SH and I had our first tennis lesson this morning.
We are really, really bad.
The real reason we are taking lessons is because we need a hobby that we enjoy doing together that is not other hobby that we enjoy doing together, which is eating. These are the fried dill pickles at the Memphis restaurant, Southern Crow, owned by my former neighbor.
Fortunately, I am taking the class with The engineer, who will be sure to ask questions like, "At exactly which angle should I tilt my racket? 37 degrees or 38? How much do I bend my knees? When you say, 'Face the fence,' what part of the fence do you mean?" The answers to these questions will help me in my quest to win but I don't have to look like the pain in the neck for asking them.
I am fiercely competitive and Want To Win. I want to Crush the Opposition. I want to make up for years of grade school, junior high and high school sports humiliations where I was routinely the last one picked for any team and justifiably so because I was so bad. Sure, I got second place in the 100-yard butterfly in a high school race once, but it was because there were only two people racing.
So I want to be good at this.
At the same time (and here is the dilemma) I do not want to work at it or follow the teacher's instructions. So what that she plays college tennis and has been coaching for five years? What does she know about holding the racket for a backhand? I am a one-handed backhander, but she claims that I need to hold the racket with both hands.
Even worse, she doesn't serve the ball to exactly where I am, which means I have to run for it if I want to hit it, which now I am thinking is a matter legitimately up for debate: how much running do I really want to do on a hot, humid (yes, we went straight from winter to summer) day?
And the answer is: enough running so we can indulge our other hobby without repercussions.