We just wrapped up tennis week here at the shop, and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you about what I now understand as a win. Watching a professional tennis tournament right outside my window has given me some insights on this topic, and I have to admit that I am rethinking my notion of success.
I watched the pros practice on the hard court behind the shops all week. They practice relentlessly--focused, non stop practice to improve and tweak, to find their grove, to sharpen a shot, aiming for precision and consistency. It was awesome to watch. I was inspired in a new way and thrilled by it. Yes, they want to win, but it seemed to me a personal goal of improvement and an elite performance was the goal, and I found that inspiring.
Inspiration in the culinary world is no different than in the world of tennis. These athletes work so hard to polish their game, to play their best, and they bring us so much pleasure and thrill to watch those skills play out in a match. They are at their best when paired against someone who brings out their strength, challenges them in new ways, and bring their game to a new level. That is it, a win is when what you do, elevates someone else. I am grateful to the players for showing me that, and I will try to remember that on the court and in the kitchen.
I do have one secret to share, for those who are are seeking the literal "win." Steve Johnson ate a sandwich at the shop for lunch before he won the semi final match against Granollers. I am just saying, that could have made the difference;) I am changing the name of the California Style to the "Stevie J"!
My thanks to all the players who were supportive of the shops and who inspired me to rethink winning, to all of you for your patience during a tricky and very busy week, and to everyone who works at the ITHF for their support always and their patience with my tennis game!