Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tennis anyone

After many years of watching tennis from a far and peeking through the glass at the people playing at my health club I finally decided that no matter what the outcome I was going to try and learn to play tennis. This was met with a variety of reactions.  My husband, who said this would be a great You Tube laugh a ton, told me that I may want to stick with walking. Those who do not know me well  assumed this must be one of many sports I actually am learning.  I live in an area where many people play and when I mentioned lessons they thought I was getting a refresher course.  


I avoided participating in sports as much as possible until my late 20s.   I am the girl who bought Primatene mist and told a HS gym teacher I had asthma and that I could not bring a note because my parents could not afford the doctor (that worked for about a year).  The girl who got rides around the block while smoking to complete the President's physical assessments (remember those? - do they still exist?).  Since I went to parochial prep school we had a dress code involving skirts and  I did not like changing my stockings, ruining makeup and getting frizzier hair (products not what they are today).  However, this is also the girl who loves to and can dance, who walks miles in cities and on beaches and who really liked a good game of handball in a school yard.  In my 20s I found power walking and realized I am a really fast walker and fairly slow runner.  I love putting on my music and going 5- 6 miles, feeling good at the end of it.  I even like the gym now.


This was not my first foray into tennis lessons.  My parents, again limited funds but lots of optimism as they both had been athletic in their youth, had gotten me tennis lessons.  The lessons were with another Romanian ex-pat who had played tennis semi-pro and was now living in the States working with Bjorn Borg (yes that one).  Peter was nice and patient.  He and his wife were both really attractive and  I distinctly remember that they looked great in their tennis whites.  Tennis outfits are part of the appeal of this sport for me.  I welcomed the chance to try it.  Tennis is one of those sports that looks like you should enjoy playing. It had the appeal of appearing, to my naive eyes, as not too strenuous and  that it would not involve me having to run against any other person (all misconceptions have since been dispelled).  I had 2 or 3 lessons at which point he declared "she is a really nice girl but tennis will never be for her".  It broke my heart, for a minute anyway.


My son had been asking for a year for tennis lessons (we signed him up and he is doing well and loves them) and I thought I would take some also.  My first few lessons proved to me that my athleticism had improved with age and that tennis is not easy to learn or play but is something I really enjoy.  I have found another Mom friend, benefit of MNO, who was not falsely modest when she said she too did not play well and we are having a great time playing and practicing together.  I am not competitive and neither is she so our matches tend to be encouraging and we will get better. I did buy the little skirts, slave to fashion and cute outfits as always, and will keep taking private lessons.  I still think I am a nice girl only now am one that will be playing tennis .....Love - 40+

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