I've been leaving work between 6 and 7pm this week so that I can play a few hours of tennis before I go to bed. I really enjoy tennis except for the fact that I break my strings too soon - restringing is very $$ intensive. A small price to pay for the rush I experience when I play well, especially against someone who is much better than me. This phase is similar to when my squash game started to improve by leaps and bounds. I shouldn't let this go out of hand though and stop enjoying the game a la the squash accident.
I might have overdid it tonight though. I've been progressively more tired every night this week but tonight my feet are leaden. I nearly passed out on the couch while mustering up the energy to get up and take a shower. The temperature in Seattle hasn't been very conducive to any kind of activity (unless you call being ensconced in a blanket an activity) - it's 36 degrees F tonight. I always struggle to get off the couch and do what needs to be done before I can call it a night - shower and brush my teeth. Maybe I should do those activities immediately after I walk into the apartment - brilliant!
This evening's tennis was special though. I first played with Mary Tait; she's respected by many at the Pro Club for her consistency and tennis skill. She was kind enough to play with me for what was supposed to be an hour but turned into a 90 minute session of side to side running for me. We warmed up, did some drills and played a long set that taught me a lot about the game. She usually works out after tennis with her husband and I would have joined them in the weight room but I had another tennis match to play - this time for Roger's USTA tennis team tryouts.
Roger made me play my match in torrid conditions - the temperature was 34 degrees F and the relative humidity had to be above 90%. I kid you not, it took 5 games for my digits to get warm but by this time, I was down 5-0. Josh is a great player and I don't really grudge the first set score of 6-0. My fingers were pale from the cold and my timing was completely off. I did start the second set well; we were on serve when we were asked to stop. Josh is in my cross-hairs now...
A small note about these practice sessions before I am done - I'm not going to play outside in the cold anymore. I don't think we'll ever have to play in sub 40 degree weather ever - the players are harmed more than benefited.
Finally, playing tennis has made me meet some of the nicest people I've gotten to know all year. We went to dinner on Monday night to celebrate Kristin's birthday and the entire tennis gang was at Tap House Grill. I have many reasons to give thanks this year, this new found love for tennis is just one of them.