I’ve been thinking about my “real age” since I took that quiz on the web a few months back. I’m not bothered by my numerical age, but the quiz did get me to thinking more about my lifestyle. I eat right, get a good amount of sleep, and take care of my appearance. But I’m seriously lacking in the social/hobby department.

I go to work, come home, spend some time with Elyse, and then go to bed. It feels like the life of someone twice my age. So I’ve been trying to do a better job of keeping in touch with friends and rekindling some old interests.

Some colleagues in the office have been taking tennis lessons, and they extended an invitation for me to join them during a weekly practice session. I was excited, but nervous. I haven’t played tennis seriously since high school. Plus, my equipment was a little shoddy. I found my racket underneath a stack of junk in the basement, and the handle’s grip was cracked with age. My tote was full of dried-out grip tape and deflated tennis balls.

And to top it all off, I didn’t have anything to wear. I’ve always wanted one of those cute little tennis skirts, but they were not cut for the big-booty girls back then. and my mother refused to get me one.

I know, I know. When you chase a ball across a slab of concrete under the blazing sun, you should not expect to look great while doing it. But you should dress for the occasion, and I was hard pressed to find a pair of shorts. After a little digging, I found some gray ones and a fading DST t-shirt. I looked at the shirt and considered for a moment how much older it was than my daughter. But I quickly pushed that aside. Thoughts like that were sure to drive up my real age.

It was scorching hot yesterday, and after a few minutes on the court, I was covered in sweat and ready to sit down. I had forgotten how miserable that feeling is. I had also forgotten, though, how much fun the game is. I saw a few flashes of greatness during the hour that I played. Slim moments of excellence when my body remembered the perfect shot. Like that backhand swing that makes the ball sail just above the net. Or the volley that your opponent can’t get to fast enough. Those moments were few and far between.

I came home tired, but fulfilled. I left my racket in the TV room as a reminder to pick up some grip tape this weekend. I wasn’t even sore. But I shouldn’t have counted my chickens so soon. I woke up this morning with a tight back, and now every muscle in my body hurts. It’s 9:30 p.m., and I’ve been in bed for nearly an hour, covered in heat wraps and muscle cream. I’m not sure what makes this situation sounds worse – the aches and pains, the early bedtime, or the stockpile of ThermaCare wraps and Ben-Gay.

Nevertheless, I am still in good spirits. I did something that I enjoy, I spent time with friends, and I got in some exercise to boot. I just need a few weeks (or months) to get in better shape. I should pick up some more sports creme when I get that grip tape. And a water bottle. Oh, and I’ll take a look at tennis skirts. Venus and Serena have made a serious impact on the game. I should have no problem finding one that works now.

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