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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「球拍之後」開始之後的十六個月裡,Rubin已經分享了多達一百三十九個故事,並吸引了四萬多名關注者。這些貼文將網球人性的那一面呈現出來,從球員們的口語障礙到飲食問題,從父母雙亡的背痛到憂鬱症所造成的惶恐,每位球員都將螢光幕下不為人知的苦衷,一一藉由這個平台訴說出來。

「他們都是人,他們都會經歷困境。」已退美國名將,同時也曾在這個平台貼文的James Blake表示,「我覺得讓年輕球員看到這些是好事,因為這些在過去都是不能說的秘密。然而我認為這些故事會讓他們發覺其實他們並不孤單,而如果有相同的感受也沒關係,他們也會因此去尋求幫助,而這只會為他們帶來更多好處。」Blake還認為像是網球這樣的個人運動所帶來的壓力是其他運動無法比較的。

「這也是為什麼最有天分的球員並非總是最棒的球員。」他說道,「每位網球員都可以告訴你哪位球員曾經在練習時擊敗過他們,卻無法在比賽時穩定繳出成績。」

Rubin負責大部分的訪談,然後將各位球員的回答轉換成第一人稱的文字。在一次早期與好友,來自巴貝多的球員Darian King的訪談中,他發現King的媽媽在2010年因為胰臟癌病逝,而在這之前他完全不知道有這件事。

「我暫停了這次訪談。」Rubin回憶道,「我那時候感到很難過也很抱歉,我覺得我是個很糟糕的朋友,但這不是我還是他的過錯,而是大家的共業。以前真的沒有讓我們可以自在談論這些東西的平台。」

在2019年初,Rubin連絡上了在1997年澳網爆冷擊敗美國名將Jennifer Capriati的球員Jolene Watanabe。當時Watanabe正因為患得闌尾癌飽受病痛之苦,不過她希望能夠傳達帶有希望和堅持的訊息。原本Rubin計畫在數周之後公布文章,然而Watanabe的先生Sylvain Elie傳了訊息給他,告訴他Watanabe才剛離開梅奧診所(Mayo Clinic),而且情況非常不樂觀。醫生告訴他們Watanabe只剩下兩個禮拜可以活,她已經準備要與這個世界道別。Elie向Rubin提出請求,希望能讓他太太可以在離世之前在「球拍之後」被看見。

「她那時候已經無法下床了。」Elie說道:「她那時也很少在用電話。我告訴她去看看那個網站。她看到之後非常感動,那對她來說有很深的意義。」

Rubin也想起了那件事:「這原本只是我在調時差時異想天開的餿主意,結果卻成為了一個人的遺願之一。我完全無法去整理或表達這件事對我的意義。如果硬要說,我覺得這讓我更堅定要持續這項計畫。」

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#MyBTR-“At first glance I look like a normal healthy human being. I am tan, in great shape, and great hair aside from a few grays. I exercise pretty much everyday. I work full time on the tennis court training with and coaching some incredible kids, which I have been doing for years. I am even lucky enough to travel to many tournaments and see them compete to their fullest. Honestly, this is the career of my dreams. While the journey with them is filled with all kinds of enjoyment, nothing compares to seeing a kid win a gold ball or just have a huge win. The look on their face says it all. This is even better than my career where I competed on the pro tour. I played 11 years to be exact with 21 ITF pro titles, 17 gold balls, and 20 main draw grand slam appearances. All of that still doesn’t compare to coaching and mentoring kids towards achieving great things. Despite all of this, looks can be deceiving. I am not what a medical profession would define as a normal healthy human. On October 21, 2017 I was diagnosed with cancer of the appendix. I have been doing chemo for over a year now. At first, it was 12 rounds of infusion with a chemo pump. At the moment I am doing the pill form of chemo. Everyday I take a bunch of pills and do this for three weeks in a row and then take off seven days. So far I have done over 100 days of this pill form of chemo. Fortunately, my body has tolerated each day and I am able to work with just some small side effects. The funny thing is, I wouldn’t change any of it because this is my life, a life that I love. I never ask why or feel sorry for myself. I am strong enough to deal with this and make the best of what life has given me. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t dread swallowing tons of pills. My worst fear is to have someone feel sorry for me or treat me differently than before my diagnosis…so if you see me, give me s**t as usual!”

A post shared by Behind The Racquet (@behindtheracquet) on May 2, 2019 at 12:54pm PDT

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