RBG and the Original Nine behind Tennis

A force of reckoning and resilience and what it means for women today.

I have to admit - I’m a tennis junkie.

I love to watch the Tennis Channel. And, I love to play tennis. A hobbyist for many years, I started taking the sport more seriously in the last ten years.

COVID-19 brought a screeching halt to so many things and also opened up Pandora’s box in revealing the dark truths of ongoing, implicit bias to race and gender.

In the past, my daily routine included starting the day early with relaxation music, stretching and meditation. With a cup of coffee, I soon turned to the tennis channel to see what was playing worldwide.

August 2019 changed that.

I was in south Florida for a major college football kick off game followed by a couple of days at the beach before heading to New York City for the U.S. Open. In many ways, a first for me.

Those three things weren’t the only firsts. Hurricane Dorian was hurtling towards the Bahamas and I was just on the other side.

To stay abreast of what was happening with the impending storm, I turned to network news, something I hadn’t done since the economic recession of 2008. I used to be an early morning news junkie until I realized how depressing the gloom and doom being reported was taking its toll on me.

As a sharpie encircled Alabama in the path of the storm, I suddenly found who and what being featured both amusing and alarming. The dynamics of human behavior so publicly displayed were fascinating to someone like me, long steeped in the study of psychology.

This last year has me again affixed on staying abreast of what’s happening and who is saying what. Now, as tennis opens up again in New York City, Rome and Paris, my morning routine has again shifted to first include news, tennis, and then music with mediation.

Now I’m ready to focus on work and start writing.

As we mourn the loss of RBG and all the phenomenal changes she’s influenced in women’s rights, we see the world of politics shaken up.

We are also seeing the celebration of the original nine in tennis that awakened the world to women’s tennis in the early 1970’s – 50 years ago. Those original nine shaped the sport to what it is today for the likes of Serena & Venus Williams, Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stephens, Coco Gauff, and many more.

Pivotal to that change was (is) Billie Jean King and what she courageously undertook when she played Bobby Riggs so very publicly on national television and as a first between genders in 1973.

I bring my three loves together as I write on the current times:

1) My love for psychology and the drive behind human behavior.

2) My respect for the integrity and brilliance of those sharp legal minds like RBG who bring focus, clarity and understanding of the complexities and challenge we face on so many levels.

3) And, my simple love and deep appreciation of the athleticism of those who excel in sports, particularly my favorite – tennis – and, what I can learn from their steely steadfastness, emulate and improve as I take to the court.

And, whatever that court may look like! As a mediator and professor of dispute resolution, I am more intrigued than ever to make a difference in the lives of people. First, to empower women to find their voice, advance their presence, and accomplish their goals personally and professionally.

Second, is to influence our male counterparts at every level to recognize the power, force, compassion and insight of the female mindset as a complement and enhancement to how the world can exist differently. It is not a mindset to dominate or minimize as so evident at the highest levels of government and business. RBG lived her life to ensure that we know this and can carry forward her vision, ideals, and values.

Women of the world, are you ready to step up and make a difference? I am.

And, I plan to step forward with new insight and purpose in our mission to influence 100,000 minds worldwide through valuable content to live courageously and curiously with resilience, insight, and knowledge.


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