed. I still have to play the matches. The draw could be wicked against me. But no one is more responsible for my own success or failure than me. Will I stayed focused? Can I triumph? Will it all be worth it? Time will tell... soon enough.

4 Comments:

Blogger Drew said...

I love the warrior-esque attitude with which you approach your matches. Makes for good story telling.

September 24, 2007  
Anonymous Heath said...

Butterflies are good. Just don't let them affect you the day you play. When you a play an opponent that is brand new....stay confident in your game and play each point at a time....gradually learning his game....and developing a strategy that will defeat him. I think you already know this and do this. Just keep it in perspective and you will do fine at the Texas Open.

September 24, 2007  
Blogger patrick said...

I'm totally rooting for you Mr. Cajun! May Texas Open for you!

September 24, 2007  
Blogger Tony said...

Hundreds of Gay athletic men descending on Dallas. Hmmm! My thoughts aren't own tennis bud. Sorry. Game...set...match...SCORE! *eg* Safely of course.

September 25, 2007  

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