Wimbledon Warriors

Sometimes you just have to get outside and see the sun.  Sunday was one of those days.  It was perfect. Sunny and warm with a crystal clear sky lacking the haze that comes when it’s too hot here in Texas – which is almost every day from June through August. These are rare days; days that should not be wasted inside in front of a computer.  According to a friend, there are only “14 perfect days” in a given year where we live and I’m sure this was one of them. Rats, only thirteen good days left this year.

I convinced Hubby that we both could use a break from all the things we “should” be doing: laundry, writing, consulting work, searching job boards.  Let’s spend an hour outside, I said.  We could have fun and get some exercise at the same time.   Tennis, anyone?

First step: search for tennis rackets. Found them exactly where one would expect sports equipment to live, in the craft room.  Did I mention we hadn’t played in a while?

Tennis balls became another issue.  We did find a can of tennis balls, however they had zero bounce.  Lucky for us we have a dog. After rifling through Kylie’s toy baskets and searching the backyard, we had three balls that at least resembled tennis balls.  Not sure that Pet Smart really makes a good tennis ball, but hey, it looked OK.  The pink rubber squeaky nubby ball was included as a back-up.

With rackets, an assortment of tennis-like balls and a jug of water, we were off to the tennis courts at the school.  We were thrilled to see that the courts were vacant and surprised others in the neighborhood were not taking advantage of one of the “fourteen perfect days”.

Hubby and I are pretty equally matched when it comes to sports, except he’s better at softball and I excel at shooting pool.  With both of us at fear-inducing heights of 5’2” and 5’5”, we are not powerhouses at hoops.  So tennis is a good game for us.

Once on the court we decided the goal was simply to keep the ball going for as long as possible, playing for household bragging rights.  Hubby went first, dropping the ball, reaching back and swinging the racket, making contact.  Too bad the ball didn’t understand the goal was to go over the net.  Ha! I could tell bragging rights would be mine. 

Telling him to stand back, I served and the volley was on!  I’m not really sure what happened next, except to say that my eyes saw the ball coming at me to the right, my mind said “move” – but my feet and legs were like lead weights stuck in place.  The ball whizzed past me as Hubby yelled, “Why didn’t you move?” Point: Hubby.

Game on, pal! My competitive edge kicked in. No way was Hubby going to win. It was my idea to go outside, my idea to play tennis.  We started again, and this time I made sure my legs went the same direction as my eyes.   Running towards the ball, I stretched to make the shot.  “Ouch!” I cried out, as my hamstring pulled tight and I began what can only be described as a failed attempt at a one-footed moon walk.   “What is it?” yelled Hubby. “Are you hurt?” 

No, I always do this dance when I’m in the middle of a game.  Duh.

Determined to enjoy this perfect day, I soldiered on.  We both did.  We hit the ball. We tried to run.  At one point we actually had fourteen consecutive “hits” before the ball took a nose-dive into the net.  After thirty minutes we took a water break.  Sweating, heart racing, unable to lift the large jug of water to even get a drink, I looked at Hubby and said “what happened to us?”  Of course we immediately blamed our rusty skills on the lay-offs, new work and the fact that we were not used to such nice weather. 

Back on the court, we continued to try and regain the skills we knew we once had.  We switched sides, each convinced that the other had an advantage solely based on the side of the court.  That’s when I discovered his side of the court held a treasure trove of sunbaked Cheerios, which I’m sure he had been hiding from me.  No wonder he had energy; he was on a Cheerio high. Never mind that they had probably been there for months. 

We never bested our fourteen consecutive hits, working at it for another half an hour before deciding that our poor performance was the direct result of using the dog’s toys as tennis balls.  We acknowledged that it was unfair of us, really, to take the dog’s toys and headed home.  

It was great to get out of the house and away from the grind of work and job-search.  Our muscles are still sore and we may never move with ease again, but at least we enjoyed one of the fourteen perfect days.  

Read more from Tami at talesoftheterminated.com

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