Thursday, November 17, 2011

After an overcommitted fall, it’s time for a break … and time to heal my tennis elbow!

Hindsight is 30-30 (15-15, 40-40 or something like that;-) and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t. This fall I played men’s ALTA on Saturday mornings (and we practiced Thursday nights) and USTA mixed doubles on Friday nights, and had to make time for T2 “50 and over” doubles and Ultimate Tennis mixed doubles on Sundays, Monday or Wednesday nights. Yes, it was crazy, and I’m glad it’s over.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to play tennis, men’s and mixed, and thoroughly enjoyed my partners and almost every match, win or lose, even though I don’t generally play as well during the fall season, for whatever reason. But given my family (and other evening) commitments during the week, finding time to play my flexible tennis league matches was a challenge given my partner’s availabilities and mine. And, given my fall successes (or rather lack thereof) I wasn’t always in the best spirits at the end of the day throughout September, October and the first week of November. But even if (my partners and) I’d won more matches, I still think that I would have ended up feeling like I’d sacrificed too much time that could/should have been better spent, which is how I feel now.

I remember when I first started playing tennis and caught “the tennis bug”, I was obsessed and couldn’t get in enough playing time. Playing men’s ALTA wasn’t enough, so I started playing mixed doubles as well. Then I started playing K-Swiss (now called Ultimate Tennis), which was only a singles league at the time. Additionally, I had a friend in the neighborhood that was equally obsessed, and we’d play singles (usually on our lunch hours) at least once a week. I couldn’t get enough and never thought I’d feel like I do now, after this fall’s overdose.

Maybe it’s the fact that my elbow started hurting about a month ago, after I’d had one of my racquet’s restrung. This is a normal occurrence for me, but it usually only lasts about a week (or at most two) and then all is good. But perhaps because I was playing non-stop, there wasn’t time for any healing to take place as usual. So it has stayed sore, and if I wasn’t taking a couple of Advil before playing, it would be unbearable. I feel kind of wimpy because my “over 50” partner has always suffered from this ailment – he’s learned to live with it – and yet I have lost some enthusiasm for this wonderful sport of ours just because of a little pain?

Well, I’ve backed off for now and am only playing once a week: our regular mixed doubles practices on Sundays – in preparation for the winter’s season(s) – have begun. I’m certainly hoping that my elbow will heal and that I can regain my zest for playing over the next couple of months before January.

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