May 11, 2011

Anyone For Tennis?

I was never a sporty guy. I was - and am - more comfortable with a book than a football or a guitar than a basketball. I ran track in junior high and high school - short distances and cross country - and I was in a bowling team in high school (which I'm pretty sure doesn't count since I usually did it with a cigarette in my mouth).

The other night Beth discovered the key to our neighborhood tennis courts. So we bought some balls, dug out rackets and went and played. I forgot how much I enjoyed playing tennis.

I started playing tennis when I was in elementary school. My best friend played and I wand in on the action. Our coach was Mrs. Schwartz, a former tennis pro who was probably fifty. We stuck with her for years thought things got dicey towards the end. We weren't quite sure what was going on. She looked tired. She'd occasionally duck behind bushes and someone would hear what sounded like someone throwing up. She began to lose her hair. Our parents talked in hushed tones when they came to pick us up. Then one day she died. Cancer.

Tennis was never quite the same after Mrs. Schwartz died but I kept on playing. I got s new coach - one of McEnroe's old coaches who was obviously looking for a less stressful gig at a country club. Then I played in college. Not competitively but as an elective. And then I never really played again until last night.

I suck, but it was fun.

Are you a sporty person? What was your sport of choice? Any joys you've rediscovered lately?

Posted by Chris at May 11, 2011 7:08 AM

I'm very unathletic - I like to blame it on going to a catholic school for 8 years that didn't have a gym so we didn't have gym class. Cheerleading was my sport and I was darn good at it.

Posted by: NancyB at May 11, 2011 7:19 AM

I played soccer from age 5 all the way through high school. Not amazingly talented, but pretty good due to persitance and practice. Now I enjoy watching my son play. I also did dressage for years and enjoyed that, but never competed.

I always wanted to play tennis, so I signed up for lessons through our community ed when I was a kid. Shortly after starting, I contracted a case of poison ivy so bad that I had to stay inside in a dark room for a week. Thus ended my tennis career :)

Posted by: Elizabeth at May 11, 2011 7:47 AM

I played basketball and softball in high school, and also intermural basketball and softball in college. (My overseas high school didn't have a baseball team as there was nobody to play, so we had a softball team in the adult rec league) I also played inner tube water polo in high school, which is freaking hilarious and fun. I continued to play on softball teams into my 30s. These days, I enjoy a round of disc golf, but that is about as much of a sport as bowling is.

Posted by: COD at May 11, 2011 8:08 AM

I was most definitely not a sporty kid at school, and in fact I had such bad exercise-induced asthma that I was actually forbidden by doctors to do any form of sport etc. However by the time I go to my early teens, I'd started doing the odd sporty thing here and there. Primarily it was horse-back riding and dancing. My mom is / was a retired professional ballroom & latin american dance instructor and she used to give adult social dancing classes so I would help out if there were people without partners etc. I danced for many, many years and I loved it, still do although I haven't danced since my wedding (I taught my husband & choreographed our first dance). I loved horse riding too and did it regularly for just over 11 years but I haven't ridden in about 3 years now, although I want to get back into it.

When I was about 22 I took up karate and then kobudo (martial arts weapons), and even got roped in as an assistant instructor in a self-defence course run by my karate instructor. Those of us that did both the karate & kobudo were expected to be fitter than those that just did karate so we were pushed to the limits in terms of our fitness. It was brutal at times and I don't think I had many days where I didn't have a part of my body that wasn't hurting, but I got just over half way to black belt when I stopped - too much of a time committment for me and I was also continuously plagued by injuries. I can't say I really enjoyed the karate itself but I enjoyed the fitness that came from it.

Somewhere in between leaving high school and before I started karate, I got into belly dancing, and this is still my first love in terms of exercise (and anyone who tells you dancing is not a sport isn't doing it right!). I stopped about a year ago but I'm hoping to pick it up again once my son is born.

