Sunday, September 10, 2006
One of my heroes
Tonight, in the last match of her professional career, Martina Navratilova (along with Bob Bryan) won the mixed doubles championship at the U.S. Open, demolishing a couple of Czechs in straight sets.
The woman turns fifty years old next month. She's won more championships than I've probably even watched on TV. She is thirty years older than Maria Sharapova, who won the women's singles title tonight. She's a politically outspoken lesbian activist with a smile that lights up the world when things are going well for her. I was fortunate enough to see her play a couple of times in exhibition matches during her brief semi-retirement, and to witness that kind of power and grace from close up is nothing short of spectacular. Her presence just fills the whole stadium.
And here she is, still kicking ass and taking names and bringing home one more big old trophy -- and purely for love of the game. If she can find it in herself to work that hard, surely I can manage to sit down at my desk every day and write. Right?
Go Martina! May you have a long and blissful retirement. And thanks for the inspiration.