Wimbledon - the very word just oozes tradition. Immediately perfectly manicured green grass courts with the Rolex clock, athletes in all white uniforms and The Royals in their box come to mind. I see in my mind the grounds of the All England Club, a place I've definitely never been in person before but have been to countless times through my television screen. It' one of my favorite times in summer leading up to my most favorite summer day - 4th of July.
I see the athletes walk through the tunnel with their big racket bags, all white apparel, sweatbands or visors and steely eyes. I wish I was one of them. Their ability to direct that bright yellow ball wherever they want stroke after stroke intrigues me. I see them battle each other but even more so, I see them battle themselves. They battle to stay the course in the midst of the electrifying crowd, the media, nerves and the opponent trying to enforce their own will upon them. All of their countless hours of training is for now, this moment. They put themselves on display for glory or criticism - most of the time both!
Such brilliant displays of grace, power, courage and brains. The ability to adjust to weather conditions, physical conditions and your opponent is a must. There's no one else to take the shots for you. You can't pass the ball to your teammate and there is no one to block for you. Winning and losing is totally on your shoulders. The ability to persevere is critical and the best have a dogged determinism that can't be equaled. And just like in any sport, any person can win on any given day so you must bring your best.
What's interesting though is that I did not grow up playing tennis or even watching it. I remembered hearing when I was little that my dad used to play and that he was very good but at that time in our little town of 2400, tennis was nowhere to be found. The only 2 courts we had were by the golf course, cracked and full of weeds. When I did get into Junior High the only sports we had were cross country, basketball and track. I loved all three.
I can't help but dream and imagine though about what it would've been like to compete in tennis. As funny as it is, I have literally dreamed of winning a big match on center court. It's definitely not in the Lord's plan for me to ever play on center court at Wimbledon but I do plan on going to watch a match there one day!
My favorite player, Roger Federer, will be playing in the semi final tomorrow (on my favorite day!) for an opportunity to reach the final. I'll be cheering him on from here! I want him to show everyone that even though he hasn't had the results lately that he's had a certain points in his career, he is still one of the all time greats and capable of winning more Grand Slams.
Why do I love Wimbledon so much? Wimbledon represents a dream to me. The dream to be great at what you do, no matter that is. It is the underdog pulling an upset and the champion executing the plan. What is your Wimbledon? What inspires you and shows you what hard work and greatness look like?