I was never much of a fan for playing tennis. I didn’t like chasing the balls so far if they were hit over the fence at the Y. I wanted the exercise but didn’t want to waste time in between serves to retrieve one of the three balls that came in the can we’d bring to the court. When I was working at a college in Vermont, I learned how to play racquetball. I was hooked after the very first game! It really fed my competitive nature.
The racquetball court, at least the one I played on, was like a big box with one wooden door that had a tiny window in it. It wasn’t too difficult to learn the game, similar enough to tennis that it was easy to pick up the rules, but way quicker. I didn’t have to chase balls over the fence, but if you’ve never played the game before, you might be shocked at how much ball chasing there is in such a confined space.
Natalie taught me how to play the game. She would barely break a sweat when playing with me at first. Of course, she’s a long-time athlete and I, well, was not! Once I learned the in’s and out’s of the game; the strategy of where to place the ball, both on the racquet and the wall, in order to score points, I did pretty well. I could beat a fair number of people I’d play against. I even entered a tournament on campus.
Natalie was just as competitive as me, maybe even more so. But, beating Natalie that was my holy grail. We played maybe once every couple of weeks and in between I’d practice by playing anyone who’d get in the room with me. And finally, success! I don’t know if she was having an off day, if she was just a bit tired, or it was something else, but I finally won a game. My perfect game! I was elated to say the least! I’m sure we’d played a couple hundred games and I only beat her once, but the victory was sweet.
Thanks for teaching me Natalie, and for making me work my butt off to get that win!