Monday, March 17, 2008

The Price of Fame

Posted by Lisa Marnell

This... my photo of Andy Roddick seconds before he threw his racket to the ground then tossed it into the crowd Saturday morning during practice. Ranked sixth in the world and coming off a win in Dubai, Andy was considered a favorite for doing well at the Pacific Life tennis tournament this weekend in Indian Wells, California.

Five minutes after we entered the tennis grounds Saturday morning a man pointed my family and I in the direction of the practice courts. "Andy Roddick's warming up." He is? We hurried in the direction the man pointed. The crowds were lined against the waist-high fence. As a couple of people left, we made our way into their spots.

I settled by the fence at the periphery of the court as my husband and son walked to the other end, perhaps to get a different view. The excitement I felt at watching this tennis celebrity quickly settled into knots in my stomach. I'm a big fan of his and I still am, but Andy was having a bad day. His opponent made such strong shots. I felt I was spying. People cheered then gossiped and whispered that Andy shouldn't have fired coach Jimmy Connors.

Sunday Andy lost to Tommy Haas (ranked 36th). So Andy's out. We win some. We lose some. We must.

Here, is someone who's hit the BIG time. Andy Roddick's a multi-millionaire at the age of twenty-four. He's travelled the world. How delightful it must be to have achieved such success! But there's highs and there's lows. For him, this tournament was rock bottom; such an upset to be eliminated so early on. And on American soil, with his fans watching!

Of course, I think of my own dream: to BE a writer.

Does it ever get easy? I used to think it did. My old dream of what life would be like as a writer used to involve starting my day with a five-mile run along New Hampshire mountain roads, followed by tea by the fire, a morning of writing before me. It's not that simple. It's not.


Anonymous said...

Being a tennis fan, i watched Roddick win the Dubai Open in emphatic style.
I was thinking something similar about fame: these guys had all worked for it with passion. You can feel their spirit when they play, Federer, Nadal the others.
Nadal's my favorite, my son love's Federer.

Larramie said...

This makes me think of Tiger Woods...will he ever know such a low? After another incredible victory yesterday, it's difficult to imagine.

Hmm, Jimmy Connors and Tiger spent their childhood being trained by a parent and fueling their passion for a dream. Maybe it's never easier, yet remains fun as long as you maintain that passion.

Lisa Marnell said...

Passion. That's probably what keeps all of us going through thick and thin.

Anonymous said...

I thought of Tiger Woods too after I read this post. I don't really follow golf except through the groans of my husband, who seems to just want Tiger to lose so that others can win. But, I can't help sticking up for the passionate kid when he does those famous fist pumps.