A painful lesson in staying calm

October 4, 2012
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A Painful Lesson in Staying Calm

Oh my god I was furious! Cursing up a storm. Stupid ball! Where did it think it was going? Whoever thought I would like tennis? They obviously didn’t know me to think I could ever do it!” I quickly stormed away from the court, enraged that my ball was completely out of control, as it went in the net or out all the time. “Just go in!” As I smashed my racquet. I sounded like a pathetic child yelling at her mother because she had not gotten her way.
When my little sister got up to try there was nothing she could do accept for watch in dismay as the ball flew uncontrollably. As I turned around to begin the journey towards my hopeless shot, disregarding the obvious mistake I was making, it hit me. The pressure from the sudden unexpected impact through my entire body quickly and painfully. Starting from my chest the pain shot, through my arm, down through my legs, then back up to my other arm, and finally to my head. The pain was strong.
In that split second I saw the world a little differently. I felt as though I had been shot. My mind paused and took a photograph of the view in front of me. The sun was blinding my eyes as I looked down the court. There was no wind blowing and everything felt motionless. I saw the bright green leaves of the trees that were surrounding me. The trees towered over me and made me feel tiny. Along with the beautiful scenery, I smelled the sweet, fresh scent of the air and the nearby hot dog stand. The relaxing scents made me want to just stay there and enjoy it.
As lovely as they seemed they were quickly forgotten as I felt the pain overtake my senses. It came roaring back to the place where it originated —my chest. Tiny pins were poking rapidly and deeply as the blood raced to the place where the ball had hit. As I looked down I could see the big red welt turning black. It felt as though I had frostbite. I had no control over my body. I landed on the gravel court gasping for air. I did not take much notice of my racket, which I had landed on and was now jabbing into my side. My sister was amused and laughed until she realized that my injury was more serious. She was running towards me full speed with striking fear in her eyes at what she had done.

Two seconds later, when I was more aware, I realized what happened. My sister had driven her tennis ball directly into my chest. She had no idea what to do. But what she failed to realize was it was my own stupidity, temper, and inconsiderate self who caused it. I was the one who through the temper tantrum and monopolize the court from her. If I had gone out on the court to have a good time, then I would probably have still been enjoying the relaxing sport and the company of my sister. I should not of gotten so wound up about the unimportant game, I would not have had a huge bruise on my chest. I was beside myself for being so immature and senseless.
The anger was still showing when my sister got to me. She was terrified and concerned for my wellbeing. “It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault,” she said. I screamed at her to shut up and that it wasn’t her fault. That was the end of that. She did not argue with me because my point was clear. I had made a foolish choice due to my attitude, temper, and embarrassing immature actions.
There were good reasons for me to realize an important lesson after that incident. I saw how silly I looked. When I thought about it, I knew it would be a funny moment to describe in the future because it was a consequence I should have thought about before it happened. I took a rash risk knowing well it could lead to serious consequences. I could have been injured even worse. I needed to scold myself and take away from this incident an important lesson.
The lesson I learned was to always stay clam and think about your actionss. As Paul Runyan (2004) said, “Don’t let the bad shots get to you. Don’t let yourself become angry. The true scramblers are thick-skinned. And will always win.” There are much larger issues to make a huge deal about than a game of tennis. Issues such as world hunger and peace should be given the type of reaction I had with this incident. I have also kept on working on my game and I am now 95% better and almost always calm.





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