“Ambitious, self-motivated leader that you are, there’s a chance you’re a lone wolf who’s gotten along solo up to this point.”

For Mother’s Day Mom and I decided to play in a mixed doubles tournament. One of the biggest the city of our hometown, Memphis, has to offer. This is the second year in a row we have played this tournament.

Mixed doubles is usually a collaboration of a stronger player and a weaker player becoming teammates. Now the team must find their strengths and play to them for the win or to play the best tennis the team is possible of playing.

I’m 45 and my mom is 71. We are at the polar opposites when it comes to covering the court. I can cover a lot of the court. She is limited. My power is very good on the tennis ball, her power is not as great as mine.

There was something key my mom told me after we won our match and won the back draw (lucky loser bracket- double elimination tournament) of our division. She told me once “I TRUSTED you we came together as a team.”

Our strategy was built on trust. She had to trust that I would cover the court and if I called her off the shot, I would get it. Great mixed doubles, the movement on the court is just like a dance. It must flow together. If one player moves in a particular direction the other player simultaniously must cover the spot of the court that is left exposed.

It is very simple. We cover each others backs. One player will be aggressive and make the ball come to them and create errors from the opposing team. There must be a player who is covering what the aggressive player is being left exposed. At the same time, as John Wooten would say there are good mistakes and there are bad mistakes. The aggressive play must be calculated and be aggressive for the greater good of the team. If the player becomes selfish this is what I would call a “bad” mistake.

Mom and I, we really clicked on the court. Even in the match we lost we grew from our mistakes. It made us better for the rest of the tournament. This is a big deal for Mom and I. Why?

In both our lives we have been the “lone wolf”. We both have found reasons to push each other away. We have found reason to push any one away who might get to “close” to us. We always found the critical spots in relationships with others around us. We have come up with reasons as to why others don’t like us. We have come up with reasons as to why we can’t stand to be around that person.

The sins of the father, or in this case the mother, will follow to the 3rd and 4th generations, so a verse in the Bible states. I say to hell with that. We both grew up in households where there was abuse; mentally and physically. As a result we carried this low self worth. We rejected most of those around us that could love us. We had been hurt by the hand that was supposed to “feed” us our love.

For those asking, “didn’t she raise him?”. My parents were divorced all my life. I lived with my dad starting at the age of 11. Soon after is when I had the chance to really understand mental and physical abuse.

Everytime I attain a success in life I should celebrate with “glee” because I am conquering some type of dysfunction that existed within my psyche. In February I won the Master’s American Indoor National Championships in the 200m and in May, on Mother’s Day, Mom and I won a mixed doubles tennis match together.

We won because we listened to the side of our psyche that allowed us to trust in one another. There is a lone wolf in us and there is a pack wolf in us. We get more done with the pack wolf mentality. Just to make it fun, mom and I are wolves make no mistake. We can eat our weak. Our “wolves” came together and ate the other mixed double teams. Ha HA Ha