I’m back, baby. I’m back.
As I was walking out on the court this morning with the tennis instructor, he asked me where I lived. I told him where I live and then informed him that I just moved here a few months ago. He asked where I had come from and why I had moved. I told him because there were no tennis clubs where I used to live. You think I’m kidding.
I suppose that was just the icing on the cake or perhaps an indication of the type of area we lived in. I think the only indoor tennis court within 30 miles was inside some old barn. This guy I used to work with told me that someone had redone a barn and put a tennis court in it. That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.
You would be surprised at how many dinner conversations Laura and I have about life. We are real thinkers. I probably over-analyze more than she does, but we do have some pretty worthwhile conversations. One of the topics we talk about is what we could do in the recreational arena. I mean, we probably do more walking, hiking and biking than anyone I know, but it never seems to be enough. We work out on the Bowflex, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. I work around the house cutting down trees and spreading mulch, but still not enough. We even wrestle, well, you get the picture.
This type of thing becomes very important to me when the bad weather sets in. I get the Winter blues easily and need to be constantly entertained or else people are going to hear me complain. No one wants to hear someone else complain.
I used to work at the Carmel Fitness and Racquet Club over in Carmel, NY. I worked there for about four years as the head life guard from 1993 to 1997. I loved that job because it would allow me to do all my homework for college when no one was in the pool. I credit that job for helping me graduate Westchester Community College. I also loved that job because I got free use of the gym and the indoor tennis courts. I love to play tennis and having indoor courts at my disposal year round was the best thing to happen to me. Also, to have a life guarding job year round was great too.
At the Carmel Fitness and Racquet Club, I played a LOT of tennis. You couldn’t keep me out of that place. I get bored very fast, but back then, I had something to do about it. I would hop in my car and go play tennis. If there was no one to play with, I would practice my serve or just hit against the ball machine. Those four years taught me a lot about the game and I actually got pretty good at it.
When I went to college at Binghamton University, I stopped playing. Twelve years have now gone by and I have only casually played tennis a few times, but nothing to write home about. I really miss the game.
Living where we used to live didn’t help. Since people were more into farming than tennis, I had a better chance of somehow driving a bulldozer across a field than to actually play some indoor tennis. Year after year, I got more and more sick and tired of putting up with the lack of recreational activities in the area. There is only so much of walking up and down the road someone can do. I mean, people can say, “Oh, we have this and we have that,” but really it’s the feeling you get when you are somewhere. It’s the culture.
So when I gave the tennis instructor that answer this morning, I wasn’t kidding.
Yesterday, as we were out and about, I decided to take a different way back to the house. I drove through a back road (Oak Street) in Glastonbury to hop on Hebron Avenue. As I was driving down Oak Street, I noticed a sign on my right. It said, “Glastonbury Tennis Club.” I almost fainted. I had planned on joining the tennis club up in East Hartford when the weather got a little cooler, but this was a heck of a lot closer to where we live. I drove a little further and turned around.
We walked in the club and talked to the front desk person a little while. I eventually signed up for a membership and scheduled a lesson for this afternoon at 12:30. I thought this was just great.
This club has six nice indoor courts and four pros for lessons. I thought a few lessons would be a good idea, since I hadn’t played in such a long time. I didn’t want to jump right back into playing matches with strangers when I wasn’t sure of my abilities.
I had my first lesson with John, the Tennis Director. He was pretty cool and probably got a kick of how fast my face turned red from all that running around. I must say, I played rather well. I hit some great shots and was consistently “OK.” Let’s just say that I could hold my own against an intermediate player.
This tennis club has a bunch of clinics where there is a pro and about five people per court. They hold the intermediate clinics on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings. I will most likely go to all of them. I want to get back in shape before the Winter comes because I want to start playing matches. The instructor told me that in a few weeks, I should be ready for the advanced clinics.
That would be the cat’s meow.