Just like everyone else, I’ve been glued to the Olympics the past week. (Did anyone else cry watching the women’s marathon finish today…or just me?)
I realized when I meant Dominique Dawes just how nostalgic watching the Olympics are for me.
I met Dominique Dawes, have I mentioned that?
But seriously, as a teenager watching the Olympics in my basement, and practicing my own backbends and back walkovers, it felt like anything was possible, that if I just kept at it…
I clearly didn’t have that level of talent, but there’s two sports that brought me so much joy as a child/teenager: gymnastics and tennis.
And thanks to the wonder of the summer Olympics, I’ve been able to quench cravings for both of those.
I’ve also found myself drawn to books about these sports lately — the last two books I read:
The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger: a book about a young tennis prodigy who changes coaches, to find her whole life changing.
You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott: this one was GOOD. It starts off focusing on the story of a young gymnastics phenom, but then it has a TWIST. I couldn’t put it down to the point that I was sitting waiting for a friend reading it and jumped when she walked into the bar, I was so engrossed. (OK fine, I’m also just really jumpy.)
A friend and I were discussing happiness this weekend, and what made us happy when we were younger, when life was simpler. For me, it was both tennis and gymnastics. I did gymnastics from about age 5 – 15. I was never great, but I really enjoyed it and was happy to have it as a fallback when I didn’t make the tennis team my freshman year.
Tennis, though. From the second I picked up a tennis racquet at age 10, I was HOOKED, and to this day, the rare times I play, I’m at total peace on the tennis court, thinking through my next shot, where to stand. I was crushed when I moved to a fancier district for high school and didn’t make the team, trying out against girls who’d been getting private lessons since they were in the womb, basically. And, hi, any sport where this girly girl gets to wear a skirt…
For years, Meggie and I have discussed playing tennis together…and still haven’t.
I’m currently training for a marathon (honestly there haven’t been any/many posts on that recently because I’ve been sick half the time I’ve been training…), so I’m not ready to commit to any sort of formal tennis program, BUT I’m going to put it out there.
By the end of this year, I’d like to:
– Play tennis AT LEAST once. First step: buy a new racquet. I finally got rid of my old high school one (yup, graduated high school 15 years ago…) when I moved this year.
– Take an adult gymnastics class. This one might be a colossal disaster, but my friend Colleen and I have been discussing, and I think it sounds like fun!
If you’re in NYC and have any tennis/gymnastics recs, lay ‘em on me, please.
What activities did you do as a child that brought you joy? (Do those now! :))
Also, what are you reading?