Hello world. I’ve just had an awakening. It was months from inception to fruition. Why so long and what is this momentous occurrence? I suppose the lengthy time span involved is due, in large part, to the delayed triggering of whichever portion of this lethargic male brain responsible for getting me motivated and moving. Couple that with the fact that when it comes to processing new information in this age of social networking, I generally lag well behind. So it’s not really surprising that I would just be arriving at this point in time. Listen, Facebook had been functional forever before I got around to opening an account. And I won’t even go into what I thought “tweeting” was. I’ll just leave it at, I figured it had to involve a bird.
In this, the information age, which appears to me to be moving at warp speed, I don’t think anyone would accuse me of being the ripest apple on the tree, plumpest grape in the bunch, or whatever fruit analogy you may individually deem most applicable. So, when one of my students, Simge Alpaslan, during a routine discussion about tennis, said to me, “Martin, you ought to write a blog,” my response was, “huh?” “You know, a blog” she continued with shiny excited eyes. Smilingly, she looked at me as though I understood. So I smiled back and said, “uh huh…right.” Not exactly a scholarly reply but it was the most I could come up with at that moment.
Simge went on to explain that I was, for all practical purposes, constantly blogging to my flock of students whenever I sent out a mass emailing regarding the most recent results of my tournament, or just a random bit of information I felt pertinent to the journey along our shared tennis path. “uh huh, okay Simge, thanks.” To be honest, I thought Simge might have been a bit dehydrated considering the fact that we had just finished a rather grueling lesson on a very warm day. The brain can make you say funny things when it needs water. I could have sworn I was just emailing stuff. But, apparently, unwittingly, according to her, I had been blogging all the time. Imagine that!
So Simge’s suggestion that I consider writing a blog was the equivalent of her saying to me, “Time to wake up Martin.” But it takes a lot more than that for me.
Less than a month later, I had an almost identical experience with Noel Johnston, another of my students. I’d classify Noel as more of a graduate student of Martin’s “Your Ad” Academy since he had gotten to the point that he was routinely running me ragged whenever we played 10 pointers. He had become more of a sparring partner than student, though always still open and receptive to suggestion.
Anyway, we were taking a break from an intense hitting session at the Washington University courts, sitting in the shade under a tree, discussing some philosophical tennis matters, when out of nowhere Noel said, “you ought to be blogging.” Hmmmm,” I thought, “now I’ve heard that before, and from another young 30ish person.” I monitored him for dehydration but he appeared lucid, so I said, “Tell me more.” He basically said pretty much the same thing that Simge had, however, he expounded a bit more about how to go about getting started. I filed his advice away. Still, I made a mental note to send out a mass emailing about the warning signs of dehydration. We went back to our 10 pointer session which, if I remember correctly, I won that day. I do, however, have selective memory so…
If Simge had simply said, “Martin, wake up,” Noel had taken me by the shoulders and given me a good shaking. Though I didn’t completely get it, I was far less groggy. So, in order to fully awaken me, a third student, Sarah Heffernan, threw the ice water in my face. She explained concisely what a blog is, what bloggers do and some of the possible benefits of blogging. She even gave me homework which consisted of sitting down and reading some blogs, about any subject.
So you see, it didn’t take much. Only about eight months and three young accomplished individuals prodding my still fairly receptive, while admittedly phlegmatic brain, to get around to initiating this blog. There, I said it, blog. I’ve just blogged. And you know what? It feels good. I feel okay. I even feel some brain expansion. Well maybe one or two previously unused cells have been coaxed into action. But that’s something, and something is always better than nothing.
I hope that you will feel inclined to visit my blog again. I’ll be sharing my opinions, insights, philosophies, and prognostications (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence) about tennis. And please, if you are aware of something I’m already doing catatonically that I need to wake up and start doing in cognizant fashion, feel free to let me know. Apparently, I don’t always know what I’m doing even when I’m doing it.
At best, this blogging thing will provide an excellent forum for me to connect with many others who love the game of tennis. At worst, If nothing else, my attempts may provide a bit of comic relief for you.
So long for now. Gotta go hit some balls.