After Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament*
I have been hopelessly afflicted, from year to year deceived with hopes of improvement, finally compelled to face the prospect of a lasting malady. . . . Four wrist surgeries. One on the right, three on the left. The pain most often returns when I hit a two-handed backhand. I have changed my swing, even though such a change makes me a lesser player. The pain comes sometimes when I least expect it; it comes often when I expect it. I have learned to expect it, fear it, imagine it, all in a single training session. These repeated incidents almost drove me to despair. Ah, it seemed to me impossible to leave tennis behind until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me. So I endured this wretched existence — truly wretched for so susceptible a body, which can be thrown by a sudden change from the best condition to the very worst. — Patience, they say, is what I must now choose for my guide, and I have done so — I hope my determination will remain firm to endure until I have exhausted every possible chance of returning to the heights of the sport I love. Perhaps I shall get better, perhaps not; I am ready. — Forced to become a philosopher already in my twenty-seventh year, oh it is not easy.
*Beethoven’s famous last will and testament after his loss of hearing.
Artist Bio: ItchiRAE (Ricardo Acosta) is a popular digital artist from La Paz, Bolivia who specializes in sport graphics. You can check out his fantastical works on tennis players here or on instagram. You can also follow him and his great artwork on twitter and on his facebook page.
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