I took up tennis a couple of years ago. It is a challenging game and a great workout. Up until moving to Aiken I had mostly played with only Steve. I found that I am a decent player, but I have only played singles and really haven’t played much where we have kept score.
Recently, while out playing with Steve, a woman approached us and asked if I might be interested in joining her team. I’m typically a reluctant “joiner” so I told her I would think about it. A couple of weeks later I decided “why not” and gave her a call.
I showed up for the first few team practices looking like a deer in the headlights. I knew no one, I had never played ladies tennis, I had never played doubles, and I was new to the area and this tennis club. Without question, I felt out of my element.
During the first few practices I scrambled to understand where I should stand, and which balls were mine to play. I sucked at keeping score. I was schooled down the alley and lobbed and lobbed and lobbed. I froze during net play, watching every ball whiz past me. I played with passion, but, to be honest, I was NOT a force to be reckoned with!
During these practices with my team I got to chatting in-between sets and in the parking lot after we were finished for the morning. Everyone was curious about Happy Earth Farm. I told them about our crops, our eggs, and our broiler chickens that we sell at market. I told them that Steve and I run the farm without any help from others.
Keep in mind that Aiken is a small town where everyone knows everyone else; word travels fast. On the day of our first match play with another team I had butterflies the size of elephants. As I approached the court where the 20 women stood to find out court assignments and who would be playing whom, I felt every eye from the opposing team on me. I saw obvious fear in their eyes. I noticed them taking a small step away from me. And then I heard it……faint at first, but I heard it. Then I heard it whispered again by another woman. With every whisper came another look of fear. The next woman said it a little louder and I could hear it clearly………“that’s the one who kills chickens”.
Won both sets 6-0, 6-1.