By Chequetta Allen, Sunday Women’s League Vice President
There are no time-outs in tennis. We live in a region where tennis is played year-round, and the end of one season in a league signals the shift to a new season in a different league. The closest we get to a time-out is when it’s the end of a set, it’s time to change sides, or when calling a let for a ball that inadvertently intrudes the court of play during a point. These are just brief interruptions typically lasting no more than a couple of minutes. So imagine how every Atlanta tennis player felt knowing COVID-19 (coronavirus) had blown the whistle and called an unprecedented time-out that resonated throughout our work, home, and recreational lives.
Just as my excitement was building for the Sunday Women’s League spring season opening weekend, ALL tennis came to a screeching halt, particularly ALTA league tennis. While I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to participate in one of the hallmarks of spring, I was thankful for the concern and consideration shown for my health by the ALTA president and board of directors. Additionally, I was thankful that this forced time-out allowed me the time to partake in some self-care.
Self-care was my chosen activity to replace tennis. Our lives have become days that are packed with scheduled activities, which leaves very little free time for each of us to focus on ourselves. We all need time to focus on our mental, emotional, and physical health. For many of the women in the Sunday Women’s League, tennis is one more additional activity they have among a long list of others. While it is one that may satisfy the need for a healthy physical activity, it can require a lot of time, as well as mental and emotional energy. My Sundays that have previously been reserved for league tennis temporarily became “Self-care Sundays.” Having seven to 10 weeks to insert activities that would improve myself, my relationship with others, allow my body to rest and heal, and organize my life was an unexpected benefit from such an unanticipated event. Rather than lament the loss of one of my favorite things to do, I chose to celebrate the sudden availability of time that allowed me the ability to participate in alternative Sunday activities.
I don’t know what you did with your Sundays, but it is my hope that you used that time to do something special for yourself, such as enjoy a walk, indulge in an afternoon brunch with a small group of ladies, play board games with your kids, spend some time with your significant other, or participate in any activity that allows you to say yes to a better you. Whatever you did with your time away from ALTA spring tennis, I hope it brought you joy that is comparable to the joy you experienced during your past seasons on the tennis court.