Tennis Strokes and Smokes, Folks

Last weekend I played my first tennis match. Matter a fact, I played four. There have gotta be some leagues out there somewhere, but the only opportunities I’ve heard of have been tournaments… which is fine. I’ll just play me some tournaments. This tournament last week was in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The next tournament I’m probably going to find myself at is in Grand Rapids, Michigan next month. This tournament put me in a great mood. I guess that means I really enjoyed myself. I had been hitting with my able-bodied coach at Schroeder Tennis Center since last October, Brian Dean. Although, I hadn’t yet played a match, and Brian is just an AB (people not in wheelchairs are literally commonly referred to as A.Bs), so I didn’t have many expectations. Now that I know what to expect, I’m pretty amped up about future tournaments.

The tournament went pretty well. I was meeting other paras, which is always very cool for me. I was learning a new side of sports, which was interesting. I was getting the familiar taste of my old competitive self, which was exciting. It wasn’t long before I was – painting the town? Thesaurus.com is telling me “paint the town” is a synonym for enjoy. Didn’t know that… definitely gonna start using it.

I won my first match. I won my second match. The third match was a doubles match and it was my third of the day. My partner and I lost the first set, and I forfeited the match. I straight quit: “Sorry patna.” I was playing like garbage and I didn’t care anymore. I was exhausted, sore, and my skin burned. Definitely packing sunscreen for Grand Rapids. My first two wins also already secured my spot in the singles final Sunday morning. Singles was what I cared most about anyway.

The final match started and I was a little nervous, no lie. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I always do that. Just how I operate, I suppose. I was doing the darn thing in the first set, though. Each set is the first person to win six games and I won the first set 6-3. Then I chilled out a little too much. “You got this no problem man, even if he pulls something out his backside and takes set 2, you’ll just take set 3.” Set 2 was a battle royale. We traded each of the first eight games, but he took the last two winning 4-6. The sir then announced on the loud speaker, “Alright ladies and gentleman, we’re going to have ourselves a tie breaker!” Everybody in the large crowd stood up and clapped vigorously. I Definitely recall some whistling. “Sudden Death!!!” the sir finally continued announcing. The crowd gasped for 15 minutes, easy. Even the paras stood up from their chairs for this one. Finally, the sir – alright, I’ll quit messing around. We did only play a tie-breaker though to determine the winner. The first one to 10 points took the chip, the respect, and the bragging rights. I got nervous again, I thought I was going to have a whole set left – plenty of time and room for error to be able to win.

I’m reluctant to even write about the tie-breaker. It was embarrassing. He got the first 6 points on my candy ass. I ended up getting a handful, but he still punished me 4-10 and sent my caramel-apple-candy ass packing. I got runner up in my division, so ya know, not bad, but it almost makes it worse. It’s like getting a B+. I hate B+(s).

Nah well, I had a good time and I did okay, so I’ll call it a success – Couldn’t upload pics for some reason, but I got some pics on my FB and Instagram – I also had an awesome long weekend with my dude, Alex Marshall. We left for Chicago on Thursday, then to The Fort at 5:00 am Saturday morning. I needed the bro time. I’m riding this Chicago/Ft Wayne high for as long as I can. I can’t WAIT to make it back to The Fort. Indy is the place to be, man!

Sorry Hoosiers, just fooling. Ohio’s really not much different

…just way better.

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