Recent Thoughts

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Nice shot!* Yeah!

Back in the days when the tennis world's great names were Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, I was an avid follower of the racket sport. I think it's roughly the same time when we started to have cable television at home and my dad would lord over the remote control and watch ESPN. Having no choice, I would earnestly watch with him with a little hope that the match would soon finish of my dad would simply fall asleep already, haha!

I learned to enjoy and love the sport, even though I actually never played it -- considering that tennis is not the kind of sport you can play in the streets or in your garage and that its gear is quite expensive. Although back in 1997, I was able to improvise with the situation.

You see, back then, the lahar craze (or rather, the fear of it, hehe!) all over Pampanga has not subsided. Each typhoon would bring about vigilance for lahar alerts. As we can't simply leave our house, my mom had our things (appliances, furniture, etc) evacuated to our relatives in Porac. San Fernando is relatively safe from lahar rampage but if and when we are not spared, we wouldn't have to worry about our important belongings. So for almost a year then, we didn't have a refrigerator and we slept on mattresses. Our living room was wide open sans for a bench and an old and small television cabinet so I played tennis against the wall of our sala with a tennis ball that I procured somewhere and an old tennis racket (it was so old that its shape was the old-fashion one, very similar to the shape of a badminton racket). Of course, I was only in grade school back then so my wild and creative imagination and my measly equipment was suffice to satisfy my tennis itch.

My interest in tennis eventually waned as I grew older and got busier with high school and explored other more feasible hobbies and interests. Eventhough my dad managed to buy two Prince tennis rackets back then, due to the lack of posh tennis courts in our middle-class subdivision, they remained unused all these years. Until last Wednesday!

A few weeks back, my housemate Mike blurted out of nowhere, "Kuya Rex, mag-tennis tayo.." I replied in surprise, "Err, sige.. may tennis rackets ako.." I never thought he was serious but our tennis plans pushed through last Wednesday and my Prince rackets finally saw daylight and debuted on an actual tennis court.

We played at the UP Tennis Club courts besides the Engineering building. Funny how it took me seven years to try playing there, for I pass by it at least twice a week all my college life. I used to think it was an exclusive court and that it's not open to the students or to the public. But thanks to a blockmate, I was able to inquire some playing details.

I was with 3 other orgmates and we are all first timers. At first we tried playing by ourselves, thinking it's as simple as badminton. But no! Our 'game' was so messed up, that instead of playing tennis, it seemed like we were playing fetch, haha! We would hit the ball at a seemingly random direction with random amounts of force. So our balls were all over the place but our playing court. We were so bad that a club trainer took pity on us and volunteered to offer his services (with pay, of course) for some much-needed tennis lessons, haha!

So how did I do? Well, I don't mean to brag but if it were a PE subject, I would get roughly 1.25.. Oha! Haha! Yabang! Apparently, I'm a natural. Haha! Kidding aside, in fairness to me, the trainer kept using me as an example to my playmates on how to one's forehand shots correctly and efficiently. But of course, I have my fair share of bloopers. The four of us had so much fun that we were able to convince other orgmates to play with us this next Wednesday. From an original group of 4, we are now at least 12, haha!

The trainer had to leave after about an hour or so of lessons. We thought we knew enough to finally play a decent game of doubles. But we were so wrong! Our game messed up bigtime yet again, though there is a marked improvement. We were able to return the ball for at least two times, before it 'dies', hehe! So we had to call it a day.

I hope that on our next lesson, we will already learn how to serve. I'm quite excited for I've been wondering all these years if shouting makes a significant difference whenever I watch pro players serve the ball, haha! ^_^

*This is what the trainer kept telling us, every now and then. Isn't he so encouraging? Even if some of our shots went over the tennis club fences, into the trees as you can see from the pics above, haha!

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