Christmas Challenge: Post 4
Wow, I seriously did not think I was gonna make it this time! This Christmas Challenge turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. It’s probably not the best idea to challenge yourself during Christmas, where you’re busy with celebrations and eating. Or, I guess that’s what makes it challenging… Anyways, let’s get down to business!
I started my career as a maritime graduate. As such, I spent two year rotating around a Norwegian shipowner and -operator, which was super exciting. However, all the new information and people were also exhausting. Although I felt I was getting a lot of great experience, I also constantly felt like I didn’t know anything. As you can imagine, this was quite tough on the ego.
After a while, I sort of hit a “confidence wall”. Not feeling like I contributed to the development of the organization – being a trainee and all – combined with the constant role as “fly on the wall”, was surprisingly hard. I guess learning was not enough for me, when I did not feel like I got a chance to apply the knowledge to develop myself.
Out of despair, I came to the conclusion that I needed a constant in my life. A skill or hobby of some sort, where I could experience continuous personal development. Preferably, while burning some of the extra calories that came with a fulltime job in shipping…
I searched my mind to determine what to focus on, and remembered how fond I was of playing tennis as a child. Fortunately, I found a tennis club 5 min. from work. – It must have been meant to be!
I signed up for a couple of sessions, and quickly fell back in love with the sport. Its seemingly elegant but complex technique, and its aggressive but respectful competitive nature suited my personality perfectly. As an added bonus, the light, feminine tennis fashion represented a much-needed contrast to the dark suits at work.
Throughout 2018, I have spent my Tuesday evenings on the tennis court. No matter how busy work is, I prioritize this one hour every week. Working in a busy and dynamic industry such as shipping, it is amazing to have one thing you can rely on, and where people depend on you showing up to play – and play well.
You see, the complex technique requires you to be fully in the moment to play well. Thus, I am forced to leave work outside of the court. In that sense, I find tennis rather meditative. At the same time, getting stronger and more skilled is even more rewarding, when you know you have worked hard and focused on it.
Although tennis is quite the singles’ sport, I enjoy playing with a team. I learn a lot from observing my team members play, and it is highly motivating to share each others’ victories on court. Plus it’s great to have someone to laugh about all our crazy balls with, and the often ridiculous exercises our coach makes us do…
In sum, I never anticipated the healing and fun influence tennis would have on my life. Over the years, I have been through a lot of fitness schemes and played a lot of different sports. However, I can honestly say tennis is the best fitness routine for me – and I look forward to continue playing in 2019!