Thursday, June 21, 2007

60 percent

My tennis rackets arrived yesterday!

A pair of brand spanking new Maxply McEnroes . . .

Now I'm off today to get them strung, but they won't be ready for the "big" mixed doubles tournament this weekend.

Oh well.

Say, I was reading in McEnroe's biography "You cannot be serious" that because of his age he is now playing at about 60% of what he used to play at.

And guess what?

When he wrote this he was exactly the age I am now. And here I thought I should be playing close to what I once was all those twenty three years ago.

Silly me.

Makes me feel better actually knowing that 60% is about it for my performance on the court, even with the extra workouts and weight dropping plan I put myself on.

60% - still, that's higher than my high school English marks - and you would never have guessed that . . .



Tuesday, June 19, 2007

feeling the pain

of my own limitations.

Sounds ominous, or self-defeating or even hopeless - but it is far from that and so much closer to contentment than ever before.


Okay, let me start at the beginning - of June - when I made a pact with myself - get more exercise, become stronger and drop about ten to fifteen pounds.

Sounds impossible for a middle-aged father with a full time job, but, with a little time management, some willpower and steroids . . . okay, no steroids, but rather exercise instead, it can and will be done.

You may have noticed a lack of posts here for a while. And that is for a good reason.

Instead of sitting on my duff in the morning for an hour or more, then sitting in my car for the morning commute, then sitting in my office . . .

. . . See the evil trend emerging.

I’ve been getting up as usual (very early) and going for an hour walk each morning instead, unless I’m playing tennis that day and hence the output here has tapered off.

I just don’t have enough time in the day anymore for exercise, family, blog(s) and all the other things which suck up my time - which is not to say this place will fade away, but only that it will be seeing less of my duff-sitting ramblings.

And now to get to the point which I think I’ve made in the past. As I age I find that my physical body is starting to show those signs more and more. Signs I would rather it didn’t. And now I am faced with a choice.

Do I roll over and just say - well, I’m getting older and can’t hack it anymore. It, of course, being tennis.

Que the broken record - I was once a very, very good tennis player. Now I’m a very, very average one . . .

Why? What the H is going on?

Age - plain and simple. My body cannot handle what it could twenty years ago and I have to realize this and change my strategy.

And so I’m getting into much better physical shape through walking, weights and less duff sitting.

Is it working?

Well, so far (three weeks in) I’m feeling more aches and pains in places that never had them before and (last night) it really took its toll on my tennis game during my doubles league match (yes, we got smoked 6-3, 6-1). My sore ankles, stiff elbow and general sore/stiff muscles did not respond to my 19 year old mind’s directions . . .

. . . still, I am getting lighter and stronger despite the stiffness/aches/pains. It is taking so much more time for my body to strengthen up and drop weight though that it ever has before. So what I thought would be a two week to one month process, will take double or triple that estimate I think. And the whole time I must be cognizant of injury prevention. I can’t bounce back from sprains like I used to either.

And so it is.

And so it will be - mostly.

I hated to admit it, but there it was last night, plain as day - my top game slipping away. But it does give me motivation to improve, and improve I shall . . . even if it pains me . . .

-mind side slip-

I do have a post, almost complete, of my wonderful time at the Hospital three weeks ago . . .

No, not a tennis injury or chronic ailment, just more signs of old age I wanted checked out to be sure I could still play tennis for years to come and see my daughter graduate high-school. I’m almost fine - details to follow in a later post.

And Oh, I’m excited for two good reasons.

1) My new tennis rackets cleared customs yesterday and should arrive before the weekend. WooHoo! Dunlop Maxply McEnroes they are and promise to be sweet replacements for my twenty-plus year old Dunlop Max 200Gs . . .

2) My daughter was smoking at baseball last night - hit all three times she was up and got all the way around the bases to score points as well (proud Daddy here!). She is really turning into a good little player and (bonus) she really likes the game too. I wish I could have been there to watch (I was getting trounced on the tennis courts instead) but my wife was there to see it all and fill me in.

I am so lucky to have them both and no ache or pain can ever diminish that.

Well, that’s all the time I have for today - Oh, why the post and not a walk this morning? Why, I'm playing tennis again tonight.

Three days in a row . . .

Picture Spock with the Horta if you will . . . Pain, pain . . .