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  Random scratch marks in the digital dirt...

May 06, 2003

Like A Deer Caught in the Headlights

Week Two at Citigroup started off much better than Week One, except for the mandatory orientation at work yesterday. The way that the session leader went on, I was sure that the day would end in a group hug. But I endured it, and managed to get home at a decent hour instead of collapsing on the couch when I got home. During dinner, Don called and told me to grab my tennis racquet and meet him at the club. I knew what to expect, yet I still went. Call me an optimist...

I hate the first of anything in the year. The first time to mow the lawn is a beating. The first swim in the pool turns my lips blue because the water is so cold. And the first time on the tennis court is a portrait of frustration.

When I arrived, all of the courts were full, but two of his buddies got a court before us, and asked us to join them for some doubles. I haven't touched a racquet since the fall, and it showed. No timing, no serve, knees that refused to bend and feet encased in concrete.

Ah, but it felt great to be back on the court! This was my first time to play outdoors at the DFW Hilton. Nice courts, but it's a bit disconcerting to toss the ball for a serve and catch sight of a 747 on short final. They kind of blot out the sky when they're going that low and slow...

Of course we just couldn't spend the evening practicing groundstrokes -- we had to play three sets. Surprisingly enough, my serve wasn't a total disaster. Very rusty, but I managed to get quite a few over the net and into the correct box.

But along with a rusty serve come rusty strokes and poor tactical decisions on my part. Yeah, I know that I'm supposed to cover the middle when you get pulled wide to the right Don. But I was comfortable standing where I was in those concrete shoes. I was sure that you understood -- I was still in shock over that volley that I scrambled to get back over the net earlier. Yes, it made it over the net. Very shallow in the opponent's court. In the middle of the court. About shoulder high. Absolutely no velocity. A sitting duck...

Yes, I suppose that I did look like a deer caught in the headlights right before the ball was smashed at me. It's funny to remember it now, and it was a good lesson to remember -- always angle towards the side and use a drop volley. And if all else fails, at least turn the body to present a smaller target!

It felt great to get out and work up a sweat. My strokes will return soon. It looks like it will be a fun summer...

Posted by mjwoods at May 6, 2003 11:05 PM

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