All this tennis and grunting reminds me of my own lack of tennis prowess. I can't begin to tell you how unathletic I am. I couldn't even manage to manouever myself out of the womb, they had to do a C-section. From there I became a clumsy little child, then blossoming forth into a uncoordinated teen devoid of all sporting ability whatsoever. My mother railroaded me into netball and hockey but I didn't know the rules, and I tripped over a lot. I couldn't run, jump, skip, tackle, anything. PE classes were my greatest nightmare. My report cards said, Shauna tries hard but is ultimately hopeless.
Wednesday Sports was another nightmare of mine. Spending a sweltering February afternoon on a tennis court was my idea of purest hell. To make it worse, I somehow had acquired very sporty friends who were blessed with coordination and knowledge of the game. I begged them to let me play on one of the back courts, so there would be fewer witnesses to my pathetic skills.
I watched serve after serve whoosh over my head, slowing down the game for everyone else, sulking on the sidelines as the rules were explained to me for the seventeenth time. I wished they would just give up on me. My temper was rising, the 15+ sizzled on my skin. I glared at my friend as she served to me. I swung back wildly and let fly with a wild gutteral URRRRRRRRRRRRRNNNNNGGGGGGGH! to rival Monica Seles.
Racquet connected with ball with an almighty thwack. I'd finally hit it!
We all stood in disbelief as the ball sailed over our court, over the fence, over the front courts, over the front fence, over the gardens, out onto the highway where it slammed into the front of a semi-trailer with a pleasant little bong! sound, hurtled through the air halfway along the bridge, dropped off the side and finally plopped down into the murky Lachlan River.
"Shauna! Go and fetch that ball!" yelled the teacher.
My friends were piles of giggles on the scorching court. I rubbed my aching arm and felt quietly pleased with myself. I didn't hit another ball all day.