Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Next Round of Playoffs in 10 Days

Dreams never die, they recycle.  They're like butterflies you let go of and watch fly away.  One day when you're least expecting it, the dream reappears, lands on your nose and rekindles your passion.  My butterfly was disguised as a tennis ball and it struck me dead center on my face while I was playing a friendly game of men's senior tennis about a year ago.  At 55, I was old enough to play with a group of men ranging from 60 to 82.  They reminded me of past friends I met while living in Southern California in the Valley of the Sun.  I was having so much fun with the senior butterflies that my tennis story could have ended there and I would have lived happily ever after.  One of the tennis pros at the club saw me playing with the seniors and told me about a group of doubles players who played tennis on Wednesday nights. She invited me to join midway through the season because they were short players and needed to fill a few spots.  "You'll start at the bottom and if you win you can move up," Aimee said, unaware she was connecting with my inner competitive caveman side.  I was all in.

I had no clue when that butterfly landed on my nose one year ago that I would find myself playing on a traveling tennis team headed for the Midwest Sectionals in Oklahoma City next week.  Play begins in ten days.  I have new Wilson racquets, new shoes and a recycled dream of returning to Southern California for a shot at the national championships in September.  We are the Iowa Men's 4.0 state champions in the 18+ division and I'm the oldest member of the team.

My dream nearly ended in February when I dove for a ball and ended up tumbling on court 4 during our Wednesday night doubles match.  I thought I pulled a muscle but it wouldn't heal.  I visited my doctor and he told me I needed surgery to repair a groin hernia.  The surgery is on hold until approximately 8:08 in the morning on 8/08.  That's just enough time to complete our ten hour journey home from Oklahoma City after the regional playoffs.  Should our national championship dream still be alive by the time I meet Da Vinci, the robot being used to fix up my aging body, I told my team-mates I'll be back on the courts in time to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.  Stay tuned for the rest of the story.  Have a great day.

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