Monday Musings by Melinda M.
Finally, it was my turn! My turn to travel inter-island with a team! My turn to compete against “big city” teams from Honolulu and Maui.
Last weekend, I traveled to Kapalua, Maui for the USTA 40 and over women’s sectionals and it was a blast!
Initially, I wasn’t supposed to go. Even though I had played and won with these ladies during the season, I had opted not to travel. But a week before they were to leave, one of my teammates got injured and the team needed me to avoid a possible forfeit. So Captain Val donated her miles to me and off I went – even missing my equivalent of a school day like my girls do when they travel!
The nine of us met at the Hilo Airport on Thursday after work and gabbed our way onto Hawaiian Airlines’ last non-stop flight of the day to Maui. We split up into a few cars, headed to the Lahaina Safeway for some provisions, and then to the spacious Kapalua condos. I didn’t yet know these ladies too well, but there’s nothing like sharing beds and a bathroom together to bring you close…quickly!
Early the next day, I had some serious butterflies as we made our way to the gorgeous Kapalua tennis courts together. I hadn’t played singles in awhile and that was to be my first match. And it was at noon. And it was against a very fit-looking woman who couldn’t have been a day over 40 (I am many more days over 40!). Just looking at her made me tired!
I panted my way through to a loss, but she was gracious and talented and the kind of person you just don’t mind losing to, if you have to lose.
A few hours later, I had a doubles match and that was a hoot! My partner and I played a duo of older women for 2 hours. What women like that sometimes lack in speed they more than make up for in tennis intelligence – they know where I’m going to hit the ball before I do! We eked out a win and definitely became better tennis players as a result.
Day two brought another singles match (less butterflies, same loss) and then I was off to see family! I never cease to be amazed at how effortless they make it seem to feed and host our brood, which at 15 that day was missing a few! As usual, they put out an amazing array of food including a baked wasabi-shoyu-furikake salmon and grilled butterfish.
On the morning of checkout, I had another doubles match. While my partner and I did not emerge victorious, our Double Whammy team as a whole did well, coming in 3rd out of 5. We were happy with that result and happier still to have become better friends and teammates through it all. I am so lucky to be living Hilo style with these ladies!
You are a ROCK STAR! I am so proud of you and all of these ladies for making time to do something life-giving for yourselves and each other! How fun! It is really so brave to practice a sport and then, basically, PERFORM it for an audience! And especially for ladies of a certain age. : ) Just running in front of others can make me self conscious! Running in a skirt while trying to hit a ball in a specific direction is like a super power, as far as I am concerned! Well done! I will be calling you Sarina from now on. : )
Fantastic Melinda! So impressed with you! I hope our “interruption” last week didn’t cost you precious practice time!