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About a week ago, while I was taking my morning walk, I noticed the empty tennis courts that are just blocks from my house and thought, “we should start playing again.”

The we? That’s hubby and me. We used to play a lot of tennis when we were first dating and even well into the early years of our marriage. I was never great, but I began to improve after playing at least 3 times per week.

Hubby and I would hop on our bikes and ride to Wood Park, the one spot in our hometown that had courts, and hope that one of the four courts would be open. If they were all open we’d ride our bikes around the courts for a while, and then settle in for a game or two.

I could never beat him. I might win a set here or there, but I could never win a match. Hubby has a mean backspin, and to be honest, I’m the type who crumbles when the pressure is on. If I was in reach of a win, I’d trip over my own two feet.

Once we had our first born daughter we continued to play, but it was hard. We’d have to wheel her onto the court in her stroller, but I was always worried she’d get hit with a ball. Plus, she’d begin to fuss after 30 minutes or so. Then we moved to Florida, and it was too hot to play.

But after seeing those open tennis courts on my walk, I really wanted to get out and try to play again. I brought it up to my husband, who agreed that it would be fun. We got out the racquets, managed to find one ball, and headed for the courts. As we pulled up to the park we were discouraged to find both courts in use.

Ugh. Oh well, we only had one ball anyway, and that makes tennis a chore. We went back home slightly dejected, but ready to give it another try someday.

For father’s day, I gave my husband a tube of tennis balls. That afternoon, we went to the park and found both courts open. Hooray! My youngest was our ball girl, complete with her scooter to make fetching that much faster. And we began to play.

Okay, we didn’t really play, we just hit the ball back and forth. He was tired after an overnight shift and am beyond out of shape. But it was really fun. I got up a very good sweat, and my daughter told me that my face was really red. Yikes. Well, it was 87 degrees out.

At the end we played a mini game, and I actually won.

I hadn’t lost my touch. I got off quite a few good shots, even a few slamming backhands. I can still swing that racquet with some skill, it’s just getting to the ball that is difficult. It’s fairly evident I am not in my twenties anymore.

This morning rather than take a walk, my youngest and I went back to the tennis courts. I spent an hour lobbing balls over the net to her, and teaching her how to swing. She wasn’t great, but she did really well for her first time. Our longest volley didn’t exceed 5 hits, but we laughed and chased balls and had a lot of fun.

I want to do it every morning. I think I’ll buy another tube of balls.

 

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