Its taken just over 3 years to do but today I returned to my old tennis club on a mission. I wasn't there to see old friends and have a chat, this time I was there to play. While driving over to the club listening to the Killers, 'all these things that I have done' It suddenly struck me what I was about to attempt to do, I was going to play Tennis. At this point I was hit by a massive feeling of negativity and doubt, would I know anybody, could I even hit a ball any more, would I crash and burn after about 10 seconds, and would I be able to contain my emotions on court and hold back the tears.
Well I didn't turn around with my tale between my legs I drove down that familiar old lane and arrived at the club to see a lot of cars in the car park and people playing on the courts. After a massive intake of breath I climbed out of the car and walked towards some of the lady club members that I recognised, they were all stood staring in my direction and a voice said 'Tony is that you' at this point I failed the emotion test and the tears began to flow not only from my eyes but from theirs to. This is one of those moments in your life that you will never forget, I was back with old friends who were not only very pleased to see me but were going to help me achieve a major goal of mine, to play tennis again.
I got my oxygen back pack strapped on, opened the throttle to 8 litres, picked up my old racquet and walked onto the court. It looked a lot bigger than it used to when I was fit and healthy but this was it now, I was here and it was my moment of truth, would I crash and burn or could I actually do it.
Pat hit a slow high bouncing ball towards me, I swung back the racquet instinctively and wack, I hit the ball back over the net and in. Wow that felt good, confidence returned and the two ladies on the other side of the net kept the balls coming my way and I managed a few short rally's but with that heavy oxygen pack making balance a little awkward I kept things steady and didn't attempt to run for anything remotely out of reach. I hit a few reasonable shots off the forehand and backhand before breathlessness brought me to a standstill.
Ok I said to some very concerned face's 'I'll be alright in a minute, I'm only out of breath' To me this was normal life but to them it was probably a little worrying and I understand that. After my breathing returned to normal I thought this was probably a good time to quit while I was ahead. It was time to get a few pics of this momentous step in my second life so I gave my camera to janet and she snapped while I hit a few more balls.
Mission accomplished, it was time to sit down and chat with the other members who were there, and tell them what I had been up to over the last three years.
I was asked if I wanted to have another knock around with some of the other members on court but I declined as I had had such a great time I didn't want to ruin everything. I was going home happy with what I had achieved and I was in a very happy place.
Thanks to you all for your encouragement and not trying to talk me out of this mad and crazy idea of mine to return to the tennis court. I didn't let you or myself down did I.
Tony Oh yes annieseed I know your a tennis fan so I send you free tickets for my next match ok!!