Artificial

Artificial: (adj) dictionary with letter Amade or produced by human beings instead of occurring naturally.

It was stuck on a side road in Mt. Shasta, California, high up in the mountains, where the air is thin enough that exercise is more difficult.

This didn’t stop me. I was determined to play tennis.

Considering the struggle I have with my knees today, it seems light-years in the past when I was able to run up and down the court, chasing a ball. But I did–and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I had convinced one of my children to go out with me to look for this tennis court, and when we found it we were absolutely delighted. It proved a statement I had made to my son–that you could find what you wanted anywhere, as long as you were willing to search it out.

When we got out of our van and walked over to the court, we discovered something peculiar. Rather than being made out of concrete or macadam, this court was constructed out of some sort of experimental material–kind of a pottery-shell orange and felt a little spongy underfoot.

At first I was impressed. Matter of fact, there was a plaque hanging up, explaining the surface and how innovative it truly was.

It was artificial. (That meant it was cool.)

So we proceeded to play tennis on this material from outer space.

In about fifteen minutes I was totally exhausted, my ankles ached and my feet felt like I was walking on hot coals. The surface, which was meant to be comfortable, ended up being too mushy, and every time you ran you sank down into it just a little bit, making it nearly impossible to get back out of it.

If you stopped long enough and didn’t play tennis on it, it was a dream. It was like cavorting on pillows. But after all, tennis is not a walking sport; it is a running one. And every time I ran, I felt like I was sinking down into marshmallow cream.

After twenty or thirty minutes I gave up. I went back, took aspirin and swore never to play on such a turf again.

You see, the problem with artificial is that it tries to be a great imitation, which only, in the long run, makes you yearn more for the real.

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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