Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WTF Wednesday - Respecting elders, especially if they are Asian.

I was humbled yesterday on the tennis court by an old Asian man that could barely move. Eventhough I was in a Vietnamese neighborhood, I think the guy I played with was Korean because he was intense and very fiesty and we al know Koreans are that way.

I showed up to the park by myself looking to find a partner to play with. I see an old, Asian guy with a basket and tons of tennis balls. It looked like he was going to practice his serves.

"Can I practice returning your serve?", I ask.

I take that grunt as a sign that he wants to play. We warm up and we hit to each other. He is not very fast but he hit the ball accurately. I thought he had arthritis or perhaps maybe even a replaced hip. I was to learn not to jump to conclusion grasshopper. Whenever I made a shot that was away from him, he simply refused to run after it as if to say, I'm not going to run after the ball because you aren't accurate. The mind games have started.

We both work up a good sweat and then he tells me, "Single". I speak Asian so I knew that he meant that he wanted to play a single set. Meaning the person who gets 6 points wins the set and therfore the match. I said o.k. I let him serve first because he was old.

His serve was not fast but it was always in. I return the ball short and with a quick stroke he puts the ball away at a wicked angle. I thought, "lucky shot". He serves again and I return the ball and he zips past me. It was now 30-Love. Doubt was creeping in. I thought, "Am I really going to lose to Mr. Miyagi?" He won the first set. Score 1-0. On My serve I evened the score 1-1. On his serve he just got stronger. His shots were pinpoint accurate and he had me running all over. Score 2-1More of the same 3-1. I even resorted to doing drop shots figuring that his old legs would not get to the bal on time. Boy was I wrong. He got there and put the ball away with piercing shots.

By this point, I'm huffing and puffing and my goal is no longer to win but to put up points. I had so many shots that hit the tape and each time I would yell, "Come On".
I make the score 4-2 and I had a real chance to make the match competitive but he kept making every shot. On several occasions, I made what I thought was a winning shot down the line and I was so confident that he wouldn't get the ball that I stopped moving after making the shot. And Holy crap he would not only get to the ball but he would zip the ball back fast and low and each time I looked more and more desperate. Some points were very close but the bottom line is I lost 6-3.

I thanked him and apologized for not making it a better match. He grunted. I got in my car lookng for the reasons why I lost. I decided that it may have been because I wore my old shoes. Yeah that's it! Plus I hadn't played in a while. That's it too!. Oh yeah I have also been under alot of stress. And you know how hard it is to focus when your mind is distracted right? In the end I had to give that old man props. He kicked my ass. Back to the drawing board. Was it wax in or was it wax out?


  1. AKA: How Israel Got Hustled By A Senior. :)

  2. Totally. It was humbling and mind boggling. The laws of physics were warped yesterday.

  3. Great story, Israel. I can't help it, the old guy cracks me up.

  4. hahaaaaa, seems like you need to learn some chop chop!!! you shoulda bowed after the game. LOL!

  5. You can't beat Mr. Miyagi! That's what you get for trying to one up on a senior citizen! I blame the economy! ;)

  6. I know a 50-year-old racquetball player and he one time told me his age was to his advantage. He could get things done better without racing around like a frantic idiot. He watched the young ones run circles while he killed them with his well placed hits. haha

  7. Cool story. I've been dying to play Tennis for quite some time.

  8. Don't underestimate old Asian people, they're really feisty! At least you tried!