The tennis match didn’t go as expected. My first thought when I walked onto the court centered on the knee brace that my opponent was wearing. Pride had seeped into my soul after winning several recent matches pretty easily. This match should be similar and I would be ready to go home in no time at all.
Was I ever wrong! I felt like I was hitting against a backboard. Every time I would hit a ball to my opponent’s backhand, she would return it cross court. When I hit a short ball, she would take advantage of it and hit an angle shot that I was unable to reach.
The first set went back and forth until we finally reached 6-6 and had to play a tie breaker. The first person who reached 7 with a two point span won. She was up 6-5 when she hit a ball that barely touched the outside of the baseline. From her body language, it was clear she thought it was out. I gave it only a brief thought when I yelled across the court, “Your ball was in. Good play.”
I knew in my heart of hearts that knowing the ball was in and not calling it would nag at my soul. Over the years, I have realized that losing a tennis match was something I could live with. On the other hand, knowing the truth and not speaking it was like stating a bold face lie. That was something that would eat at my heart and for far longer than the loss of a game.
My thoughts through the second set were similar to the game we were playing. As a ball goes back and forth across the net, my thoughts went from negative to positive time and time again. After losing the first two games of the set, I started feeding myself positive thoughts and talking out loud to boost my confidence. Before long the set was over with me winning 6-2.
Now we had to play a tie breaker to see who would win the match. Again, we rallied back and forth running each other to all parts of the court. At one time she was ahead 7-6. I knew that I needed to go up to the net more but I have never felt comfortable being there. Each of the next couple of points, I pushed myself to move my body closer and closer to the net waiting for the high ball to smash down in the corner for a winner. It was only the last point of the game, that I had found just the right loopy ball to use my overhead shot to put it away.
I can’t say that I learn a lot of lessons every time I go out onto the tennis court but this time, I definitely did. I am glad that I won but I am not sure if I would have been too upset if I had lost this particular match. I felt the key to my success was keeping my mind positive and clear of all negativity. But most of all I learned that there is power in the truth no matter the circumstances.