Ballmouth

No, that’s not a name of a quaint little town in the south of England.

That was me this morning in my tennis class.

Yes, folks. After nearly 20 years of playing tennis–well, I haven’t played regularly for the past 13 but who’s really counting–this was the first time I got hit the face by a tennis ball.

Right on my nose and upper lip, y’all.

I had Angelina Jolie upper lip all morning. Brandon said it wasn’t bad, but I could feel my fat lip. It has finally gone down to a level I’m comfortable with.

So, today’s class was about serving and playing double. To get everyone into the right double position, we had a drill. The assistant coach was on the other side, hitting the ball to you to strike at the service line, then you move up and volley at half court, and then smash a high one in front of the net. Another classmate was position up half court as your partner and the assistant coach’s partner. You were supposed to play the ball if it came your way. So far, people haven’t really hit it anywhere or no one ever hit anything back.

So, I hit my first mark, and move up to the second one. I volleyed it across and I could see the assistant coach lopping the high one for me.

The broad across the net decided to slam my volley back. And that ball came straight for my face.

I think I saw stars. And pretty much I was praying that my nose didn’t bleed. But it did. And it didn’t want to stop.

I walked off to sit down. Someone handed me a Kleenex. Coach came over a few minutes later with ice. He said he was sorry I was hit. The last time anyone got hit in the face in his class was 6 years ago. I told him that I’m a record breaker. As a Trojan, you should know we strive for excellence. LOL.

I sat court side for good 15-20 minutes with a nose bleed that didn’t want to stop, accompanied by a 6-year-old boy and very adorable 4-year-old Nicholas who has an endless supply of “Why?”

You should know that the kid with a lot of whys are the smart one. Nicholas turned out to be my knight in shining armor.

I got up the first time, and the nose started to bleed again. I didn’t have any more Kleenex. Ahh…crap. I looked around, and both of the kids asked what I was looking for. I told them my nose was bleeding again and I needed Kleenex or tissue from the bathroom. The 6-year-old just kind of looked at me. But not my little Nicholas.

“I’ll get it!” he said and then I heard a blood curdling scream. “Daddy!!! I need to go to the bathroom! Daddy!!! I need to go to the bathroom!”

His mom, also a tennis student, came to take him. A few minutes later, he returned with a long string of tissue. Mom laughed and said that he ran to the bathroom and started pulling out the paper. She was a little confused as to what he was doing, and he said he needed to get the tissue for the lady with a bleeding nose.

He’s 4, y’all! How cute is THAT!?

Anyhoo. I shared my Gatorade with Nicholas, and eventually returned to the court for the last 30 minutes of class. The coach welcomed me back with “See, everyone? Don’t get hit in the face with a ball because you’ll miss all of the practice. Here, Trojan. Go again.” And he let me serve 4 times. Then we broke up to play one quick match of doubles spread over 4 courts.

Gosh, playing with beginners could be frustrating. Now I know how Joy and Lily think when they played with me in February. Hahah!

Gosh, I SO miss my girls–Joy, Tong, and Lily! We have been playing tennis together since we were kids. Hit and miss. Sometime we were really good and sometimes we suck ass. Around 8th grade, I think it was Joy and Lily who wanted to get the girls together on Friday evening at Polo Club to play tennis. From a group of 6-8, it dwindled down to us four and that was when we became THE party of 4 we are today.

The only incident among us was that Tong and I miscommunicated and we both went for the ball in the middle of the court. She swung at it and hit me in the eyebrow/forehead. That was the first year I came home from the States, and other than Lily, none of us had played the entire year. We were way out of sync.

Lily and Joy have renewed their love for tennis and have been playing regularly now. Tong would occasionally join them. That is a part of what motivate me to go take tennis lessons and find some partners. I need to get back in the game! Not that I’ve ever been good at it. I SUCK at sports. But, it’s one sport I could hold my own quite a bit.

So, there you go. Want Angelina Jolie lips? It’d only cost you $40 if you join a local community college summer tennis class. 😉

1 Comment

  1. Rude Cactus   •  

    I’ve been there and done that. Several times. I’ve also taken a racket to the head on more than one occasion. I just need to stay the hell off the court!

Leave a Reply