The weather here in northwest Tennessee was unseasonably nice today, so the two younger children and I walked over to Bethel so I could get my first bit of tennis in for the year. I haven’t played since last summer, so I was anxious to get back out and see how much rust had developed on my shots.

Quite a lot, it turns out.

The day was very windy, on top of warm, so I’d like to blame that for my poor performance. The truth, however, is that I’m not as young as I used to be and it takes me a bit longer to get in playing form than it did back in college. I played for an hour and a half or so–not really even played, just hit around with the kids–and now I feel like I would be in less pain if I ripped my arm off at the shoulder and ground coarse sea salt into the wound. I tore my rotator cuff about seven years ago, serving during a doubles match, and it’s never quite been the same since. Once I start playing more regularly, it will loosen up, but for the first month or two, it will feel like I’m coming apart at the seams every time I play.

I do enjoy tennis, though. I started playing in high school, taking it up as rehab for a blown knee from baseball. By the time I graduated, I was better at tennis than baseball and played for a semester in college before the school realized that there weren’t enough people there interested enough to support a full team. Now, I enjoy playing matches when and where I can find them. I even enjoy playing by myself, and keep your comments on that to yourself.

Now, one last thing is what my son said while we were at the tennis courts. In response to my daughter’s question of what a piece of plastic attached to the net was used for, Nic replied, “That’s for dirty, dirty balls.”

Okay, now you can comment away.

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