By Mary Lynn Garger, Tennis Professional
In the doctor’s office seeking some relief from a cold, I was asked to put on a mask while there. “No problem,” I thought, as I clearly understood the “why” behind the request. However, almost instantaneously, feelings of being singled out, feeling like an outcast and feeling like I was different, started to pervade my soul. People who entered the office caught site of my mask and intentionally stayed further away. The nurse and the doctor, while very nice, had no desire to shake my hand, as “chances are we don’t want what you have.” Again, the situation made complete sense in my mind, yet in my heart, I longed for belonging and human connection.
We are on the heels of the horrific helicopter crash in California that cut short the lives of nine people. In one moment, they were flying off to a basketball tournament like they would ordinarily do, and in the next moment, they were gone! Yet another vicious dose of reality for humankind and another wake-up call to hug our loved ones. And yes, another reminder to connect in person, or over a telephone call with those nearest and dearest to our hearts.
We are in a technology-driven, social media-driven world now. Our society is all about connection, or so we think. It’s been reported that people are lonelier today than ever before. It’s also been noted recently by the Denver Post that outdoor recreation for youth has seen a significant drop, even in our incredible state of Colorado! In her book titled Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown writes “We are wired for connection. But the key is that in any given moment of it, it has to be real.” There it is. We may be connected, but we are not experiencing real human connection.
Here at Club Greenwood, tennis is a major part of many lives. I truly believe that what separates us from so many other tennis clubs is that we are a family and do better than most at real human connection. Yes, as in any family dynamic, there will be conflicts that arise. People will book courts ahead of us when they ought to know that “we’re always on that court at that time.” People will move up in ratings and then not offer to play with us anymore. People will not show up for their slotted league court, yet again. People will call the ball out when we’re adamant that it was in. The scenarios are endless but, once again, quoting Brene Brown, “People are hard to hate close up. Move in.”
Life is short. We are all unique in our differences. We are all different in our uniqueness. Let’s live by moving in with real human connection.
Mary Lynn Garger, a Denver native, comes to Greenwood with over 20 years of coaching experience at various clubs in the Denver area. As a junior Mary Lynn held state, sectional and national rankings. She played #1 singles at Cherry Creek High School all 4 years and returned as Head Coach of her alma mater for the 1993 and 1994 seasons. Mary Lynn attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas on a tennis scholarship, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Mary Lynn loves teaching players of all ages and abilities.
Work with Mary Lynn: MLG@CLUBGREENWOOD.COM