Emily Lund: Mother Fucking Dumbass!

I suppose everyone has some level of mental illness, right?  I mean, not every thought one has in her/his head is always logical, calm, focused, rational and correct.  There’s always something strange that scares us or an odd reason we can’t eat a certain food or feel a weird texture under our feet.  There’s always something we have that isn’t “normal”.

I have a list of these thoughts that could fill the rest of my blog obligations for the remaining days on earth.  However, there is one that has become a bit more pronounced in the last year or so.  One thought that prohibits sleep and makes it hard for me to control my breathing or slow my heart rate.  

Let me start by saying, I believe I have broken 100 tennis racquets in my life. This is not an exaggeration and could very well be a gross underestimation.  The breaking of the tennis racquets is actually not really part of my neurosis; that’s just more a part of my everyday tennis behavior (albeit completely and utterly inappropriate).  However, it goes to show how emotional or enraged I become during a tennis match or even a tennis lesson.  

Once, I nearly hit my tennis coach when I accidentally flung my racquet after not following through on my backhand. Last Sunday, I made a small child cry (a spectator) after I double-faulted on my serve and screamed at such a shrill pitch, I believe it hurt his ears.  Every time I make a mistake of any level, even if I win the point, I scream obscenities at myself and scare people around me.

Now that you have a small understanding of my rage, let’s add in something I like to call my ‘overly critical tennis mind’.  OCTM spends all her time telling me what not to do, how not to mess up, where not to hit the ball and also reminds me that everyone hates playing tennis with me, against me or next to me.  Granted, people have actually requested to not play on the court next to me, so this part is probably true.

I spend a lot of time worrying about how I will disappoint my tennis coach (who has never been present at my games), my father (in another state), my mother (with my father), my husband (hates tennis and would be happy if I never played again), and a lot of other people who do not think about me or my tennis game.  They are still disappointed though, or they would be if they saw that last forehand I just messed up, again.

I’ve resorted to lots of little tricks like singing, chewing gum, counting when the ball bounces and when I hit it, reminding myself I’m not a professional, reminding myself I’ll never be a professional, reminding myself that people don’t really care about my tennis at all, and telling myself to have a calm, focused mind.  You see where this is not going, right?  The act of forcing myself to have a calm, focused mind has resulted in the exact opposite.  OCTM keeps demanding focus and reminding me what will happen if I don’t focus (calmly, of course).

And so it begins.  My heart starts racing and my breathing gets weird.  I think maybe the term is “labored breathing”, but I just know I notice breaths more and air seems less available to my lungs.  OCTM comes in on the PA and says, “STOP IT! YOU ARE TOTALLY GOING TO LOSE THIS MATCH IF YOU DO NOT FOCUS (calmly)!”  And yes, you guessed it, I lose.  Every single time this happens, I lose.

When I lose, OCTM is angry but justified.  She told me I’d lose, and she was right. She’s also angry because if I had just focused (calmly), I would have won.  I guess I’m looking deeply for something I like to call ‘calm focused tennis mind’.  CFTM should be somewhere in there.  She would most likely be sort of sleeping or in a near hypnotic state but she should be there, right?  She is there to remove the doubt, the fear and to just play the game. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been seen for a long time, a really long time. I remember vaguely seeing her during a singles match where I came from behind and beat my arch-nemesis. I think that was 2012.

What I’ve decided is OCTM murdered CFTM about 2 years ago.  She’s seriously dead. I’m pretty sure that one time when I completely missed the winner of all winners, OCTM stabbed CFTM with the splintered broken racquet, directly in the heart.  My question is, should I just quit tennis, thus killing OCTM as well?  Should I see about birthing another CFTM?  Can you birth another CFTM?  I can buy another racquet, but it’s only a matter of time before I hit a backhand volley like a 6-year-old with a broken arm and smash my racquet to the ground.  There’s not CFTM around to stop me.  If I were able to find a scrap of calm focus, would overly critical thinking kill it before it could grow?

So, you see my dilemma?  I’m spending gobs of money on lessons, leagues, racquets, alcohol, and tennis books.  I’ve developed a whole list of people who actually do not like me or playing tennis with me, against me or near me, not because of my forehand but because of the “mother fucking dumbass, Emily” that screams from mouth all match long.  Plus, I’m now having mini panic attacks and losing every match.

Actually, I guess that isn’t much of dilemma.  I didn’t list anything to the contrary of the misery I am currently sitting in.  There isn’t a statement in the above that reads “BUT, I love playing the game so much, and I have so much fun!”  

I guess you’ve helped me just by reading this and forcing me to answer the question, “do you like playing tennis?”  The answer is clear; I hate it.  You know what I do like?  I like sleeping and breathing unconsciously.  I like to not have people yell at me and not tell me to shut up or stop swearing in front of their children.  I like saving money not to spend on the same type of tennis racquet I broke last week or yesterday.  However, I do not like tennis.

I suppose I should probably cancel that Friday tennis lesson or let my friend know I won’t be hitting with her tonight.  I suppose I should return my latest tennis skirt or case of tennis balls.  I suppose I should remove my name from the USTA website. Instead, I just heard OCTM tell me I can win tonight if I just stay calm and focused. Maybe she’s right, maybe I can?  I guess I should probably try, right?  When I win, I know I’ll like tennis again or maybe CFTM is in there and not dead?   

Maybe, just maybe, OCTM will take a long needed vacation from my forehand? It could happen!

Let’s just hope she doesn’t move on to my spin serve.

10612566_10152458513643333_6855848941556456336_n

Actual racquet I recently broke

Advertisements

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s