Was on the road this morning and had a chance to watch Wimbledon. What a joy it is to hear Chris Evert's commentary. She flat out KNOWS what she’s talking about. So, when she said Serena Williams' last set in this morning’s match was the most DOMINANT set of women’s tennis she’s ever seen, that’s saying something.
Side note: (One of the most surprising – and welcome - compliments I’ve EVER received was back on HiltonHead Island, SC when I was co-managing Grand Slam champion Rod Laver’s tennis facility at Palmetto Dunes. I was a 4.5 tennis player, worked out with the boys’ team at high school, played for my college, etc.
Back then, I was tan, had long hair I wore in a pony tail much like Chrissie’s, and was uber-fit from playing every day. I was on a side court hitting with a friend at Sea Pines Resort during a break in the early-round Family Circle Cup matches. A small crowd had gathered watching my friend and I play. A pro shop staffer walked by, saw what was happening and beckoned me over. He said with a big grin, “Sam, they think you’re Chrissie.”
Now, I know they must not have known their tennis very well to make that comparison; but STILL, it put a huge smile on my face to even think someone would mistake me and my game for hers.)
Back to Chrissie and her commentary on Serena’s match.
Chrissie said, “Serena’s in the zone. Everything’s coming together for her, physically, mentally, emotionally. When you’re in that zone, everything you touch turns to gold.”
Then she laughed and said, “LIFE IS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN YOU GET YOUR FIRST SERVES IN.”
Wow. That simple statement, made in Chrissie’s zone, masterfully articulated what it’s like to be in that transcendent peak performance state where your game soars to another level and you feel you can do no wrong. You’re not even thinking about what you’re doing, you’re just simply, sublimely, DOING it.
Her observation about “getting our first serves in” contains rich metaphorical insight.
Mary’s premise is that we all have basic actions in our life that are crucial to our well-being. These “basics” – eating right, exercising, writing in our journal, doing daily spiritual practice, staying connected to loved ones – are the foundation to a life that feels “right.”
If life is feeling “wrong” - or we’re feeling “bad” - it’s often because we’re not doing our basics. And most of the time, this is totally within our control to change.
All we have to do to FEEL BETTER is to bring our basics – our first serves - back into our daily life. It’s as straightforward as that.
When we’re doing the things that make us like ourselves and our life – we feel better.
When we're doing things that make us NOT like ourselves and our life – we feel bad.
This may sound simplistic, however as Einstein said repeatedly, the most brilliant things are.
This is a particularly timely reminder for me as I have recently reverted to NOT getting my first serves in.
I have been driving a LOT and sitting - and we all know sitting is our generation’s version of smoking in terms of how bad it is for our health.
I have not been eating healthy. I have given in to intriguing restaurant menu temptations way too often.
Shucks, I haven’t even been writing in my journal every morning. I’ve been writing, all right, but on blogs and my new book, not in my journal.
As a result, even though I feel JOY every single day as I experience new places and people as part of my Year by the Water; there’s been an underlying, (hhmm, look at that term) low-grade “bad feeling."
Instead of being in the zone and feeling I can “do no wrong,” I’ve been indulging in “wrong things” It doesn’t feel good ... and it’s so easy to change.
Long-time friend (and former President of National Speakers Association) Glenna Salsbury wrote an inspiring book called “The Art of the Fresh Start."
Glenna points out that one of the many blessings of fresh starts is that we’re FREE to do them anytime we want.
Isn’t that a miracle?
ON ANY GIVEN DAY ... , we can wake up and choose to do things differently.
Today is INDEPENDENCE DAY. I am going to celebrate the “freedom of the fresh start” by re-committing to getting my FIRST SERVES in.
I am going to do the daily rituals that make my life so much easier, that create a life that feels right, and that keep the light on in my eyes.
For me, that means returning to WildFit eating (green, clean and lean protein), writing in my journal every morning, and getting in my 10,000 steps.
I will ask my son Tom and his wife Patty (who I’m about to see later today – YAY!) to find an app that will help hold me accountable for my healthy intentions.
For now, I’m heading to the hotel gym to jump on a treadmill (it’s 100 degrees outside) before driving to their home in Houston.
How about you?
What are your metaphorical “first serves” that create a life that feels right?
What daily rituals help you get in your zone, help keep the light on in your eyes?
How will you celebrate the “freedom of the fresh start” today, Independence Day, by bringing essential basics back into your life?
I look forward to hearing from you …