Six weeks it’s been since I’ve set foot on a tennis court, and then it was inside where the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. That’s quite a contrast to today’s game outside under a bright blue sky, birds singing joyfully in the nearby trees, soft wind blowing across the clay court, temperature hovering in the mid-60’s.
Playing inside requires no special preparation; just put on some clothes and tennis shoes, grab a racket and go. Outside is a whole different ball game. The attire and shoes are the same but there are other things to remember like sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat to keep hair out of the face and water in case there’s none on the court.
As if all the preparation isn’t enough, there’s the adjustment not only to the outside but to the clay court which is much slower than the hard court I am used to. Not only that but the balls bounce funny, especially when they hit the tacks on the white tape, and sometimes they don’t come up at all which means a lot of unexpected running around causing unused muscles to cry out.
For the joy of being outside on a beautiful day, the pain is worth it, at least until tonight when the muscles are really responding to their somewhat long layoff.
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