The alarm sounds. It’s 4am, and the birds aren’t even awake. After two taps of the snooze button, Big Papi, the hungry beagle who senses any opportunity for a meal, doesn’t even trot on up beside the bed. If I was in any state to think, I’d be thinking, it’s way too early to interrupt the dream I’m in the middle of, especially if Papi hasn’t unfurled himself from his sleep-ball. I get up anyway, dodge a cat waiting for a pat, and turn on the bathroom light to stun myself into stillness like a deer in the headlights.
It’s 7-7 in the first game. I don’t know how I get it back to 7-7, the ball is bouncing like we’re in the middle of the desert, so there’s no surprises there. We’ve had one day like this in Massachusetts this year that hit 90 Farenheit, and I didn’t even play that day. Come to think of it, I didn’t play the day before that either, or the day after. I’m no longer a full-time professional squash player, I’m part-time, and in the part of time where I’m supposed to be a professional squash player, I’m visualizing the game. I can count on two hands how many matches I’ve played this year, and still have fingers to spare. But, none of this is going through my mind when it’s 7-7 in the first game, because I’m so focused on enjoying the match, and maybe just too busy actually doing so. I lose a point, and remind myself that losing a point isn’t the end of the world. It’s not like I’ve lost a limb. I’ve lost a point. I quickly forget the lost point and focus on the serve return at 7-8. Read the rest of this entry »