Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ivan Lendl - no, I am not his doppelganger

While practicing with my mixed doubles team last night, one of my signature cross-court forehand rips caused our new coach to dub me "Lendl", a nickname which stuck throughout the evening, and was even picked up by a teammate or 2.

Of course, my ability doesn't even warrant a USTA 4.0 rating, so any comparison with the multi-Grand Slam champion is ridiculous except ... I kind of look like him (or at least did at one time) and I too have only daughters, though he has 1 more.

My mom once cut a picture out of a sports magazine of Lendl and sent it to me; I think I was in college at the time.  I didn't keep it, but it looked something like this:

which kind of, sort of looks like I used to, in this photo anyway:

O.K., maybe it's a stretch.  In more current photos, I see "me" but also my older brother (and even my Dad):

whereas I look quite different (I think he has bigger lips, and more teeth;-)

BTW, it was hard to find a photo of me that wasn't "teethy".  What do you think?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Special Pops Tennis - Fall recap

The third annual Special Populations Tennis Fall Fundraiser was held last month at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Because of my injury, I was unable to play. But I did attend it as a guest, and arrived in time to see the pro & unified partner exhibition. The dinner was excellent and I assume that a lot of money was raised for this terrific organization through tickets, the auction etc.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in my second consecutive Fall Classic, the seventh annual Special Pops event of its kind. In previous years, the event was held at the Racquet Club of the South. But, because of its recent purchase by Lifetime Fitness, that facility was unavailable. So, it was held at three different locations simultaneous, with singles, unified partner and traditional doubles events spread throughout the three venues. While this made watching (or photographing) the event a challenge, there were over 150 athlete participants and, per the good weather, a good time was had by all.
I was able to participate on Saturday, and umpired singles matches all morning before the midday break, then unified doubles matches after lunch. While it was cold that morning at the Country Club of the South, it was very warm that afternoon. Lunch was served at nearby East Roswell Park, which was also one of the hosting locations along with the Country Club of Roswell.

I hope that you will consider volunteering with or making a donation to this most worthy organization.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Healed? Just in time for preseason team practices

After 1 day shy of 5 weeks without picking up a tennis racquet, I ventured onto the court last night to see if I'd healed enough to start playing again. I think I am.

I did play golf a couple of weeks ago, twice actually, but that sport doesn't require the same kind of up-and-back, left-to-right etc. movement that tests/strains a groin muscle. In fact, the most "painful" part of playing golf was my warm-up, because lifting my legs high and "kicking my butt" caused me to remember that I still had a slightly less than purple (and fading) bruise on the back of my right thigh, just above the knee. While tender to the touch, I didn't really notice it until I started jostling it about by jogging in place.

Last night, I got to the court early to do plenty of warming up in preparation for the beginning of our seven preseason team practices. Early on, while going for a short ball - the kind that led to my injury in the first place - I felt a little tweak. So I went about 75-80% speed after that. Still, I was able to move, albeit cautiously, and hit the ball, if not consistently.

After practice, I declined to play a set - why push it? - and woke up this morning feeling fine; no limp. However, my groin did feel weak last night, so I googled and found several strengthening exercises on the Internet, which I intend to start doing soon. I've also decided to limit my playing time to these practices, at least for now, until I've had a chance to get stronger. Fortunately, it's still almost 2 months until the winter ALTA season begins. Unfortunately, I didn't heal in time to help my mixed USTA team - which is in the playoffs tomorrow night - this fall.