Friday, July 23, 2010

Tennis (Daily Photo 7.20.10)

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Nik and I attempted to pin down exactly when we played our last game of tennis and as near as we could figure came up with a timeframe of between 5 and 9 years. Instead of running, which has gotten tiresome in the summer heat, I wanted to start the week with a game instead. We bought a fresh can of balls and dug our old racquets out of the attic -- hers dating back to high school and mine to college, but both still sturdily strung, although the same can't be said for the grips. The bright blue tape on my racquet grip, having endured damp heat cold damp heat cold damp heat cold and so on for between 5 and 9 years, is more or less fried, crumbling and dry yet tacky. It smurfed up my hands smurfily.

The last time we played I had zero experience with exercise of any kind. I had no decent sneakers or workout clothes. I would play in my jeans or if I wanted to be extra limber in cargo shorts and Chuck Taylors, and I recall once running along the baseline against Nik in shoes, actual brown shoes, probably Doc Martens. After 15 minutes I'd have more exercise than I'd likely seen for months beforehand. Now I run three or four times a week. I've got proper sneakers and workout clothes and I figured out how to breathe correctly when exercising -- for years I never got anywhere with exercise because I'd hold my breath and remain locked-muscled. An hour of tennis and I was sweaty and hot, but I could've kept going for another. A measure of improvement.

We don't play for points -- she took some lessons as a girl but I only know what I picked up from TV. Nik and I try to see how many times we can volley it successfully without one of us catapulting the ball into the next court over with a klutzily curved backhand and having to retrieve it. The record is 12.

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