U only live once….
The winds are calm and there is a light ripple tickling the hull as the sun fades to the west. I check my voice messages.
“Hey Jane – can you play in a Cat II National Championships 45 & Over doubles tournament in Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow? A player had to default…and you can substitute in. Your match will be at 3PM…call if you can make it.”
I should have said NO:
1. I haven’t played competitively in 5 years
2. I’ve barely picked up a racket in 5 years
3. I live on a boat
4. I don’t know where my tennis sneakers are
5. My USTA membership has expired
6. I don’t have any tennis “clothes”
But, what the hey? We planned to rent a car and be in Ft. Lauderdale anyway to pick up boat parts….so why not play a tennis match while I’m there? I put together a combination of inline skate race clothing & a running skirt….this will have to “do” for tennis attire. I also packed my swimsuit and goggles. you never know when there will be a swim opportunity!!
Paddy and I hopped in the dinghy to make our way to shore….when Paddy reminded me I needed tennis rackets. Oh yeah. Minor detail. I returned to the boat….found ’em hiding in the bilge. Armed with tennis rackets and an outfit that didn’t match, our dinghy surfed it’s way to shore with 20 knot winds and following seas.
Despite a shortage of rental cars due to “Superbowl weekend” in Miami…we managed to get a rental….and rushed to Sunrise FL to pick up boat parts, and consume some amazing Peruvian food for lunch. Next stop…The Tennis Club of Ft. Lauderdale.
Moments before our match was called to court, I met my doubles partner – Tanya. “I just got off my boat…and haven’t played competitive tennis in years. You’re cool with that, right?”
Without a doubt – my game was quite rusty….both physically and mentally. For example, when Tanya served – she requested that we play “Australian”. I had to think on that.
Tanya played beautifully, and our main draw opponents were quite good. They handed us a good can of whoop ass. My debut back to the tennis scene was quick and painful. Yet I was sure, that if we could have played 30 sets or more….we eventually could have taken them! But alas, these tournaments are limited to 2 out of 3 sets. We vowed to do better in the consolation rounds.