Monday, July 01, 2013

Wimbledon wobbles

The rumour we non-fans are hearing from Wimbledon is that last week's matches included Weird Wednesday at Wimbledon. Blame the grass on the courts or criticise the athletes for being highly-strung, either way the tournament was a strange spectacle, as top players succumbed to injuries or less-experienced rivals throughout the day. Undoubtedly one of the greatest upsets was when an unknown Ukrainian player sent Roger Federer packing.

Yip, life has its spills and the sorts of twists and turns that great novelists could never dream up. You buy your ticket to Wimbledon and anticipate that one of a finite number of variables will play out. And then it unexpectedly veers way off course. Life's just like that. "Man proposes and G-d disposes," as they say.

Last week's upsets could serve as a healthy reminder that we always have to stay on top of our game. Past successes are no guarantee that we will continue to hold our lead. At any time a new contender can enter our space and displace us. The greatest champion can be brought to his knees by complacency, as the Alter Rebbe teaches in Tanya. There's only one way to stay on top- keep working to stay there.

Perhaps the best lesson from the centre-court meltdown is Federer's attitude to his shock defeat. "You can't have 'em all", he lamented. 


It's unrealistic to imagine that we'd succeed in everything we do every time we try to do it. We'll always have our good and bad days. Too often, I encounter people who feel that a failure (or even a series of failures) means that they are a failure. You can't win 'em all. Keep moving.

And that's just what Federer committed to do, to keep playing "for many years to come". When we fall down or let ourselves down, there really is only one appropriate way to respond. Get up, dust off and move on. 


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post

Rabbi Ari Shishler said...

Thank you :)