I’m back on the court. The smell of the acrylic paint and sealed synthetic is fresh. The lines are all freshly drawn, and the net is wound up to the top.
I dust off my Babolat racket from my bag and await the first ball. I’m excited and feeling confident. Coach Eastwood is on the other side of the net, ready to feed.
"Shall we start with an easy warm up from the service line?", he asks.
I reply back, "Nah, let's just get straight into it from the back".
The first comes to my right. I miss it totally.
The second comes to my left. I shank it behind me.
The third makes me run a little, before I smash it right in the net.
I’m confused and frustrated. Under my breath I murmur, “What’s going on!”
Coach Eastwood is under no illusion. He shouts back across the net, “What do you expect, this isn’t 2008 anymore!”
He’s right. It’s been 12 years since I played. The glory days are long gone.
I walk towards the net and suggest, “shall we start from scratch again?”