Sunday, 6 October 2013

The 9 Stages of Early-Morning Tennis Syndrome

At my school, we have two tennis practices – one on a Monday and one on a Wednesday. According to the sports coaches, there is no other time in the extra-curricular schedule to have our first practice of the week other than on a Monday at 6 a.m. Let me repeat that so that it sinks in. MONDAY. 6 a.m. As if Mondays aren’t terrible enough already.

For those of you who have never had to be to an early morning sports practice, this is literally what we tennis players at my school – and most other sports players as well, because our school seems to love making us wake up an hour earlier than we should – go through every single Sunday through Monday morning.

Stage 1: Denial
This usually occurs when you wake up on Sunday morning and realize that it’s going to be your last chance to sleep in. And then it hits that you: tomorrow you’ll have to wake up at five. So you roll over and go back to sleep. This stage can overlap with all of the stages, and often lasts right up to stage 8.

Stage 2: “Mom, can I -?” “No.”
Late afternoon on Sunday, it hits you that, yes, you will have to go to early-morning tennis tomorrow. At six. In the morning. This stage starts with begging your mother to let you skip tennis, and trying to come up with many, many excuses explaining why you cannot possibly wake up and do exercise the next morning. It results in a simple, yet firm, “No,” from mom. Every time.

Stage 3: Packing and sulking
Late evening on Sunday, you realize that mom was serious. So you pack your school clothes and some extra jeans and T-shirts, and threaten to run away until everybody ends up ignoring you.

Stage 4: Prayer
Lying in bed late on Sunday night, you begin to pray for something – anything – to cancel early-morning tennis tomorrow. Anything except rain of course. Rain means fitness in the gym for an hour, which is 100 times worse than tennis. At this point you realize that the only things that could possibly cancel tennis are a global fire, and your own death, which makes you even more depressed.

Stage 5: Hope
“Maybe the coach will forget…” Haha lol this stage lasts for about thirty seconds, and then you cry, because the coach will never forget. Ever.

Stage 6: Dread
You fell asleep for a couple of hours, and now your alarm is buzzing in your ear. It’s still dark, but you know that you have to get up. At this point, I usually feel physically sick, and only partly because of Monday Morning Syndrome.

Stage 7: More Hope
In the car on the way to school, your exhausted mind begins to imagine scenarios that could possibly cancel early morning tennis. At this point, you have passed the point of caring who has to die for tennis to be cancelled, and are pretty much wishing that the world could just implode. I know, it's selfish, but you would rather do ANYTHING than get on that tennis court.

Stage 8: Reality
You’re running laps now, and it’s finally sunk in. So you suck it up, and keep running until it’s seven o’clock on the dot and you force the coaches to let you leave.

Stage 9: Depression and exhaustion
This usually lasts until the end of the week. Monday morning tennis literally leaves me so tired that, by the time I’ve recovered, I have to repeat the cycle all over again.

And I still have two more years of this to endure. At least now if I die tomorrow, you’ll know what I went through, and what you have to file a lawsuit against. (If that wasn’t clear, all sport before 7 a.m. should be banned. It’s bad for our education if we can’t concentrate for the whole week because of one stupid tennis practice.)

I’m just kidding, by the way. It’s not that bad. (Don’t listen to me. I’m presently stuck in between stages 2 and 3. And the denial still hasn't worn off yet.)

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  2. If you ever manage to matriculate you could become a lawyer and sue.