For the Love of the Game

The Australian Open is underway. I’ve watched very little of it. But I have been following along on a number of tennis blogs. And, yesterday I read a lovely article about Lleyton Hewitt and Venus Williams. Both are in the final years of long careers, both peaked young and can’t hope to match their early achievements now, but both continue playing through the injuries and the defeats simply because they enjoy it.

As Steven Tignor writes at the Tennis website:

For Venus and Hewitt, it seems, tennis is what they do, and it’s enough. If Federer and Serena show us what greatness looks like in this sport, Venus and Hewitt show us, in their stoical refusal to be disappointed by their fates, what the simple day-to-day love of playing it looks like. Whether they know it or not, Venus and Rusty are lucky. Not many of us love our jobs. If you do, why would you ever want to leave it?

They’re inspiring, and rather moving as well, showing as they do what it means to be committed to something you love despite setbacks and difficulties. They seem now to be focused on their internal, personal satisfaction rather than on wins and prizes and acknowledgements. It’s a nice way to be. One I’d like to emulate.

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