Get up before 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning? Are you kidding?
I was barely awake. Had glanced at the alarm clock. Hit the snooze, twice. Oh do it, just do it. You know you want to.
I dragged myself out of bed and headed for the coffeemaker. Pressed the buttons on the remote. Settled in front of the television, to watch history. Hero history. Tennis near-history. The Finals of the French Open, and Roger Federer.
The white caps are a nice touch – they say “RF” and I always thought that meant République Française. Then I realized, of course, the tastefully monogrammed reference to Roger Federer. I smiled at that, how subtly it had been executed. Even that, très classe.
REALIZATION: Many good things are over too quickly. But they are no less good, and sometimes more intense.
It was over in three sets. The tie-break – and so many astonishing forehands and down-the-line backhands were, indeed, a lesson in tennis. Like so many others who admire this game for its elegance, its power, its finesse, its mental agility, its sheer stamina (for those who remember a Labor Day weekend many years ago and a determined Jimmy Connors) – I wanted Federer to win. To have this goal that had eluded him. The last of the grand slams, the tie with Sampras.
Because he is a winner? Not necessarily. Because he wins as he loses and as he plays – a gentleman, with class, with such respect.
My other heroes?
All those who set goals and persist. Those who train, study, endure, hang on to dreams – whether they achieve them or not – and retain the character traits of a true winner – enjoyment, taking care of business whatever the outcome, pleasure in the process and the achievement, respect for the competition.
Lessons? Yes – and in so much more than tennis.
Crazy to get up before 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning? No. Nothing crazy about that, not today.