I stopped playing tennis a while back out of fear and aggravation. How could I possibly be afraid of the sport that I love? Well, I allowed one bad experience to take me off the courts. Okay, maybe it was more than one bad experience.
As you, faithful reader, know I am battling hearing loss and high-pitched tinnitus, but there is more. My ear, when in the highly pressurized environment of the bubble-covered tennis court, takes on more pressure, pain, and fullness. My head, right side of my face, and right ear feel as though I was thrust three feet underwater whilst simultaneously experiencing descent in an airplane. Then there is all the noise. The echo-filled chamber carries noises from five other courts, the heating system, plus the shrieks of spectators and participants cutting right through my head. like a dagger. How can you have sensitive hearing and hearing loss? The two go hand in hand. All of it is enough to drive a sane woman mad. So far from sanity, I decided I was out. I cowered, avoided, made medical appointments to continue to investigate further what the heck is going on with this ear/face/jaw situation. Anything, but get on the court. I was so distracted by the pain, discomfort that it sucked the joy out of something that I love more than anything. Slowly, armed with all my excuses, I let the fear get the best of me. The fear removed a pleasant event from my life.
No more. Last week, I made myself go back to the courts. I had an incredible time last week, playing like I took no time off at all. All the strokes were effortless, my legs felt stronger after all the squats I added to my gym workout. The racquet made fluid contact with the ball. I still could not hear, but I threw myself into my game. True, it was hard to socialize. I was hesitant to talk and answer questions. I felt alone with many good friends around, but I shrugged that feeling off, too. So I appeared aloof, I have been called worse things in my time. I focused on the ball. I cheered when friends made good shots. Soon, I restored a part of my self and it felt great.
Fear is a powerful motivator, but one that I definitely have to question. What are the fear’s motives? It it trying to save me from getting eaten by a lion or preventing me from enjoyment and a fun form of physical exercise? Is it helping or hurting me? This fear was of no help to me. I was not going to die; I was just going to be uncomfortable. So what? So what happens next? I got comfortable with the uncomfortable. This is how I overcome fear.
This is how you can overcome fear, too.
This inner growth, expansion of the soul, is how one becomes a better, stronger version of you. You look at fear, spit in its face, and keep on swinging that racquet, because God damn it, you were born to play this game.
Never allow a negative emotion steal the fire of positivity that burns within you.
Ask yourself: What am I afraid of? What am I avoiding? Is it dangerous? or just scary? If it is just scary, find a way to do it. Take action, overcome.
Then come and thank me with a brand, new can of tennis balls.