May 20th, 2017

kiri win

Playing Tennis While Hungover

I went drinking last night with some PhD friends. I got really drunk. I was so drunk that I found myself stumbling backwards and eventually falling on my ass to the floor when I tried to get up from my bed to get water. I went out drinking and got drunk despite having a tennis match at 10am today. There was a reason for this. I don't feel like writing about it just yet.

I fell asleep at about 3.15 am. I woke up with a massive hangover. I must have accidentally set my alarm for 5am in my drunken haze, for I heard my alarm ringing and when I checked the time, it was 5am. I got up to pee. My head felt as if it were storing every single drop of water in all the oceans of the world. I went back to bed, got up at 8; my head felt as if it were storing every single drop of water in all the oceans of the world bar one. Last night, while chugging down a second cocktail that was preceded by a glass of red wine, I announced to my half-drunk friends, 'I WILL BE HUNGOVER, AND I WILL WIN MY MATCH!'

This morning, after the hangover hit, I thought, 'Please please please let me win just one game.'

I had breakfast - muesli with soy milk and soy yogurt. For the first time since I started eating Sainsbury's Freedom From muesli (milk free, gluten free, something else free), I felt slightly sick eating it. I took an ibuprofen for my headache. It worked, for the headache mostly disappeared by the time I dragged myself to the club.

The club was busy, it being a sunny but chilly Saturday morning, and the 30 minutes spent waiting for a court calmed down the hangover somewhat. At the warm-up, though, after hitting the first ball, every single shot after that felt like I was swinging a slab of concrete masquerading as my tennis racquet. My legs were like an elephant's legs. I lumbered left and right, up and down, taking too long to get to the ball, my focus undermined by this feeling in my head like I wasn't fully there. To top it all off, I somehow managed to injure a spot on the right side of my back between the waist and the shoulder, and it hurt significantly when hitting a forehand and backhand.

I thought, 'Right. This is a disaster. Why the fuck did I get drunk last night?'

When the match started, I couldn't break her serve. Save for one huge return, everything else was shit: hit a backhand wide, dumped returns into the net. I was already miserable and it was the only the first game. After the changeover, as I was about to serve, I literally had these words in my head: 'I am so miserable. I want to go home.'

Miraculously, I managed to hold serve despite being down 0-30. Miraculously, I didn't lose any of my service games except the last one. Miraculously, I broke at 2-2, held for 4-2. Breaking for the first time was key: after that, I told myself to focus, push aside the physical fatigue, the unhelpful thoughts that kept wandering to the reason that I got drunk in the first place; and then I held for 5-3. I fubbed my first match point, but hung in there, attacked the return on my second match point, and felt a huge relief when her ball sailed long.

I'd expected to win this match as I'd beaten my opponent before and I knew that I could beat her. But I wasn't sure, after the warm-up, if I wasn't too hungover. I definitely felt slower, even felt dizzy towards the end, and generally felt like my mind and body were two separate entities. I was so tired towards the end that I actually messed up 4 match points during the tiebreak and eventually lost it 10-8. But I'd won the match, so I didn't care; but still, at my second match point, I told myself to end it; but I ended up hitting a forehand into the net. And then I just kept making these errors.

And so it was quite a miracle that I hung in there mentally long enough to win. After that, I opened my final service game with two double faults and got broken; but I'd won, so I didn't care. I really wanted to win this. I wanted to prove that I could still win despite being hungover. It mattered a lot that I'd won. I don't know why. I guess it was a much welcomed bright spot after having an atrocious day yesterday.

*

I still feel quite crap. My words are not flowing at all. I will write about the reason I got drunk eventually. I just don't feel like it right now.