I got an e-mail today telling me that I'm part of the Savannah tennis team for the Kia Tournament of Champions. I was, frankly, shocked.
I should probably take a second to explain this tournament. USTA Georgia divides the state into eight districts. Some of the districts only cover a little area but a lot of people (the metro Atlanta district is only 10 counties) and some are huge in area but small in population (a couple of the districts in rural regions in the south of the state cover more than 30 counties.) At the tournament, each region can bring its top two players in each level for singles and doubles. The rankings are decided by the points you earn by playing in tournaments. The higher you place, the more points you earn. I qualified by having had a finals appearance in one tournament and having played in three tournaments instead of just one.
I'm excited. I'm thrilled. I immediately e-mailed my wife and dropped an instant message to one of my best friends.
I also feel really stupid for being so god damned proud.
I'm only going because my region is such a weak USTA region. I would have barely made the top ten in the regions centered around Atlanta, Columbus, or Macon. See, my record as a singles player in level 3.0 is 1 win and 3 losses. Sure, I was only a few points from being at least 2-2, but I don't feel right taking too much pride in my playing abilities when I've only won a single match in three tournaments. It's a little different with the invitational tournament I'm playing this weekend. I qualified for that tournament by playing some of the best tennis I've ever played in my life. I only lost in the finals to a guy who probably was better suited in a higher level, and I still held my own with him. I'm getting to skip a day of school this week to go play tennis and hang out at the beach with my wife because I played really well that weekend. I don't feel that way about my tennis play overall.
Why did I go and write about all of this? I brag and then I whine and you're too stupid or bored or obligated out of friendship to stop reading, so I feel like I should give you something of merit to justify the time you've wasted so far. Maybe I can steal more than my title today from my buddy Hank. "It's a thin line between bragging and being excited at where you are". I have improved over the five months I've been playing amateur tournaments. I'm a better singles player now than I ever was. I do have reason to be happy with where I am despite having a record that's less than impressive.
Maybe it's just that I know that no one thinks you're a jerk when you brag as long as you always include some disclaimer.