10 Days Until

December 21, 2005 | Inspiration

A few years ago, actually 1998, I was doing the Weight Watchers plan (still am) and one of the components is exercise. So I headed to the nearest health club, a wonderful facility, joined and started the aerobics class. That lasted a few months and then I became bored. So still following Weight Watchers, I took a beginners tennis program, called 1 2 3 Tennis taught by a tennis pro. Now, the first time I picked up a tennis racquet was when I lived in Washington, D.C. I did it because it was taught at a singles complex and I was single. It was really fun learning in the warm summer evenings. I even got a couple of dates out of it. I was born and raised in Virginia and the first time I saw Arthur Ashe I fell in love/lust. He overcame so many racial barriers to become a great professional tennis player, and although I never got to meet the man, I remain in awe of him. Especially his dignity in dealing with AIDS, and how he handled John MacEnroe’s temper outbursts. The next time I picked up a racquet was in Chicago after the birth of our daughter, and stopped when I returned to work. Then, 1998. Nancy, the pro, made tennis so much fun to play. For two hours twice a week, we sweated our butts off on a hot court. Little did I know this woman had an ulterior motive. Took me a little over a year to figure it out and by then, I was hooked. She suggested, after we finished the class, we join a team. Now, bear in mind a team of anything, including a writer’s group, can consist of beginners and experienced people. In our case, it was more like the beginners on one team and the experienced players on the other. It was especially clear when we played and they wiped our asses off the court. Of course not to be totally embarrassed, we kept taking lessons, found other women willing to play on our team and we got better. Then we discovered tennis outfits, which at any age gives a woman the right to wear very hot short skirts, skimpy tops and not feel bad. We continued to work as a team, bring in new members and learn to play better. At some point, a few years ago, the team I was on decided to split up. I’m not going to go into details, but the breakup left the advanced players on one team and the no so advanced on the other. Well, guess what team I ended up on. It caused a lot of hurt feelings, but again, here comes Nancy and she suggested I captain the not so advanced team. Since I had captained our summer teams and I was pissed at how the entire breakup was handled, I agreed. The first couple of years were down right ugly. We got our butts kicked, but we really liked each other as teammates AND as women. We also discovered a common love, clothes. As I put it then, we may look bad out there on the court, but we always looked good. To add to our team, Nancy sent a couple of new players our way. The team gelled, our tennis pro was patient and taught us well. Then we got better. MUCH better. My teammates have been there for me through the loss of both my parents. When a lady suffers, we are there for her. We’ve had teammates have children. Funny, how one half of our team is raising children, and the other half are finished. We party together, we have lunch on Saturdays after practice and for the last two years, traveled to Miami for the NASDAQ 100 Tennis Tournament. Our tennis wardrobes have expanded. If we choose a color to play in on any given weekend, everybody can find an outfit in that color in their closet. This year our colors are purple and black. We’ve had matches at other clubs scheduled for 3pm and we get there at 1pm because we know they’ve got a pro shop and we need to ‘look’.

We like each other, there have been very few arguments among us. It’s not allowed. No back biting. We’re particular who wants to join our group of 14. Must be able to get along with other women, must be willing to promote team first, must be able to listen (still working on that one ladies), must be willing to play with others, must be willing to practice and practice hard, and must be willing to shop. Our tennis pro, John drives us and he also is my sons’ tennis instructor. I treasure these women, their friendship. Each one is unique, different. We are an integrated group and proud of it. So many of the other clubs we play at can’t say that. We are protective of each other and listen to the opinions of our group. Tennis is more than an exercise. It can be a life long sport activity and you can build friendships that last a life time. Tennis for me is a way to relieve stress, get my aggressions out and return to writing after my body’s recovered. It is mental and physical exercise, and in my paranormal series, one of the main characters is a tennis player.

Watch a major tournament, the Australian Open comes up in January. Check out the legs on the men players. Check out how their firm, taut muscles gleam with sweat. Check out their facial expressions of passion when they win a point. Check out, how one minute they’re full of rage and the next crying because they’ve won the match. Talk about Alpha males all over the place. Think about it, if Andre Aggassi at his age chase down balls for four hours, is it any wonder he and Stefi have two children?

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  1. Isn’t it amazing how it can sometimes be so hard to find a group of woman who will be supportive with each other, a group who refuses to be catty? I’ve been lucky to find a few of those in my lifetime, my brazen vixens included.

    I’m glad you found this tennis group, Yasmine. We need all the support we can get.

    BTW, yesterday the Sci Fi channel played back-to-back episodes of Battlestar Galactica, up to the finale of Season 2. I’m hooked. 🙂


  2. Yasmine: I loved the story of how your tennis team came together. No wonder it’s such an important part of your life. And isn’t it great that the “no talent” team is now winning! Fabulous.


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