I am back from Houston. While I did not win any trophies, I was competitive in all tennis matches. My inability to finish strong and hold a lead was a recurrent theme.
In singles, I was eliminated in the first round. I was cruising along fine 6-1,4-1 against a player nicknamed "Hollywood" by the locals. Hollywood is a physically fit and conditioned athlete who is mirror image of myself: excellent runner, chases down everything, hits everything back like a back board. I got stuck playing in SAFE MODE after having a commanding lead, while Hollywood fought back with impressive winners. He defeated me in three sets in a match that lasted 2 1/2 hours.
In doubles, Rod and I scored a stunning upset of the #3 team. Our reward was playing a stronger team thirty minutes later. Before this match, my quads, hamstrings, and knees were all shot. Thankfully, I had knee braces in my tennis bag and that helped. We took the first set 6-4, had 5-3 leads in the second and third sets but blew them. We did not finish strong.
After 8 sets of tennis, I was hobbling around like an old man. I have never felt this crippled before in a tournament after the first day. What changed? Sure, I am older... but so is everyone else! The only thing I can put my finger on is that I haven't worked out my legs in the gym all year. My excuse: "I play tennis five times a week. I don't need to work out my legs." Now, I am starting to wonder if that holds true. Perhaps my legs DO need to be worked out and bulked up. Hmmm.... something to ponder.
I am thankful to Robert, my host, for accommodating me and my furry rugrats. He has a beautiful home in the Heights and the sweetest Shih Tzu. My dogs got along fine with his well mannered pooch. Robert is an excellent Masseur... so his trade was very much appreciated and needed. I hope we weren't too high maintenance for him. GRIN.
My next tennis tournament is in March 2012 (Austin). I have 4 months to bulk up legs and ramp up conditioning. As evidenced by this weekend, I am no where near where I need to be.