Tiny little racquet or My private reserve of happiness and passion

3 May

Daily Prompt: The Little Things. Describe a little thing — one of the things you love that define your world but is often overlooked.

Today’s daily prompt is something that resonated with me, as I am one of those persons who believe that live if made out of details and little things.

Perhaps because of this belief I also found it very difficult to pinpoint only one small feature of my life. But I as was starring at the blank word document in front of me, my mind frantically trying to separate one idea from the millions that were passing through it, I noticed that I was involuntarily biting at my necklace, actually the medallion on it.

And then it hit me. My entire life is somehow summed  up in that medallion and it stands for so many of my actions, my experiences, my desires, my frustrations that I couldn’t possibly find something else of that little size but of that enormous importance to me and my daily life.

The little tennis racquet is perhaps not extraordinary in appearance, but it has a story and life on its own and this is what makes it special for me and defining for my existence.
First of all, it’s quite extraordinary that there was another medallion resembling it before. I had always wished for a little reminder of my game and in the 9th form, while in an exchange program abroad, in the United States, I somehow expressed this wish of mine. My lovely host picked it up, and at the end of my stay gave it to me as a departure gift. I was so moved and so exhilarated. I put it on a silver necklace and never took it off.  The first time I did however take it off (I was at the seaside and worried that the salty water would ruin it) I lost it. Oh, the desperation. I felt as if I had lost a part of me and immediately began searching for a replacement.
And so I found this another racquet. It was very different than the initial one, and it wasn’t even supposed to be a medallion (I took it off a key-holder), but I felt an immediate connection to it.

So from this short tale, I learned two lessons on my own: that sometimes you can find extraordinary things of great personal value in ordinary objects and that sometimes the second option is the better one.

This small racquet now reminds me of that first exchange program, of my lovely host and of how you can meet amazing people and establish friendships if you are willing to try, to put yourself out there and to be open.

More than just that, this second medallion came to symbolise to me the pure passion for my sport, the pure joy I initially experienced while playing the game. In moments of great tension or frustration, on and off court, I only need to feel the fragile, tiny racquet and be reminded of that feeling. I calm myself and tell myself that once I am no longer experiencing the same feeling then the sport has changed to me and I longer want to play it that way. During match breaks, once every two games, I find myself biting the little thing and it’s almost as if I feel it transferring energy to me. I know it’s a mental thing, but I like to picture it that way. I like to think of that medallion as my personal reserve of energy, of joy, of happiness that no one but me has access to.

This has especially come in handy when I had to give up the sport and once I started playing again. It reminded me that the game was the same, irrespective of what level I was at, at the moment. Playing while thinking of the end of my career was counterproductive as was playing only thinking of how poorly I was playing compared to when I used to call myself a professional. It was only the little bounces of the necklace that I felt at every step or jump that allowed me to focus simply on the game.

Holding that medallion on court makes the pressure succumb or sometimes even disappear.
Holding that medallion off court brings out that energy and passion and allows me to use it while doing all those things I wouldn’t necessarily want to but have to.

During fights with my parents or sister, while receiving bad news or good news, when my feelings get intense and I can no longer think straight, when I am nervous or anxious before a test or speech, that racquet brings me back to my senses. It reminds me of what is truly important to me, of how I am able to overcome any strong feeling as I do in my game and transfers me to that place where I am happy: on the court. Nothing can touch me while I am there and this serves as my invisible protection. The unnoticed gesture of cupping the small, silver racquet with my hand and playing or holding it gives me infinite strength and patience, understanding and hope.
Needless to say, this necklace never comes off. I can’t think of a moment when all that it does for me and symbolises will no longer be relevant or needed in order for me to take it off. Perhaps that moment will never come. And why should it? Worst-case scenario is that I will always have a stylish necklace and an introductory subject since everybody seems to notice it when being introduced to me.

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6 Responses to “Tiny little racquet or My private reserve of happiness and passion”

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