Sometimes, the Germans have a fantastic way of saying things. For example, only in German speaking countries can one suffer from Kreislauf problems. The word ‘Kreislauf’ could be mistaken to mean circulation, but that definition doesn’t do it justice. If you stand up too fast and get dizzy…Kreislauf problem. If you sit down too fast and get dizzy…Kreislauf problem. If you’re late for a meeting and had to stop to get a donut…Kreislauf problem. If you’ve had too much to drink the night before and you don’t want your boss to know that you are hungover…Kreislauf problem.
But this post is not about my Kreislauf problems (yes, after 18 years in Germany, I also have Kreislauf problems!). Today, I discovered that I’m not a Sportmuffel afterall. Sportmuffel is another one of those German terminologies that means so much as ‘I hate sports and if you make me do sports, I will get Kreislauf problems!”
I had my very first tennis lesson of my life. A very energetic woman that I made acquaintance with this summer talked me into taking tennis lessons with her. She had already tried with pilates yoga, but that didn’t work out. I couldn’t get the hang of holding all of my limbs in the air at the same time and hearing “now relax and breathe easy”. Not so easy to breathe when you are concentrating on not hitting the ground in a twisted mess head first…
Tennis was not much different. I had a vivid picture in my head of not only my Kreislauf breaking down, but my whole body. I envisioned tennis elbow, knee, back, foot and anything else with moveable parts on my body. I’ve watched tennis matches on TV before and I am always in awe of the player that puts his head in the way of a ball flying anywhere between 112-185 kmh (70-115 mph). My car hardly drives that fast and I wear a safety belt in it to prevent permanent damage. In tennis, it’s just you, a cute little skirt (no that’s not the reason I wanted to play), a racket and a partner waiting to slam a ball at you… no protection offered.
How wrong I was! Within 60 minutes, I became addicted to the sport. I ran, I hit, I gathered little yellow balls with the enthusiasm of a child in a candy story rushing to the counter to pay. I tigered back and forth on the balls of my feet and slam! I hit the ball again. It was like magic. My adrenalin had been activated for the first time in my life. (Okay, only my sport adrenalin had been activated. There are still other activities that encourage my adrenalin to kick into full gear :-)).
During one of the breaks, my trainer asked me why I decided to come for lessons. I told him that it was sista girl’s fault for dragging my middle-aged self onto the court. His comment, and I do quote, “I guess when you reach the age of 40, you have to make a decision: either I’m going to do something or sit around and get a fat butt.” Okay, he didn’t say butt (and I am over 40), but let’s keep this blog rated “G”.
He’s not right about my rationale for starting with tennis, but it doesn’t matter. I know now that I am not a Sportmuffel and my Kreislauf will suffer one day again soon (it’s almost winter and there are all kinds of things in Germany which can send your Kreislauf into a spiral such as heater from the radiator, underfloor heating, not opening the window enough when it’s minus temps outside, etc.), but not because of tennis!