Life lessons from federer
Published: 18th July 2017 04:00 AM |
There’s a lesson to be learnt from Roger Federer’s life. At 35, playing a sport is all about managing your time; staying injury-free and focussed. The body gets fragile with age, the mind starts playing tricks and, frequently, the universe suddenly turns dim as one walks towards the sunset.
Even for legends, motivation starts dwindling. Not for Federer though. Going by his words, his pursuit is of happiness and fulfilment too. Titles work like a catharsis to the sacrifices he has been making since he started to learn the craft. By Wimbledon 2016, he was already a legend. Even if he had hung up his racquet, he would have been considered the greatest. Yet, he chose to soldier on.
What has helped Federer transcend is his comeback—if Rocky Balboa is celluloid, Federer is real life. Not just because he has won the last two Grand Slams he chose to play but more so because of the way he made this possible. As Federer himself acknowledges now, he is playing part time. That means he is giving his body ample rest to be fresh for the next tournament. Cliched it may sound but it must be stated: He always had the talent, ability, grace and mental fortitude.
What was missing was some good rest as hobnobbing around the world took precedence. What Federer discovered last year led to his reinvention—“For me, the break really worked”. Even he is surprised that it worked as much as it did. At 35, he knows the importance of physicality. His body doesn’t recover as fast as it used to. Injuries take time to heal. Tennis’ gruelling schedule can be cruel.
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were victims this year. The pain was unbearable for Marin Cilic in the final. As Federer confesses he has never been treated as a project when he grew up. Maybe that’s another reason why he enjoys his game and is so close to his family. Federer’s life is a lesson for all mortals. We need to realise the importance of stepping back and looking at the big picture. Belief doesn’t always work miracles but, sometimes, it goes a long way if accompanied by pragmatism.