Question: I had waited and worked my entire life for this moment- to play Kim Clijsters in the final of the French Open on Court Philippe Chatrier in front of 50,000 spectators.
In my dream I remember vividly all of my preparations leading up to this moment- as I was sitting waiting and visualizing before the match in the locker room underneath the court I was about to perform.I had trained relentlessly and endlessly- grueling hours of fitness on and off the court for months. I recall snippets of the intense moments of focusing on footwork and staying in the moment during the process. I briefly woke up due to hypic myoclonias practicing forehands and backhands, then fell back asleep. I remember the flight to Paris- and enjoyed the anticipation of competing in Paris at Roland Garros (one of the 4 Grand Slams of the year.) This was ‘the moment’ and I am actually here. Was I dreaming or was it reality?I could hear the roars from the crowd as our names were called to the court. A big ovation cheered for the crowd favorite. A meek welcome trickled for me that was encouraging but not at all the home court advantage as I was used to hearing with the Stanford Band usually nearby. I suddenly felt a change of emotion and knew I had a tough challenge ahead of me. My dream was turning into a nightmare. I told myself to just ‘stay in the moment’ and compete as I had never competed before. The umpire did the coin toss that I won and chose to receive (return of serve).Kim and I exchanged rallies to warm up and then the match began. She was in superb form. The points went by so fast. Games suddenly turned into the set. It was going so fast. I couldn’t catch my breath and felt helpless in the situation. Was I hyperventilating? I told myself to breath.Slow down. I must keep up. Kim’s shots were going right by me and I was in slow motion. My feet were stuck. I ended up losing the final but Kim was a good sport and had some encouraging words. After my speech I suddenly woke up before my real match and realized I was either in a deep sleep or having difficulties with jet-lag!
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