Skip to main content

2011 Bucket List - #17 Play Tennis

#17 - Play Tennis
During my senior year of High School, yours truly made a controversial decision that was met with curiosity, disbelief, and well, some confusion. Upon the upstart of Canarsie High School's Men's Tennis program, yours truly not only decided to try out, but successfully made the team. Yes, the 6'5'' rail thin senior that quit baseball two years earlier to pursuit the greatest life experience in local missionary/peer counseling in Brooklyn, returned to play tennis. Not quite the expectation that most within my high school predicted or expected. You're playing what!?

Fortunately, despite not always having the greatest self-confidence, the good Lord has always given me a certain fortitude to never really quite care what others say or think about me. It is a weird blend of self-assurance, I know. 

The constant questions of why I didn't return to play baseball, the various sneers and comments others had, and of course the many, many individuals that scoffed at my choice never wavered or caused doubt in my decision - ever.
But like I said, I never cared what others thought, and was planning on spending my spring semester, my final semester in High School, playing tennis.

Hey, we all know High School is a brutal atmosphere if you aren't making the right choices.

I decided to play tennis because, well, it was fun, new, and something that was interesting. Not because it was cool, popular, or what I "should" do.

And after all, what better way to gain the experience than on a team that isn't expected to accomplish anything?

Well after a year of improvement, one in which I actually became the team's number one (even though I won one measly match in league play), my tennis experience came to an abrupt end. Gone was the improvement and the early morning pickup games with the wealthy fathers with tennis permits at Marine Park. 

So after a brief flirt, myself and tennis was over, and never again.

Because of this, yours truly added the following to the 2011 Bucket List: #17 Play Tennis

Just once. All I wanted, was to step back onto a tennis court and recapture that one year fling with the sport. 

So while enjoying the beautiful resort of Sandals La Toc in St. Lucia, my tag team partner (whose father was a very good tennis player in his hey day) and I took advantage of the well groomed courts there. Despite playing in 90 degree-plus weather, and basically soaking through our shirts, we volleyed for and hour. Make no mistake, the hour was far from Sampras/Agassi or Nadal/Federed. Very far. Yet, it was a thril for the both of us. My one year of experience on one side, and my tag team partner's genetic pool at work.

Through it all, I managed to work out the kinks in a very rusty stroke and a still-terrible backhand, all while getting adjusted to a new body type. 

I'm still 6'5", but playing at 235 instead of the 175lbs I was in High School, is much different. And yes, if I wasn't already slow then, I'm much slower now. 

But all in all, it was brief encounter that was enjoyable. Also one that reminded me  of a quality life principal, that it is better to follow your heart than to simply do what you others believe is "normal".

Tennis, yeah, who knew?

Recently Read Posts

5 Thoughts on Pujols Hitting 700

It almost feels like the negative vitriol that surrounded Major League Baseball and its labor issues have dissipated into an air of forgetfulness and forgiveness. A season that has brought us old-school lore with the chasing of historical numbers by way of Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, and the likes of a modern-day Babe Ruth, in another dominant season by Shohei Ohtani, would ultimately do that. Sprinkle in some amazing rookies on the rise, and all of sudden it's, what did I say about baseball's treatment of fans? It's been some season... In this post, I want to focus on Albert Pujols...the "King", the "Machine", one of the greatest ever. After hitting a historic 700th Home Run ( by the way, I definitely predicted that back in March  - just humble-bragging a bit), I wanted to drop five (fitting, yeah?) thoughts on Albert Pujols:  GREATEST EVER?! - Pujols' career often feels like the Angels' years were some sort of nightmare or a bad edition in a

Impact Wrestling Emergence 2022 Review: "...Just Solid - So Freakin' Solid."

It probably won't come as a shock to anyone who follows this blog that I will say the following statement: Impact Wrestling may just be the most consistently entertaining and fresh - very important adjective here! - wrestling product that I've engaged with over the past two years. It's just always there, as solid as it can be. No real highs, or lows that push me away as a fan - just good, consistent, thorough, solid pro wrestling enjoyment.  Now, make no mistake about it, over the past summer, I found myself a whopping thirteen weeks behind this solid product in favor of the still new (and intriguing) AEW product and my on-again-off-again hope in the WWE due to nostalgia. However, trusty-work-from-home days have allowed me to binge watch (and work, of course) and it certainly opened my eyes to a new experience when it came to wrestling. Removal from the episodic style habit, and the feel of episodes bridging together seamlessly.  Also, remove from the internet culture of we

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/25/22

3  Up 1. Albert Pujols - 700 homeruns is insane. Even through a generation of steroids, the number is incredibly exclusive (sans, you know, Bonds). So much props to Pujols who literally puts himself in some rarified discussions among the game's greatest.  Here are some quick thoughts from yours truly on Pujols hitting 700 .  2. PATHFINDER - The fight against cancer just got a smidge better. GRAIL announced results from their PATHFINDER study that may have found ways to provide early detection screening to significantly enhance the discovery of cancer well before symptoms begin.  I accidentally ran into this story - why isn't this more headline news? SMH.  3. Pandemic Over? - The World Health Organization (remember them, before everyone suddenly became public health experts) described COVID as an "acute global emergency". Going even further, announced that 20M global deaths were avoided last year due to vaccines. Just outright amazing.  3 Down 1. Brett Favre - No resp

Would You Rather: Questions 81-90

81. Would you rather be 4'5" or 7'7"? I would prefer to be 7'7". On this weird spectrum, I'm already used to being taller than the average person. I can deal with the extreme height. It'll be nice to play some pick up basketball.  82. Would you rather be tall and fat, or short and well built? Tall and fat. I can always lose the weight. Plus, short and jacked dudes often have to fight the stigma of being jerks on first appearance.  83. Would you rather be poor and work at a job you love, or rich and a job you hate? Poor and work at a job you love. Take it from someone who has their dream job, the sense of purpose and peace of mind is indeed worth much.