Losing a Tennis Match; A Singles Lane Discussion of Anger, and its Position as the Most Overpowering Tremor in the Negative Spectrum of Human Emotion

It all starts off well enough; your feet are moving stupendously, adrenaline is still pumping through your body , the sensations of pain haven’t yet begun to resonate, and you’re returning everything that your opponent is sending your way. It doesn’t last very long, however, and you miss; you finally feel the pain in your wrist, your hips, and your legs. Your feet begin to feel swollen and your muscles puffy; you notice the sweat dripping down your face. Your serves become worse, and you start missing over and over again. You become angrier at yourself for missing, which only makes you miss more, and then it happens: a serve finally connects and through some sort of athletic miracle your opponent misses, sending him into the same spiral as you. This continues for a few more minutes, and the sensation of impending victory begins to overpower your brain, neutralizing the pain you were feeling a few moments.

You miss again, and the cycle repeats itself.

This time, the feeling changes because you know what to expect; you prepare for your opponent’s miss, but it never comes. Serve after serve, your form continues to degrade while his seems to remain controlled and composed; his body never hesitates, and his technique shows absolutely no weakness. You begin to blame yourself for your sudden decline, and with no one to stop or correct you, you continue down the path of anger and hatred. Suddenly, it happens again; your serve connects, and your opponent misses again, his form taking on a momentary resemblance to yours.

This time however, you mistake anger for skill, and fool yourself into believing that your anger is the only reason your opponent failed. You continue with this belief, and as you miss more serves, and as your returns are sent across the court in all directions, you refrain from correcting your form. You believe that the angrier you are, the better you’ll be; you continue to decline and you become angrier, which only continues your declination. You begin shouting and flailing around wildly, and the pain that was held back a few moment ago by adrenaline and your defences is now surging through your body; your wrist feels like it’s being weighed down by lit sandbags, your legs feel like they’ve been struck my bats, and your entire body feels sluggish and desolate. Moments ago you were feeling nothing (the overwhelming sensation of victory was pumping through your veins), but the sheer force of loss has finally began to settle in.

Disregarding everything you’ve read and have been taught, you refuse to suppress your fear or anger, and you let it take you over; you feed the hatred, and allow yourself to give into your darkest thoughts. Winning or losing no longer makes a difference to you; the contrast between the two events seems meaningless, and the innate human desire to achieve and be successful is rendered null. Regardless of what the outcome of the game is, you’ve already lost, and the worst part is that you already know it.

You wonder whether winning would be worse than losing.

Of course, then it happens: you lose, and you realize how much of a fool you’ve been.

Without the pressure of achieving victory consuming you, your anger fades away instantaneously. You contemplate the reasons for your loss, and you discover every mistake you’ve made. Through the greatest sense of irony, you learn that you could have detected these mistakes earlier, and that you could have fixed them in an instant without reproach. Every misstep, every failed serve, every failed return, every wrong move, and every discontinuity could have been solved, corrected, and amended had you not given into your anger and had you not let the wave of hatred overcome, overwhelm, and overpower you.

The worst part is that you were playing against a wall, and it never cared about its victory anyway.

Through two weeks of playing tennis, I’ve come to discover that, of all the tremors that form the negative spectrum of human emotion, anger is the most powerful, and the most overpowering if left unchecked and unaccounted for. Certainly, fear and sadness are powerful, but anger is indistinguishable; anger makes itself present and obvious, while fear and sadness mask themselves as something else. An angry person is more than aware that they’re angry, but a depressed or fearful individual has so many symptoms that their ability to diagnose themselves with sadness and fear is almost entirely impossible.

Anger is, annoyingly, the most powerful human emotion that exists within the negative spectrum of human emotion, and also the most basic. All it takes is a single pinprick for a person to become angry, but, unless an individual is suffering from clinical depression, it takes far more to go from happy to sad, and even more to go from happy to afraid.

I suppose that the truth of the matter isn’t that tennis makes a person angry, or that losing produces a sense of unbridled rage, because both are equally true. The truth is that anger is so simple, and so incredibly basic, that because of the very human tendency to become upset over trivial concerns, it can and will overpower an individual if left unchecked. Anger is so simple and so basic that we refuse to calm ourselves even though we can see ourselves becoming angry and losing control of our actions and words. Anger is so simple and so basic that we actively underestimate its ability to drag us down to the depths.

I suppose my ultimate point is that anger is simple, and basic, and must be overcome to make rational, and logical decisions. Anger, more so than fear, disgust, contempt, and sadness, is the single most powerful negative emotion, and will absolutely lead to the downfall of an individual if it’s not controlled, and disregarding this fact can, and will, lead to further strife and ruin. Of course, this is incredibly obvious, which might just make a person angry for having read this article; ironically, that would only prove my point.

As always, this has been your Admin, the Avid Blogger; comment, subscribe, and criticize, and DO remember! Always look on the BYTE side of life!

-EK

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