2020/06/21

曾經惹毛費爸 Noah Rubin設平台分享網壇辛酸

曾經在澳網惹毛Roger Federer的美國小將Noah Rubin,曾經因為遇上瓶頸而迷失自己。然而,他卻也因此決定建立社群平台,讓世界網壇的每位成員可以藉由文字,將「球拍之後的告白」公諸於世。Rubin也從小時了了的網球浪人,成為了網壇舉足輕重的吹哨者。

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「網球這項運動時常會讓你同時感到自己很渺小又有優越感……如果你曾經是備受期待的大物,十之八九你會隨著時間慢慢被人們忘卻。」—Noah Rubin

時針悄悄往午夜的方向爬,地中海的微風緩緩吹進了西班牙馬貝拉的網球俱樂部。美國選手Noah Rubin漫步著,找尋著悠閒。此時是2018年三月,Rubin才剛經歷了兩個半小時的苦戰後吞下敗仗,讓他的連敗紀錄來到五場。不過,他已經習慣了。這種打得天昏地暗的敗仗,其實就是他生涯迄今的縮影。

這由瑞典名將Bjorn Borg在1979年開設的網球俱樂部,如今已空無一人。除了剛剛Rubin比賽的球場以外,所有的燈光都已經被管理員熄了,就連裡面的咖啡廳也早就打烊。離紐約老家三千五百英哩遠的Rubin收拾了他的物品,步入了漫漫黑夜。走過了四個球場後,他找到了空蕩蕩的水泥階梯,然後跌坐在那開始哭泣。

十五個月前,他才踏上了墨爾本的Rod Laver體育館,在2017年澳網第二輪挑戰瑞士傳奇Roger Federer。在那炎熱的一月午後,Rubin在場上極盡所能,試圖與對方抗衡。在第三盤破發成功後,Rubin反射性地揮拳高呼,替自己提振士氣。Rubin的呼喊惹火了Federer,讓他在換場時狠狠瞪了Rubin一眼。

「我那時候心想:我竟然惹火Roger Federer。」Rubin回憶道,「那是多麼奇妙的經驗啊!」

那一天,Rubin直落三輸掉了比賽,卻讓自己有了自信,認為他在網壇有一席之地。然而一年多過去了,Rubin在這次挑戰賽資格賽第一輪敗北後,當初的容光煥發已經不再,取而代之的是憤怒、羞恥、和跌落低谷的自卑感。

「我只是覺得我再浪費別人的時間。」Rubin說道。

Rubin的故事,在網球的世界其實見怪不怪。小時了了的年輕新秀,卻在職業賽場上遇上瓶頸。這是一個非常煎熬的攀爬,而且很少運動員會公開談論這些辛酸史,直到他們退休的那天才會吐露心聲。他們築起的心牆實在太厚實,他們畏懼軟弱的意志實在太堅強。Rubin曾經相信他有足夠的天賦和努力成為前五十名的好手,然後因此過著舒適的生活,從事他熱愛的運動。如今,他現在連前一百五十名都進不去,經濟狀況更是入不敷出。

「我當時感覺我的靈魂正慢慢離我而去。」他想起了在馬貝拉的那一夜說道,「我就坐在那想著:『我到底做了什麼,讓我在場上這麼難受,這麼痛苦?』那是我人生的低點,卻也是另一個起點。」

「人們總是忘記我們不是機器人。人們看見了這幻想的世界,然後猜想這世界的一切幾近完美。然而,每位球員都必須在這世界面對比輸贏更重要甚至更艱困的挑戰。」—James Blake

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#LegendaryBTR- “I'm not generally someone who’s extremely expressive, my wife will tell you that. She said we had two daughters because I needed to be softened up. It's kind of a joke amongst my friends that I got what I deserved with a household of females. When my dad passed, having my friends, my mom still around and my brother there, was so instrumental. My whole family wanted to pick me up and just let me know it's okay. I was never someone that was a big crier, or truly emotional, but they let me know it was okay to be emotional in times like this. I then became physically sick. This was my first recognition that my psychology can have a huge effect on me physically, because of the immense amount of stress. The stress of my dad passing away led to the development of symptoms that affected my facial nerves. I'd always thought of myself as someone that was relatively laid back, but it all just seemed too much. For me at that time the stress wore me down. I also wasn't sleeping, which just added to my physical sickness. All of this kept me off tour for quite a while, and I couldn’t be more upset. I was 24 years old and I felt like this is my time to play some really great tennis and continue improving but it ended up being a time where I was off tour for eight months. Since I was forced to be home with my friends, I became a better person and a better friend. I began to realize how much life there was outside of tennis after spending time with friends that I had known since middle school. After all of this I learned more about them, in this short period of time just because I was in their lives day to day. Normally I couldn’t be there for them because of my training but this was completely different. A different world for me. I was so hyper-focused on what I was doing that I didn't have the time to just be a good friend. I became a better friend for people that were always there for me. I've got people that care about me whether I win or lose a tennis match, and that made the rest of my life better, not just my tennis career...” James Blake Read full story at behindtheracquet.com (link in bio @behindtheracquet )

A post shared by Behind The Racquet (@behindtheracquet) on Dec 27, 2019 at 11:39am PST

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