Monday, April 26, 2010

Andre Agassi is an Inspiration

      Andre Agassi inspires me.

     Listening through the introduction and the first chapter of his autobiography "Open: An Autobiography" was thrilling, fun, exciting, and an eye-opening experience.  I don't know how to explain it.  I thought reading autobiographies would be boring.  I was wrong. 

     It started with his narration of his 2nd round victory over Marcos Baghdatis in the 2006 US Open - his last US Open.  After a grueling 5 set match, while millions of viewers worldwide are still inspired and can't stop talking about what they have just witnessed - some probably even losing some sleep,   what struck me most was the scene he depicted at the locker/training rooms after the match.  Who would have thought that after that match, both him and Baghdatis were inside the locker room, lying on 2 separate tables - suffering from cramps and agonizing in pain.  While the rest of the world celebrates, the reasons for the celebration are in pain. Tough. 

Here are a few quotes from the book which stuck:

"Hate brings me to my knees, love gets me on my feet."

"It’s no accident, I think, that tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love, the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature. Even the structure of tennis, the way the pieces fit inside one another like Russian nesting dolls, mimics the structure of our days. Points become games become sets become tournaments, and it’s all so tightly connected that any point can become the turning point. It reminds me of the way seconds become minutes become hours, and any hour can be our finest. Or darkest. It’s our choice."

"Go kick some butt." (Imagine Steffi Graf and the Agassi kids saying this! ^^)

     As he narrates his childhood, his life at home, and how his father pushed him to play tennis in the next chapter, your heart goes out to him.  I can't imagine going through what he's gone through.  I can't even contemplate that a father like his exists.  It pains even just to hear his stories.  You have to give the man credit for remembering every minute detail - most people would just learn to forget, I know I have. 

     I can't wait to listen to the next chapters.  This is the first book I've tried listening to instead of reading.  I got an audiobook.  It's a unique experience - the reader's phrasing and intonation adds animation and emotion to the story.  The only set back is, it takes one whole hour just to read one chapter.  The reading pace is so slow compared to when you are reading it by yourself.  

Get the book and read it! Highly recommended.

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