Getting Over It

Getting Over It

July 19, 2019

I knew I shouldn’t still be sitting there.

The match was over. Everyone in the stands had left. I looked like an idiot.

But I couldn’t move.

My student had come so close. Not long ago she was a young kid playing #2 singles on her high school team.

Now, here she was, playing in the Final Four as one of the best players in the state.

And she almost won.

She played well but made a few mistakes when it was time not to make mistakes. A close loss instead of a possible state championship.

Nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing to hang your head about. And she didn’t.

She took it hard but in stride. She had another match to play to try to get 3rd place (she did). She moved on.

But I didn’t.

I was devastated.

I was devastated for her because she had come so far and could’ve gone farther. I was devastated for me because I wanted my students to always win everything.

So I just sat there. Unable to move.

Eventually she came up to console me. Console me! Eventually I made it off the bleachers.

But I felt like damaged goods for a long time.

Is there a way to get over it?

Last weekend, a sporting event turned me into a zombie.

Federer, playing poorly (for him) against a bitter rival, was serving in the 5th set up two match points.

We were already celebrating. Our boy was going to pull this one out!

He didn’t pull it out.

A forehand floated wide and the approach was a scared one. The match points were gone and so were his chances.

It felt sad. And empty.

The good stranger we root for lost to the bad stranger we root against. It felt awful.

Is there a way to get over it?

How do we turn depressed into functional?

In the first case, the answer was hard work. My student and I got back on the court and fixed everything that needed to be fixed. We took more lessons, traveled to more tournaments, and competed until the pain was no longer there.

Taking action took away the pain.

In the second case, I stopped watching TV for several days.

Do you know how refreshing it is to not read or watch any news? Do you know how freeing it is not to watch replays of sadness or hear anyone else’s opinion?

It’s glorious.

By not re-opening a wound, by uninterruptedly going dark on the bad memory, the angst just faded away.

The next day was free to be a good day. A perfectly functional day.

Losses will come and heroes will fall.

But we can suffer those setbacks and still be immediately ready for the next day.

All we have to do is focus deeply on hard work, take a firm break from the sadness, or both.

Or throw our TV off the balcony.


My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.