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For months now, I’ve been struggling to find ways to “mix up” my workout routine. Loyal readers may recall my foray onto the basketball court awhile back or my occasional yoga adventures. Well, now that I’m everyone’s favorite tennis opponent, the problem isn’t so much finding a way out of my tried-and-true EDM/lifting/sometimes-stretching rut; it’s all about getting back into the gym!

Since my Belgian Waffle revelation a week ago, I’ve not had a chance to visit the gym (or to eat any waffles, for that matter). I was consumed by various tasks at home over the Labor Day weekend, I played tennis on Tuesday night, had a meeting after work on Wednesday, and last night played tennis again. Not against my regular tennis buddy, M.E., but instead I squared off against an old magazine colleague of mine, J.W., who apparently reads these pages from time to time and, noticing my current obsession, challenged me to a match.

J.W. is a kind-hearted soul who, I figured, would show some mercy on an elderly player who also has fed her a good deal of freelance work over the years (I’m just sayin’ . . .), so I accepted her challenge and we met at the lovely Nokomis tennis courts after work last night. I also figured I needed some more practice before my scheduled match with the ultra-competitive M.E. on Sunday; he’s been playing several sets of doubles each week and on Tuesday it showed — his serve is getting faster and more accurate, and even though I played pretty well, he still beat me 6-3. (His Achilles has healed also, I should point out. . . and he’s seven years younger than me.)

Anyway, it turned out that J.W. and I were pretty well matched.

Neither of us has a big serve, relying instead on solid ground strokes, so we had some great baseline-to-baseline rallies, and we each hit our share of winners. In fact, J.W. is kind of a machine on the baseline — she doesn’t make a lot of unforced errors. Which is great fun, if you can keep up, which I mostly did through the 11 games we played. She went up 2-0, I rallied to win the next two, she went up 4-3, at which time I noted with some false bravado that I’d have to win the next three games to take a 6-4 set.

It nearly proved prescient, as I proceeded to take the next two games, losing only a single point. But, at 5-4, my game suddenly deserted me and I put up only weak resistance as J.W. surged to a 6-5 lead. We didn’t play the tie-breaker, as it was getting dark and J.W. was nursing a bit of a strained hamstring, but I was confident that, had we continued, my superior conditioning would prove pivotal to the outcome (haha).

And, speaking of superior conditioning, I’ll be heading cheerfully back to the gym tonight for a little cardio and some stretching. I might even venture down into The Pit to do some squats and deadlifts. I gotta get ready for my next match.

Thoughts to share?

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