Last Sunday, I broke yet another small shyness barrier. I went and played tennis on our nearby courts. Alone.
Alone? How does anyone play tennis alone?
Oh, that’s easy, you play with the wall. The wall is a very faithful partner.
But the thing is, being very shy and particularly about my sporting ability, I hate to even play with Amit in a new environment. And this nearby court is not the one I play at regularly (for various complicated reasons I go to one 7 km away). If Amit were with me, he’d be coaching me, so I’d have to swallow my self-consciousness and submit to being coached. But alone, I felt, as usual, that I’d be under the microscope of any other players present.
I went at the unlikeliest of hours, at 1 p.m. when all sensible would be indoors, out of the heat, eating lunch and snoozing comfortably. But no – the courts were full! I almost came away, but then decided to try to play anyway. So I marched determinedly on to the court and requested the players occupying centre court if I could please use the wall. They agreed, and then I was stuck – having asked, I could hardly turn around and leave.
So I made up my mind that I would not think about them and worry about how good they were or about whether they were watching me or what they thought of my game or what they thought of this strange woman wandering on to court alone and playing with the wall… I decided I would put it all out of my mind and just focus on the ball and the wall.
Of course, I couldn’t. But I did manage to play regardless of all these thoughts and considerations. And, in my estimation, I played well. I don’t know what the other fellows thought of me, but what’s important is that I went alone and I did it and I enjoyed it and now I know I can do it again.
Another small victory in my battle against my shyness.