I am a very competitive person. When I was little I would cheat in monopoly so my sister couldn’t beat me. I would destroy the pop-o-matic center of my game of trouble if my mom beat me. Of course I would also sulk for hours if my team lost in any sport I was playing. Hell I even hated losing in gym class.
So this semester when I had to take a PE class for college I enrolled in Tennis. It fit into my schedule and it was something that I hadn’t really played before. I figured I would go run around and have a peaceful life. Everything went as planned. That was until the coach announced a semester’s end tennis tournament with the winning team in each gender getting an automatic A in the class. Once I got wind of that I knew I wanted to win.
The problem with the tennis tournament is that your partner was selected based on a random draw, so you didn’t know whom you were going to get. I knew that I was one of the top 4 male players in the class. I was just hoping to get someone that was middle of the road. Of course when they drew for partners I got stuck with:
Except he was the Mexican version of him and less coordinated.
There was a false glimmer of hope when we split our first two games in our opening set. I thought maybe we could do this, that he wasn’t that bad. Then it happened… It was in between serves I was waiting for the other team to get ready to hit and I looked at my partner to see him spinning around and pretending to hit tennis balls. I shit you not. If he were a little leaguer he would have been picking up dandelions in the field while the game was going on. That was the exact moment that I knew we were screwed.
It only got worse from there. There was one shot where the other team approached the net and I hit a lob shot over their head. I yelled at the ball to stay in as I do whenever my balls are in action. Yes I talk to my balls. The shot landed in and everything worked out. But now throughout the rest of the match pretty much every time he hit a shot he would say, “stay in” even though he hit the ball two courts over. I wish I could say he was doing it to mock me and was just being a prick but that wasn’t the case he was trying and he really thought he should say it on every shot. Maybe he was asking god to guide him.
As the tournament went on I was resigned to the fact that there was no way in hell we were going to win this thing. I didn’t want to go out without winning a match. So I talked to my partner and said we should make sure that we call who is hitting what and communicate more. He said he agreed and was skittish to go for balls because he didn’t want to take my shot. (that sounded so gay) So with a little bit of strategy and communication in place we pressed on. Our amazing teamwork lasted about one game. When a ball was hit about a step to my partner’s right he yelled, “you get that”… I was clear across the court at this time. The only way I would be able to get to that ball was if the powers of time and space temporarily were under my control. I reminded him that he was a step away from the ball while I was over ten feet away. At this point he got psyched up and said, “I’m on it we aren’t going to lose.”
In the next game he was running and was making an effort. It was heart warming. I felt a bond as teammates and was sure that we could make a run in the losers bracket. That was until the single most uncoordinated thing ever happened. My partner had to take four steps to his right and return a shot. I never thought in a million years that he would make it to that ball. With his arm outstretched he returned the shot. It was an amazing athletic feat. Well it was until he followed through with the racket, which ended up hitting him in the leg and tripping him causing him to do a face plant into the pavement.
We ended up losing that match and playing in the last place game. Thank god we had to against these guys:
Otherwise we wouldn’t have won a match all day.