The Serve

The serve.

Over the years, anytime I ever agreed to a tennis date, I made 2 things clear: I am happy to rally. And, I do not serve. Until very recently (tennis lesson #2), I never cared about the rules, was never interested in playing for points.

These tennis lessons are my life in a petri dish. With every lesson, it seems, something about the way I operate reveals itself to me. How much more comfortable I am doing something I’m good at. How easily annoyed I get with myself (and with others), when I’m sure I should be grasping something faster. This is what keeps me sticking to what I know: Let’s rally people, no need to serve.

In this class, there is no place to hide my fear of the serve. Thank goodness for Godwin. I am starting to wish he could coach me through my life. I actually think he can smell the fear. So, instead of telling us ‘Now, we’re going to learn the serve,’ he explains the importance of warming up the shoulder. Suddenly I am facing a big mesh wall. Then I am ‘scratching my back with my racket’. Next I toss the ball and freeze when my racket makes contact. Finally, I sweep the racket down and, Godwin insists, ‘pat an imaginary child on his head’. Add a leg lift, a hop, and a bow. Suddenly, I am serving. And, with power. There’s still a lot to learn. But I’m feeling fierce armed with the basics.

Tennis lessons or life lessons? What I’ve signed up for at UBC continues to be a powerful piece in the story of my personal evolution. Learning a new skill. No longer sweeping under the rug, what I’m too afraid to try.

Tamara Slobogean is a local TV producer who has blogged about her experiences as the Blushing Frugal Bride. She’s now blogging her way through Tennis 2.5.