Two weeks ago I was ready to leave China after seeing what conditions were against me. Especially being on my own. Eating the same lunch and dinner for seven days because I was too afraid of getting sick. After my first match I really didn’t know how I was going to make it through another 13 days. I wanted to go home. Got to thank my friends and family for helping me get through. Also Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites for keeping me sane.
The trip actually ended up getting better after week one. It helps when you win and when you are the only player from America who also happens to speak Mandarin. After making the finals in the first week I felt like a somewhat famous athlete. Everyone wanting to take pictures, sign autographs, and talk to me in Engrish. Definitely something that I was not used to, but was a pretty cool experience. I even met a few people that took me to a smaller scale of American Idol. The singing was absolutely horrid. Totally fun to see something I would have never seen on my own though.
One of the most frustrating things about this China trip was washing clothes. With hotels charging $4 a shirt and $3 a short, naturally you are forced to find another alternative. At first, I turned to hand washing. But that turned into a nightmare because the amount of shirts I was going through each match. And after a long day the last thing you don’t want is washing a pile of sweaty clothes. That’s when I tagged along with a few Chinese players to find a laundromat. After searching high and low and bargaining for ten minutes, my clothes were finally going to be washed……..well not really. The clothes came back smelling just as good as I left them!
When the going get’s tough I think all of us, humans want to find the easy button. Difficult times are no fun for anyone. But as I am finding more and more about each tennis trip. It is the challenges and difficult times that makes us stronger. We can’t grow and move forward if we don’t have challenges and uncertainties. This trip was full of uphill battles and I’m glad I didn’t take the easy way out. And let’s be honest without the bad times how would we know what the good times feel like..
You can catch me in Tokyo for a few days. Tourist I am!