“If Wimbledon canceled, tennis history likely altered forever.” Dan Wolken, Headline, USA Today, March 28 2020
The headline caught my eye because I thought it is so wrong. Tennis history or any other history doesn’t get altered by what may or may not happen in the future. CS Lewis had convinced me of this:
Watching USA Today’s sports page struggle to be relevant in this pandemic based shutdown of public events, however, I began to see something else. All most sports (except perhaps marble racing (www.marble-sports.com) have now is their perception of history, and they are emphasizing that to keep people reading the sports pages.
USA Today was lamenting that two long-time Wimbledon tennis champions, Serena Williams and Roger Federer are aging out and, the article asserts if they don’t have this perhaps last chance to win again, “tennis history will be likely be altered forever.” Okay, if by tennis history Dan Wolken means our future perceptions of tennis history. But speculating on the future of how we might see the past is high dirge indeed.
I still hold to CS Lewis’s claim that unpleasant things are not interruptions to our life, but “precisely one’s real life.” The previous accomplishments of these two tennis standouts are what they were, and tennis history is how we remember them. Canceling Wimbledon will change what they might have accomplished; that is their life as well.
It is important not to wait on this current pandemic, or any other “interruptions,” to start your real life. Contrary to the fatalistic song sung by Doris Day, “Que sera, sera,” your life will be how you make it through what comes. Letting our perceived interruptions interrupt our lives is poor style indeed.