Rejuvenated!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt on 01/19/15:  “Tell us about the last experience you had that left you feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated. What was it that had such a positive effect on you?”

As I mentioned in a previous post, “Tennis Player”, I enjoy warm sunny days, playing tennis with Boyfriend. Sunday (01/18/15) was the first opportunity we have had in quite awhile to play, and I enjoyed every minute. The sun was shining, the wind was nonexistent, and the temperature was 68 and beautiful. Boyfriend and I smiled and ran each other around the court pretty well! The courts where we play are well-kept, have good traction, are blue and white (which I prefer to green and burnt red) and are situated near a serene landscape. We are happy to live near multiple courts, which enables us to play tennis rather than spend our tennis time searching or waiting for a court Playing tennis gives us both a good workout, with both long points and quick bursts of energy (aerobic and anaerobic, cardio and high intensity movement). This combination allows for a fun and pleasant experience for Boyfriend and me. 

I feel fortunate to live in Central Texas most of the time, especially in winter. Even though we had several weeks of cold and rain, we didn’t get snow and, while it was dreary and mostly unpleasant for the past few weeks, it was warmer than in would have been in the Midwest. Even with warmer winter temperatures, we have not had a day that was fitting for us to play tennis in almost two months. The ability to enjoy an activity together, sweat a little and feel my muscles work was something I had been looking forward to all week as I watched the weather forecast. I feel glad that we seized the moment, as the weather has returned to cold, windy, cloudy and rainy the past few days. On the bright side, it’s not snow, though it could turn into ice.

I find being in the sun refreshing and rejuvenating while walking, sitting outside, especially when I take a few minutes away from work. I used to spend a lot of time driving with my previous job, more than I do now, and the office I worked from had several large, third floor windows that allowed for sun and natural light. I could sometimes duck over to a Starbucks to sit outside while typing case notes to both work and relax a little. Now, if I can, I take a lap or two around the office building to escape from my windowless office, sometimes with music on my phone for a bit of oomph.

Sometimes I drive, with good music and the windows open can be rejuvenating. I recently had the chance to drive back and forth from San Antonio for training on the toll road. Rather music, a good stretch of the ride was taken in silence as I delighted in little traffic on the 80-mile-an-hour toll road, alone. Unlike some, I normally enjoy driving and have often taken to the road as a refuge and a little time to collect my thoughts or decompress after a stressful day.

In this stressful world, you have to find ways to rest, relax and rejuvenate!

© blogdaysofchrell 2015

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Tennis Player

I am a tennis player, and have been since age 8. For a long time, tennis was an everyday part of my life- I was fairly good and it became a part of my family routine. We played tennis and watched tennis. I chose tennis over soccer because I didn’t like to play soccer and I didn’t have the gumption to kick the snot out of others. Tennis was easy to stay with because I had instructors and coaches I liked (for the most part) and, even though tennis was yet another thing that made me stand out as different from those around me, I fit in here more than anywhere else.  I could shine a little when I won a match or got compliments and encouragement from fellow tennis people.

Tennis player was an identity I sometimes didn’t want but didn’t know what to do without. I grew up in a neighborhood where people did so-called normal things, and nobody but my family played tennis. For this and other reasons, I was ostracized with few friends. Kids are cruel to people whom they view as different.  I was told that I was weird, did I know what kind of people tennis players were (with derogatory names attached), and that my sport matched my strange name. I found it amusing that the very people who teased me would inquire if I still played tennis and did I go to college on a tennis scholarship when I later encountered them.

As with any other pursuit, there are successes and struggles. I learned to use my talent and skills to the best of my ability and, while I was never the best, it paid off when I put in the work. I am most proud of my undefeated season, being named to the conference team (the first #6 player to do so), and being MVP – all as the #6 player on the team. I am disappointed that, at times, my efforts to differentiate myself less and deal with life got in the way of achieving greater success, both on and off the tennis court. Tennis has taught me lessons I might not have learned otherwise about acceptance, commitment, and persistence. Some of my fondest memories as a youngster include meeting famous tennis players and being a “ball kid” at the professional tournaments in my city.

I struggled again with my tennis identity once I became a “former athlete.” I graduated from college and was no longer competing or training regularly, which was an adjustment after 14 years. I realized that tennis, like many other things, was now my choice.  I didn’t have to formally train or compete, I could just have fun. I played for so long for so many reasons and now it is something I just enjoy, especially on a warm, sunny day with a slight breeze. I am a tennis player.