La la la…it’s Thursday at 8AM….

I check my voice messages…there is one from my tennis friend Joan….

“Hey Jane – do you want to play in a Cat II National Championships 45 & Over doubles tournament in Ft. Lauderdale? A player had to default…and you can substitute in. Your match will be at 3PM today…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”

…and then my inner, more irrational voice took over:
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. “Hi Tanya…I’m Jane. 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 my partner Tanya was serving – she requested that we play “Australian”. Hmmmm…I remember that concept vaguely. I had to ask Tanya to be more “specific” (i.e. ‘splain Lucy!!!).

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 would have taken one! But alas, these tournaments are limited to 2 out of 3 sets – and we didn’t stand a chance. …moving on to event #2… Swimming laps in the pool. And…tennis was quickly forgotten…. at least until the consolation rounds get started. Stay tuned….