Running is not my favorite sport. Running is my passion and my salvation and my bliss. But it's no tennis.
This morning I took to the treadmill for a progression run. The mill at this gym turned out to be in desperate need of recalibration, though for a while I wondered if maybe someone spiked my Special K* with amphetamines. While I happily deluded myself into believing I was actually running a cakewalkish 9.4 mph, I watched some Wimbledon.
I grew up "playing" tennis, which I put in quotes because I spent more time huffing and moping on the court of my beloved sport than actually playing it. I had some occasional down-the-line winners and a pretty reliable two-handed backhand, but the pressure of the duel, the one-on-one fight to the death, took me down. Tennis matches were like teen girl rivalries with a net: callous assassins in short skirts.
It really is too bad that I didn't have the chops for competitive tennis because I do love watching the professionals and what amounts to supermodels expending themselves. There's something very satisfying about watching pretty people work themselves to exhaustion.
I love everything about tennis. The crisp sound of the ball when hit. The superstitious tics before a serve. The opportunity to sit down frequently during competition. The relative unimportance of the time. The elitism. Nadal's biceps.
You boys can post all the pics of Kournikova that you want. Behold the exquisite Adonis from Majorca:
Do you really need another argument for tennis than this?
Where was I?
Oh yes, tennis. Liking the tennis.
I haven't played tennis in quite a while. I don't even know that I feel the urge to play now. I'm happy to watch the pretty people battle it out on TV while I eat strawberries and cream and drink a Pimm's on the couch. I just wish that running could take a cue from tennis and maybe I could stop the clock to sit down every once in a while during a race. That, and acceptable grunting. I want to be able to grunt more often without people staring. Then running might be as perfect as tennis.
*My breakfast almost every day of the week because it makes me feel, well, special.