Day 25 #SOL17 Year 1
A red brick wall of a shirt factory is an important wall in my life. I can picture it so clearly. A two-story building on a side street with a step that leads to doorway on the left side that is an entrance/exit for employees. It was just a door, but one I tried to avoid.
On the second floor are two windows of which especially needed to be aware of. Don’t want to hit them to call attention to myself or worse, break them. Then I would be in big trouble by the people inside the factory or worse, my mother.
This wall is where love developed. My eldest sister gave me her tennis racquet and showed me how to hit against the wall. I fell instantly for the sport. At just 7 years old, tennis became my sport. I practiced so much against that backboard. I couldn’t wait for the cars to move so I could quickly run out to claim my space. I practiced hoping and waiting to take lessons as soon as I was old enough—8 years old.
My birthday came, tragedy struck with the death of that sister, and tennis lessons followed that summer. My other sisters and I would go out to the high school courts every day for lessons with the famed local tennis coach. It fell into the sport. The contact came naturally and I loved nailing that ball. It was the sport I was meant to play. Every chance I could get I practiced, practiced, practiced against that wall.
The summer session of tennis lessons always concluded with a tennis tournament. The weather during that first tournament did not cooperate. You would think summer always meant sunny, hot weather, but no. It must have been a northeaster that brought those cold, damp days. Those cold, damp days which I will never forget.
My first tennis tournament and the weather called for jeans and a sweatshirt. I was on the far back court at the high school, not really sure what I was doing other than smacking forehand winners. A college instructor kept score for us and I ended up winning my first tournament, my first tennis trophy. The thrill still calls tears to my eyes. That tournament led to many other trophies from that local tennis program, but not in jeans.
That program was a life saver for me. That wall provided many, many years of practice and a very few broken windows. But all in all, tennis took me away from the saddest time in our family to a shelf of trophies which I still prize today.