Thursday, 10 September 2009

yelling and screaming

I see myself as a pretty reserved person. It may that others disagree (and they're welcome to comment to that effect), but I see myself as someone who keeps my emotions to myself most of the time.

The two biggest exceptions to that are watching football, and playing tennis. In the last couple of weeks, there have been two classic examples.

On Saturday night, Brisbane played Carlton in an elimination final at the Gabba. Being members, our posse of Gav, Doug, Andy (claiming the floating ticket) and I went along to cheer along our respective teams. Brisbane started poorly (or Carlton well), and the Blues fans in front of us were in strong voice, jumping out of their seats to cheer Carlton goals. Brisbane came back, and I felt obliged (and moved) to respond in kind, leaping to my feet and letting forth an appropriately guttural roar. Come the fourth quarter, Brisbane were 5 goals down, and up against the wall. They came, though, with a furious rush that put joy in the heart of any non-Carlton-supporting fan (Carlton are not a well-loved club in recent times). It was a famous victory, that will live long in the memory, and left my vocal cords in tatters for Sunday and Monday.

Although this was one of the more notable (and justified) examples of me having a good yell at the football, it is far from the only one. Its not always in triumph - the umpires bear a heavy load, and I do not shirk from making suggestions to or critiques of Brisbane players. In general, though, its an environment where I feel comfortable letting myself go and just yelling at the top of my lungs.

The other, less fortunate scenario in which I find myself yelling, is while playing tennis. I like to think, and it may not be true, but I like to think that at some point between 5 and 10 years ago, I was a handy tennis player. I have never been blessed with consistency; when I play, I live and die by the sword, and many of my matches are decided by whether the ambitious groundstrokes I attempt come off or not. More often that not, they don't, particularly at times like now when I haven't been playing regularly. Other than this Achillean, live-well-and-die-young approach, the other notable characteristic of my tennis game is that I play stupid. I try shots that aren't on, repeat the same mistakes over and over again, and generally make dumb decisions.

Anyway, these unfortunate aspects of my tennis game, combined with the impression (or delusion) that I was once capable of making the shots I try, mean that I get very frustrated. And I yell. I yell at myself for being stupid, I call myself a moron, and I swear (in French, now, as is my wont). I'm not proud of it, but its something that I seem to do. Last week was pretty bad. I played very poorly (despite doing some things very well - I probably hit a dozen aces), and yelled at myself quite a lot. Last night wasn't so bad. I hit the ball a bit better, and was able to be slightly more circumspect when I didn't, although I still let fly with a few gros mots.

So, two places where I yell. One I like, and feel like its a place where having a shout is fair play. The other, I don't like, and over time hopefully I can quieten down there.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Dunno about tennis and footy, but last week I listened to a podcast reporting research that suggests pain tolerance is increased when the person in pain swears.
I noticed you've used the label "thinking" on this post, and to publish this comment I'm being prompted to type the characters "hoons".