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Monday, January 28, 2013

Laughing at Yourself

Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself.

During the Australian Open women’s final this weekend, No. 6 seed Li Na was locked in a tight battle during the second set with world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka when Azarenka pushed her wide to her backhand side, which happens to be Li’s best shot. Only this time, her left ankle rolled over and she plummeted to the ground in pain. She landed awkwardly, slamming the back of her head against the court.

Earlier in the match, she rolled that same ankle and a trainer taped it so she could continue. So when she rolled it a second time, the crowd gasped. For the next 30 seconds, everybody was quiet as medical personnel checked on her. After the match she said she was worried because she couldn’t see anything for two seconds after bumping her head.

Medical personnel checked her for a concussion. The doctor moved his finger back and forth and asked her to follow it with her eyes. During the test, while still sitting on the court, she burst out laughing. She continued to laugh as they examined her. She wasn’t laughing because possible concussions are comical, but rather, she was laughing about her clumsiness.

It lightened the mood in the stadium. And it also made me think.

I don’t laugh at myself often enough. I think it’s because I’ve heard my share of fat jokes in my lifetime, so I’m sensitive to people joking about me. Somehow, I’ve allowed that to squash my personality, which really is more jovial than I let on in groups. But it is time to let my guard down.

On Sunday, a friend sent me a text asking if I was going to watch the Pro Bowl. He knows I’m not a huge football fan. I told him I was going to watch Ally McBeal on Netflix instead. Here is our brief exchange after that:

Him: Turn in your man card ... geesh

Me: You are gonna make me cry.

I don’t think he picked up on my attempt to laugh at myself, so I still have some work to do. We’re all a work in progress though, right?

By the way, the doctor cleared Li to continue playing. She fought through her injuries and ended up finishing the final against Azarenka, losing in three sets. But I have a feeling she gained many new fans.


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