Posted by: Delia at May 11, 2011 8:14 AM

I'm not a team player. I don't mean that in a "doesn't work well with others". It's more that any sport I've ever been any good at involves me, and well, me.

For the fall that I played, I was terrible at soccer. My family showed up once to watch a game when I was in eighth grade and laughed so hard throughout that I asked them not to come back.

I played JV volleyball. That went ok, mainly because, well, we never won anyway, so my crappy abilities were actually pretty good on that team.

The list goes on, some good stories that are funny now. But I like rock climbing. No large class to work with, no team to mess up for. It's a nice gig.

Posted by: alektra at May 11, 2011 8:19 AM

Tennis is fun, and like you, it's been lost since college for us. It'd be great to go give it a try again.

Yep, sporty person. Played football in school. Now I'm an ice hockey player and a runner. I coach tee ball and soccer too. I also love the guitar and piano though, so it'd be hard to nail me down to a label.

Posted by: Brad at May 11, 2011 9:07 AM

Oh goodness. Sporty? Me? Well I ice skated as a kid. I love to swim in the sea, and I do snow ski, although, I do admit that as I get older, I am not as fluid as I once was.

Posted by: Maribeth at May 11, 2011 11:39 AM

Racquetball was my sport of choice, but I also like playing football. And then I did some crazy rollerblading while in college (the first time).

Posted by: Rex at May 11, 2011 12:27 PM

I was a huge tennis player growing up. Did not play in college then picked up back up in my late 20s. Have not played since my first was born 3 years ago. I miss it.

Posted by: DC Urban Dad at May 11, 2011 1:11 PM

Well, I like to play sports but I don't play organized sports. I'm up for a pickup game of just about anything (although I'm not particularly good at anything) I played AYSO soccer until I was about 10. I tried out for basketball when I was a Sophomore and made the cut but declined to continue the tryout. Same with cheer. When I was 15 I blew my knee out and since then, sports have been contraindicated. I do ski occasionally, since husby is a big skier. I have been trying to learn snowboarding, but as often as we get to the snow (less than once a year), that isn't going very well. Sometimes I swim for exercise.

I'm really a half-assed athlete. I like to be active but I don't seek it out.

Posted by: Brooke at May 11, 2011 1:44 PM

im a tennis player too.. its the only sport i ever got into (im not counting cheerleading here for obvious reasons) my first "job" was the DC Dept of REc aas a tennis coach at a summer camp...and Marion Barry signed my checks.. sigh.. the good old

Posted by: suicide_blond at May 11, 2011 2:49 PM

i am so sad to say i'm one of those people that says things like "i used to be a runner". i "used to rock climb". i "used to surf". i "used to snowboard". now i'm just mommin' it up with destroyed knees and no hobby time for myself! :)

Posted by: kati at May 11, 2011 3:41 PM

I've definitely never been the super sporty type, though I wonder how that might've been different if some other things had been different. (hello vague!) I liked volleyball well enough, and loved horseback riding, though the competition of the latter I could've taken or left. I think it's really great to have a healthy physical activity that you really actually enjoy. I need to work on finding one I guess!

Posted by: Heather at May 11, 2011 6:38 PM

Like NancyB up there, unathletic would well describe me. However, I LOVE to walk. And sometimes, on and off, I love to swim and will do water aerobics of yoga from time to time as well.

Tennis has always looked fun to me, but quite simply, I'm slow, and clumsy, so I doubt I'd be much good at it unless my partner was also slow and clumsy like me!

Posted by: Debra at May 12, 2011 5:34 AM

I never was a sporty person, but in my 20s I discovered rowing and found my niche. I raced for awhile and even coached juniors, but after my divorce and move, it dropped out of my life for some reason or another. Then I gained weight and couldn't row my particular racing shell if I had wanted to. Last year I lost enough of that weight that this spring I am back on the river rowing again and I have never felt better. It's a meditative time for me - I love it!

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