|02:55 pm - Playing Tennis with Dad|
Although today I look out the window and see six inches of snow covering the ground, only three days ago, my Dad and I were playing tennis outdoors. We played on the hard courts at Forest Park in Springfield. It was about 40 degrees and sunny, with a little wind, but the courts at Forest Park are surrounded by trees, so we were somewhat protected from the wind.
It was fun. I had been trying to play tennis once a month during the winter. I missed February, but had played indoors in both December and January. Playing tennis outdoors seemed very optimistic and forward-looking. We just hit, playing for some points with me serving, but didn't keep score. We played for more than an hour, maybe an hour and a half. I started in warm-up pants and a light jacket, but stripped down to a long-sleeve shirt after we played for a while.
Mom & Dad are moving to Greenfield. I'm looking forward to it. One of the things that will be nice will be to have another regular tennis partner. Dad said that in the past few years, he's only played tennis when my brother or I were in town. This seems sad, because tennis is really Dad's game.
Tennis has been a part of my life for a long time, but it hasn't really been my sport-of-choice until recently. I had played golf and soccer and basketball. But I remember fondly playing tennis with my high school friends. We mostly just messed around, but I think we played a lot. I also remember playing tennis in Chagrin at the Rec Center, although maybe not so often. I remember playing with Mom's racquet.
I read Andre Agassi's biography recently and one of the things I remember from the book was this picture on the back of the dust jacket:
It looks so much like me as a kid, with the mop top hair. Although I think my hair was lighter at the time.
I've been thinking recently about the part tennis has played in my life, since I've been semi-obsessed with the sport recently. Unlike Agassi, who in his biography professed to "hate tennis," I have always associated tennis with something social. Dad used to belong to the Cleveland Racquet Club and I remember eating club sandwiches there and swimming at the pool. I remember the indoor courts -- I must have been down on them, but I don't have specific memories of playing on them, probably I just hit with dad. And I remember so many times playing with my friends in high school. I don't know why it never occurred to me to play tennis competitively. I lettered in golf and always regretted not playing high school soccer, but the idea of playing tennis competitively never crossed my mind, I guess. We just had fun. We would play tennis hitting "moon balls" over the fence onto another set of courts and back. My friend S. would hit ridiculous spin serves. We played doubles and we'd play for hours.
The nice thing about tennis now is that I live two blocks from a nice set of clay courts, and that it's not prohibitively difficult to find people to play with. And it's cheaper than golf, and you get more exercise.