Just like everyone else, Iâ€™ve been glued to the Olympics the past week. (Did anyone else cry watching the womenâ€™s marathon finish todayâ€¦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 didnâ€™t have that level of talent, but thereâ€™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, Iâ€™ve been able to quench cravings for both of those.
Iâ€™ve also found myself drawn to books about these sports lately â€” 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 couldnâ€™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, Iâ€™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 didnâ€™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, Iâ€™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 didnâ€™t make the team, trying out against girls whoâ€™d been getting private lessons since they were in the womb, basically. And, hi, any sport where this girly girlÂ gets to wear a skirt…
For years, MeggieÂ and I have discussed playing tennis togetherâ€¦and still havenâ€™t.
Iâ€™m currently training for a marathon (honestly there havenâ€™t been any/many posts on that recently because Iâ€™ve been sick half the time Iâ€™ve been trainingâ€¦), so Iâ€™m not ready to commit to any sort of formal tennis program, BUT Iâ€™m going to put it out there.
By the end of this year, Iâ€™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 agoâ€¦) 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 youâ€™re in NYC and have any tennis/gymnastics recs, lay â€˜em on me, please.
What activities did you do as a child that brought you joy?Â (Do those now! :))
Also, what are you reading?