"Move your feet," Nancy shouted to herself.
"Come on, Nancy, keep it going," Steven said.
She hadn't played tennis in months, but today she needed to hit some balls. She usually preferred playing on the weekends with her husband or at night with her kids when they didn't have other activities, but today she had to hit tennis balls during her lunch hour. Her sanity required it.
"I like the way you're hitting today," said Steven, her instructor. "Very aggressive. A break from the courts has been good for you."
If he only knew, Nancy thought. One by one she smashed each ball that came her way. Wham. Wham. Wham.
She wasn't just hitting balls. She was slamming the comments of the board members. She was crushing their smirks. She was punishing their doubts. Better to let her frustration out on the tennis balls than on people at work. Wham. Wham. Wham.
Each swing released some of her anger, stress, and frustration. She was naturally fiery, and it was one of the things her husband loved about her, but sometimes the fire needed to be controlled and she found tennis was a great way to do it.
After Nancy had hit a few bad shots, Steven stopped the rally and walked toward the net. "Keep your eye on the ball," he said. "Just focus on the ball. Stop thinking about the last shot." That's the great thing about tennis. If you hit a bad shot, you get another chance to make your next shot a great one. You just have to have a bad memory. The previous shot is gone. Just focus on making ...