After playing 3 tough tournaments over the past 5 weekends – with 4 back-to-back tourneys looming ahead on the schedule – my son got sick. Nothing serious, mind you, but just the kind of exhaustion-inspired viral junk that makes you feel like garbage. It came on slowly at first but then hit like gangbusters the day before we were supposed to leave for the ITF event in South Carolina. He begged me to call the doctor for an antibiotic in hopes that he could feel good enough by the next day to go to the ITF and perform well. I urged him to super-hydrate, eat well, and visit the chiropractor in a last-ditch, non-antibiotic, effort to get him feeling better. He skipped the meds, took my suggestions, but was still feeling lousy the next morning, so we made a joint decision to bag the ITF and take the weekend off.
It was the absolute right decision. My son was exhausted, physically and mentally, from all the travel and competition. He needed a break, and so did I. He took four days off from tennis, four days off from physical activity of any kind, and just rested. And rested. And rested.
By Monday, he was feeling pretty much back to normal.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but my son is taking PE this semester. And, because of his “Minimum Day” school schedule, he takes PE during Zero Period aka 7:10am. Twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays, his class has to do a 1.5 mile run. He headed off to school Monday DREADING that run!
When he came home that afternoon to have lunch before heading off to drills, he told me that the run was “rough” – that every joint in his body was sore after doing nothing physically for four straight days. He also told me that drills were going to be “rough,” too. And, they were.
He only hit for about 90 minutes, much less time than normal for a Monday afternoon. Afterward, he told me that it was definitely as tough as he anticipated. I reminded him that his body needed the break. I reminded him that the first day back on the court is always a little dicey. I reminded him that he would feel stronger tomorrow.
And he did. And I suspect that he will be just fine by the next tournament – mentally and physically ready to compete. Sometimes you just need a break.