|Mike Stern incognito?|
I am a non-drinker with a tennis problem.
And I can't find a tennis anonymous program anywhere.
I played tennis every day in October.
And i haven't missed a day this month either.
But it is worse than that.
Yesterday i played 4 sets of doubles in the morning.
And then played a 2 hour singles match that evening for my 4.0 team.
I am trying to find something less addictive than tennis.
You know. Maybe showing up on a breaking bad episode injecting blue ice while foot faulting.
I can do without golf.
In fact, every time I play I am certain I will never try the game again.
But tennis is different.
And Florida doesn't help.
The weather is just too good.
And the players are plentiful.
I have over 70 people on my tennis list that I play with regularly.
I am currently captain of 4 different teams and play on two others.
This is not normal.
I restring racquets as often as the kardasians change sex partners.
I buy tennis balls by the case. And I have gone beyond using to dealing.
It's hard to be inconspicuous when you arrive at the racquet club with 3 cases of penn clay court tennis balls cradled in your arms.
What's next? A tennis video on the internet with Paris Hilton? or Roger Federer?
I know I should stop. At least limit myself to once a day.
But my refusal skills are not very good.
Just when I am ready to go home to my wife and dog I hear a whispered, "Hey, sailor, got your racquet?" And I'm off for a few more hours on the court.
I have no sense of shame.
I prowl the courts looking for a game. Swearing it will be my last. But knowing that I will be back for more.
After all, I can resist anything except temptation.
How many times must I tell myself "just one more set" before my friends do an intervention.
Someone suggested a 12 step program. I thought it was a video on footwork patterns to improve your backhand.
I can't do this alone. My friends need to help make tennis less fun.
So when you are my partner, double fault at least twice a game.
Tell me my drop shots are stupid. Ridicule me when i hit a lob. Fail to show up on days we have matches planned.
Or you can indulge my habit. Make a charitable contribution to get me a new racquet. Who says eight is enough?
So if you come visit, you know where to find me. Lying in a gutter outside the Fort Myers Racquet Club waiting for them to open. With a tennis elbow bandage on my arm, and a case of tennis balls for a pillow. Better bring your racquet.
I came home late the other day and told Joy I had met another woman and had gone to a hotel room for a liaison. She immediately replied, "don't lie to me--i know you were playing tennis."
At this point, only a hurricane can slow me down. And i might be out on the courts with a snorkel mask and fins trying to fit in one more 10 point tie-breaker.
One more forehand and I can break even!
Somehow just say no is not a solution. Abstinence from tennis is less likely than my embracing Ahmadinejad at a bar mitzvah.
And i can do this in moderation. As long as you consider 6 hours a day moderate.
So hope for rain or breaking a string in each of my racquets on the same day.
Or that i develop will power. Hah!
I hope that's a rain cloud building up over the Gulf.
|The real Mike Stern|