I don't like to watch sports, but I'll play most any of them. My favorite sport - besides synchronized swimming, of course - is tennis.
In high school, I took a tennis class to fulfill my physical fitness requirement. A fast runner, hard server and backhand fiend, I won most games. After one victorious round, I attempted a jump over the net. My toe caught the top of the net, and I fell to the other side face and elbows first pretty much ruining my win.
Before my dad switched to golf, mandatory considering he's a banker, his sport of choice was tennis. Sometimes, I'd accompany him to the nearest city courts and watch him practice with a ball machine. One time, I played against him. Of course, I was no match against his expertise gained by playing weekly games against other full-grown men. But those trips inspired a deeper love of the game, and I started biking to the very same courts nearly every weekend to practice against the long, sturdy backboard - all the while longing to have enough money to rent a ball machine that would further bolster my game. That day never came. Because I had to work to make money, all my spare time was taken and I had no more time for tennis.
This coming Saturday, my skill level will be tested so I can join a Professional Women's Tennis League through the City of Tallahassee Parks and Recreation department. Tomorrow, I will mail $15 to the city to join its tennis association, a requirement to play on any of its leagues. Once my skill level is assessed (I am likely a beginner or advanced beginner), I will be matched with others of the same skill level for 15 matches played throughout the fall and early winter. I will also be taking concurrent tennis lessons through the city to improve my game and raise my skill level for other leagues.
I went out to the city's main courts Saturday afternoon. It was a pleasant drive to just beyond the city limits on a wooded canopy road. The facility is huge and contains a weight room, showers and about 30 courts, one-fourth of which are clay. A tennis player's version of heaven, to be sure.
I can't wait to get out on the court and unsheathe one of my racquets. I'll be making new friends while exercising in the fresh air. What could be a better way to spend my Saturday mornings?