December 4, 2006

The Steak That Got Away...

Today was finally the day that my tennis skills and $5 clearance bin racket were put to the test against Peony's tennis skills and superior equipment. Brian was so sure that the racket that cost 25 or 30 times what my racket cost would dominate me that we had a steak dinner on the outcome of this match.

I hadn't played in a few weeks, but I was confident that victory would be mine. I was trying to turn up the power in my shots, but ended up smashing every shot into the back fence during our warm ups. I was apparently too strong for my own good.

We were only going to play one set for the steak, so every point was going to be important. We both kind of sucked it up. Neither of us could hold serve to start and didn't have many extended rallies. None of my 120 mph serves would stay in. All of my overhead kill shots went into the net. I fell behind 5-2. Things were not looking good. I was on the verge of having to buy Peony and Brian a steak dinner.

Then during the next changeover, I sought medical attention from Dr. Pepper. It was just what I needed to turn the tide. Still, none of my 118 mph serves (lost 2 mph) were staying in, so I just worked on keeping the ball in play and depending on Peony to double fault because it looked like she was getting tired. I stormed back to tie the match and then took the lead 6-5. I had to protect my perfect record in Steak Challenges. And I would have if I didn't double fault when it was Adv-P. I am very disappointed in my unclutchness.

Due to time constraints, we were unable to settle the match with a tiebreaker. The steak will have to wait. But it will be mine.

To get into the tennis courts at Lincoln where we played, Brian, P, and O somehow squeezed through an opening between the locked gates that was no more than 8 inches wide. I was feeling very manly, so I decided to climb over another fence to get in. (My fence hopping skills in non-life threatening situations have deteriorated with age.) But to get back out, the 8 inch gap was the most direct way. I was a bit worried because earlier in the day, I had taught a Sunday school lesson where I talked about Aron Ralston, the dude who broke and cut off his right arm when he got caught under a boulder in the mountains. (I'm reading through his book now.) I did not want to get stuck. Somehow, I managed to squeeze my 285 pound body through the narrow opening without losing any body parts.

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