Friday, June 01, 2012

Heroic Moments

A couple of weeks ago, I had a life moving experience. It was one of those moments that I will always cherish. In the state championship tournament, my team was struggling against the best in Louisiana. My team captain took the chance and played me against the eventual champion team's #1 singles player.

All this talk of being "Tennis Gawd" was going to be put to the test. I was chosen to play against an opponent who was 14-0 in league play in 2012. We were picked to be on the "Show Court", which meant my whole team and several other teams would watch our match. In all, there were 50 something spectactors watching us battle it out.

I played with confidence and hit well, but lost 6-0 in a swift first set. There was just a smidgeon of difference between our skills, but my opponent had played earlier in the day and was warmed up and deadly accurate. My only hope was to balance out his advantage with fresher legs. That I did, as I raced to a 5-1 lead in the second set and hung on to win it 6-4. I could hear the spectators buzzing with excitement as the "Tennis Gawd" just made the lop-sided match EVEN. We were going to the dreaded 10 point super tie-break in the third set.

My opponent summoned up a hidden resorvoir and came out the gates fast with an 8-3 lead. My whole team continued to root for me, but I could tell they saw an inevitable loss looming. I did not quiver and buckle under the stress. I cooly won 8 out of the last 9 points to STUN my opponent 11-9 in the super tie-break. He was shellshocked.

While my team was whooping and hollering with shouts of "MVP! MVP!", I was first greeted by an old man with a strange look on his face. "You just beat my son". I didn't know quite what to say, so I sheepishly replied .. "I'm sorry about that!". He reminded me that this was the first loss his son had experience all year. The old man smiled proudly and extended his hand to congratulate me.

I was next approached by a beaming tournament official who said, "I watched the whole match. What a comeback!". Delirious teammates quickly greeted me with big smiles, high fives, and an ice cold Bud Lite. It was a crowning moment of happiness (for me) considering all the struggles and adversity I faced this season.

I capped off the tournament the very next day by blasting a 20 year old 6-0,6-1 to yet more high fives and accolades. In the end, my team finished in a three way tie for first place at 4-1. Unfortunately, another team was crowned tournament champions due to having more individual match wins.

I was still proud of my team and most importantly... myself. Being benched during the regular season for losing in league play lit a smoldering fire in me. I was so focused in righting the ship and being a strong asset for the team. Against the best of the best, this underdog came through. I will always tearfully remember that moment for the rest of my life. :)


Anonymous Jeff said...

Wow! I couldn't be prouder if you were my own son.

June 01, 2012  
Blogger Moby said...

The mark of character is not how you win but how you lose. His dad sounds like a good man.

Congrats on your win and confidence boost.

June 01, 2012  
Blogger RG said...

Congratulations on your win.

June 02, 2012  
Blogger Nurse P said...

I imagine most people who respond to this will congratulate you on your win. But, while I think it's awesome that you won and had a boost to the ole self esteem, I have decided my response will be something of a spin.

I think it's great you did so well. And, you beat someone that had been winning all week, which is an accomplishment. And, you, at 41, beat a 20 year old. Let's hear it for the the 40 and up crowd! Yeah Brett! But, the think the best lesson of all to learn is not that you won. It's that anything is possible if you work hard enough.

I applaud your hard work. I applaud your accomplishment. I applaud that youth doesn't always mean better. But, I will NOT applaud winning. I have my reasons, but hey...that's just how I roll! :)

June 04, 2012  

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