|Rafael Nadal, photo here.|
Without further ado...
Tennis taught me that it feels exponentially better to earn something rather than have it handed to you. I have won matches both ways. There are very few of those giveaway matches that stick in my mind. I have more than a handful of stories to tell about the matches that I had to fight for. The match that my high school coach compared to weaving a noose around my opponents neck, because of its sheer ridiculousness in length. The marathon match of 14 tiebreakers that lead to my first tournament victory and a storm-the-courts situation from my team. The match that I lost while giving my top-seeded opponents a near heart attack and taking them to a tiebreaker. That match was memorable, and not solely because it was the last match of my career but because of the elation and pride that I felt for making them work for their success.
Tennis taught me that hard work does pay off eventually, if not immediately. The wins that come from doing the time, from being a work horse, from slaving away - well, those are the best wins of all. Does this adage ring true for you?