Random thoughts of the day: July 14

Yes, it’s Bastille day. I know we are not French, but it is a holiday nevertheless, and it’s good to celebrate holidays. OK, so I was playing tennis today with my friend and coach Dan. We were at a high school in the Philadelphia suburbs. Football practice was going on behind us. I was hitting my serves and forehands really well, although I was and am still struggling with my two-hand backhand. Making the transition has not been easy, but I am seeing progress.

After working on serve and volleying, I proceeded to end the session with a game of 10 points. Either Dan or I would start the rally and one had to win the point. I was hitting well but starting to get tired. I guess that’s nothing extraordinary for a 51 year old man when playing with a 21 year old. I missed a couple of balls long, and this obese dude walking around the courts laughed at me out loud. Not once, but twice did he laugh. I was about to say something to him, but never got the opportunity. Honestly, all I wanted to say was that he should pay me for the entertainment.

Learning new skills is difficult, particularly when one is older and wishes to perform at a high level. I work hard to play my best all the time, and exercise intensely to achieve the fitness I need to withstand the pounding of a tennis session with a Division I athlete. I have fun playing tennis, and it’s my fantasy to play at a high level. As a youngster, my family couldn’t afford to give me the training I needed, not in tennis, martial arts, or anything for that matter. I had to work on my own to earn my lessons.

Today, as an older man with a teenage son, I actually work hard to afford the lessons necessary for my son to achieve skills in tennis, flying, and skiing. He is good enough at skiing to start teaching this year. He is good enough at flying to earn his private pilot’s license when he is of age. It’s tennis that requires some work with him. I am confident that within one year he will be well prepared to play high school tennis. I want him to be fit for a lifetime, just as I am. I may not have ever been good enough to achieve D1 status in sports, but at nearly 52, I’m in pretty damn good shape.

I guess that’s all I wanted to convey on this Tuesday evening. I love sport and exercise, and have incorporated it into my life. I think we should all do the same. I know it’s hard to go from sitting on one’s butt to moving like one really means it, but if you try hard enough you can achieve it. Trust me on this one 🙂