Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Five things we can learn from Petra Kvitova

1. So much of life is out of our control.
Developing healthy habits, making sensible plans, and developing a fine balance between wise caution and wise risk are strategies that go a long way in allowing us to prevent a lot of trouble in our lives. But even the healthiest and wisest among us are powerless to stop some illnesses and injuries, acts of nature, and random acts of violence and cruelty. When we least expect it, a crazy person can enter our private space and try to slit our throats.

2. You have to try.
Your left hand is how you make your living (and find your joy), and it's been damaged almost to the point of no return. You're fortunate, though--a highly skilled doctor has repaired it. But you can't feel your fingers the way you used to, and it may be quite a while before you can. You can't even make a fist. But you show up several weeks before the doctors predicted you would, and you win a match in a very big event. Then, still with limited feel and strength, you win a tournament. Just like that.

3. Don't look back.
It would be so easy (especially if you already have a tendency to be inconsistent) to come down off the Birmingham cloud and fall into complacency. After all, you've undergone a life-changing trauma. And you already had significant problems with illness, even before the tragedy occurred. Or maybe you could just keep going forward and see what happens. And then--look at you--you win two tournaments (including a premier 5) in a row and return to Fed Cup glory.

4. Let it out.
Cry. Bark "pojd!" louder than you ever did, in that way that only you possess. Tingle with gratitude. Smile. Make everyone laugh, just as you always did. Be okay with the fact that, for a while, in Doha, you were "crazy a little bit in my mind."

5. Treat others with kindness and respect--you have no idea how much it will come back to you.
When you are respected and beloved (just like your dear friend, Li Na), all kinds of people--players, media, umpires, fans--feel your pain and send wholehearted hopes and prayers your way. And you need that in order to heal, both physically and emotionally. What you have given suddenly comes back to you, and you find the extra strength you need to go on, and to come back stronger than ever.

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