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up in the air

a little while back I was honored with the invitation to attend a grueling tennis tournament. I kind of love the people that invited me. so we went, and I watched tennis.
I learned a lot that day. I know that forty-love is bad news and frog toggs are a big deal. I know that there are four points and six sets and two matches [I think]. it took a lot of explaining and a few diagrams for me to even get that much. and there was that one awkward moment when I was stoked that alex was whooping her opponent only to realize that they were still warming up. whoops.IMG-20120602-06061
this particular tournament structure surprised me. the girls, between fourteen to sixteen years old, were left on their own, calling balls out or in, keeping their own score, only occasionally being monitored by a roaming referee. I was pretty impressed with my little fifteen year old friend who had the drive to work hard complemented by the desire to be a good person.
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from my inexperienced perspective, the matches seemed pretty intense. but my girl just kept on winning and winning and winning. and so I sat there all day long, baking in the sun, enjoying a sport where no one cheers or talks.
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just the hot sun and the sound of tennis balls colliding with nylon strings, grunts uttered by the players as they strike the ball, and occasional calls of ‘out’. it doesn’t take much to be heard on a tennis court [also learned that one the hard way…]
tennis completely blows my mind on so many levels. I used to think it was painfully boring, but watching someone I love play [especially with the passion and determination she exemplified] changes the game entirely. tennis redefines sports; no judges or timeouts or timers or team mates or cheering fans. it’s not about showmanship or team spirit. it requires absolute mental strength and solidity.IMG-20120602-06077
annnd any fifteen year old that has that is a winner in my book.
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and in everyone else’s too. she schooled everyone else and took home the tennis equivalent of first-place-gold-medal-winner-champion-awesome. so we celebrated. IMG-20120602-06093IMG-20120602-06095
and I came home with a good farmer’s tan. I love those browns, yo.IMG-20120602-06074
[title from turn up the music by chris brown]

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