Working on the Congress has been rewarding and enriching beyond words. In October our first national event brought together an incredible group of 250 of your biggest fans from around the country and as far away as Europe, Brazil, and Sri Lanka. We had a blast. And it was just the beginning—there is so much more we will do in the years ahead to make this living tribute to you even better. Everyone who came has been bringing great ideas to the table for how we can take it to the next level. I’m happier than you can imagine to have found a way to make you part of my professional life.
But ironically, the journey to build the Congress has meant less time alone with you on court.
Up until last June or so, you and I were spending about 4 days a week on court together—along with many long weekends away at camps. I was writing about you regularly on this blog. We had practically moved in together. Since August, we’ve hardly seen each other. My time has been consumed by other urgent matters and I’ve been on the road a lot—but unfortunately not traveling very much on the “Road to 4.5” that inspired this blog.
I miss spending time with you more than you can imagine.
I miss the hard work you push me to do—the sweat, the reaching, the running, the taking my body to the brink to hit 100 balls in a row despite my exhausted legs and racing heart.
I miss the crazy combination of emotions only you bring out in me when I’m on court. I miss the obstacles you throw up in front of me, and the feeling I get when I am strong enough to get past them. I miss having to face inner demons that only you make me confront, which I know only to make me stronger and better as a person.
And I miss spending time on court with others who are similarly obsessed with you. You make us laugh together, scream with frustration together, erupt in victorious cheers together… But most importantly, you provide the inspiration and medium for forging deep friendships together.
Enough is enough.
I need to find a way to see you more.
But I realize that before I do, my first order of business has to be to get back in shape for you. Yeah, I want to look good for you. But I also know if I’m going to keep up with you and not hurt myself. So I’m hitting the gym pretty seriously. And next month I’ll head down to Florida to train at Sanchez-Casal and Saddlebrook for 4 consecutive days, which hopefully will get me fully back into the swing of things—literally and figuratively.
And tonight, for the first time in months, I’m putting aside my crushing work To-Do list for a couple hours to write this love letter to you.
Hopefully it assuages any doubts in your mind: I am still hopelessly crazy about you. It’s just that lately work and life have gotten in the way. I know I’m not the only one among your legions of fans who are in that boat… In any case, I suspect you understand and have probably been patiently waiting all along.
Because after all, there is no better teacher of patience than you.