Tennis & Healthy Living

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Goals for 2013

With the new year upon us, its newness inspires many to set goals. The most popular we hear at the office water cooler are to lose weight or quit smoking or start a new relationship. Maybe even end one. What do you have set for goals for 2013?

For some, the problem of setting goals defies them as they feel disappointment when they cannot reach their goal.  So turn it around if that happens. Use that disappointment to be the impetus in setting up another goal and reaching it.

Some want to pick up a new hobby or sport. A popular sport which is both adult friendly and kid friendly  is tennis. That is the beauty of this sport. If older players have children, they can play the game together allowing for some quality family time, while allowing for some hearty exercise simultaneously.  Times have changed in recent decades as the sport has trickled from high school and college down into  the elementary campuses supporting the game for younger aged children.Wilson racket

Unbeknownst to some, what is special is that there is a wide array of junior and beginner tennis racquets for any age or play level.  When you are new at something, there is a sense of awkwardness. Beginner tennis racquets help in making the player more proficient. There is more interest now by many sponsors to catapult more court mongers amongst the population. Don’t let the looming fiscal cliff browbeat you. If you cannot purchase the latest and greatest Babolat tennis racket, then get a Wilson that fits any budget.

Golf is another fun pastime for adults. Being outdoors is good for the human spirit. Although, golf is a little more expensive to play than tennis.  Plus you may have to play at an unfavorable tee time. For a real indoor challenge, how about learning a foreign language? Parlez-vous français? Como esta? Ich liebe diche.


photo courtesy of

In an effort to make more friends, you could enroll in gourmet cooking classes. You  can always count on your comrades to show up at feeding time.  There exists a kitchen magnet that reads, “Many have eaten here and gone on to lead normal lives”.  If that is how your friends felt before about your culinary talent, give them a surprise.

Those were some beneficial goals to reach out for. If 2013 doesn’t work out, there’s always 2014.


We Are All The Same Age Inside

What does a talented 9 year-old and an athletic 90 year-old have in common? Besides both having the number “9” in their age, these two are tennis savages. There no doubt are more like them amongst us. If those two were to play a set, how many of us would like to sit in that tennis umpire chair and make the calls on such a game? You might be surprised to see how the game ends.

Most would prefer to take a seat on the tennis bench and enjoy the entertainment of their defying the odds at any age. The name gaining momentum now is 9 year-old tennis prodigy, Gabby Price. Common with other athletic families, the sport is not a new concept to Miss Price. Her father, Marc, is a former Penn State tennis player who introduced tennis to her at the tender age of four. That was the last time she would play for a few years. Five years later, she is ripping up the court.

Price is under master legend tennis coach, Rick Macci, who is credited for training youngsters such as Capriati, both Williams sisters and Roddick, amongst others. We have seen how successful they have become. Will he succeed again with making Gabby the next American tennis champ?

Recently, she was the youngest participant to play on a clay court in a national competition. Adding to that, Macci stated she was also the smallest and feistiest. Gabby has been raised in a highly competitive family. Her young brothers hold her to that competitive edge.   She boasts sponsorship by Head who has never promoted someone as young as her.

In 2010, Price had been presented with a scholarship by none other than John McEnroe, to the John McEnroe Tennis Academy (JMTA) located in New York. It was McEnroe’s vision to bring tennis to youngsters. The junior development program is tennis instruction for intermediate players ages 10-11.  Later, they would move on into the more intensive training group of the 14-15 year old students. Interestingly, this Tennis Academy opened another facility in September 2012 at Lake Isle in Eastchester, New York.

The Sportime Lake Isle club’s tennis facilities are not just for pint-sized players. A frequent face at Lake Isle is none other than New York native, Dominick, who is 90 years young. Most elderly see the “golden” years as more of the “stainless steel” years; stainless steel hip and knee replacements become the norm amongst this population. As longetivity has increased, grandmother is no longer at home baking cookies when the grandchildren arrive from school. Grandmother is now out playing golf and grandfather is out playing tennis.

Dominick is really an inspiration. He picked up the tennis racquet at age 30 and has never put it down. Now at age 90, his weekly tennis matches are against other senior team members aged 60-80 years old. He is no stranger to athletics. His life over the years has also included baseball, football, and softball. His weekly visits to the gym to lift weights and ride the stationary bike add to his strength on the court.

Dominick and family

What he enjoys about tennis is that singles and doubles can be played. He recently played with his son and granddaughter.  That is three generations carrying the tennis torch. His favorite play is the lob shot in tennis. This he states allows the shot to be varying and to do the unexpected.

He is a fan of the US Open and attends when it rolls into town. He is not slowed down by the occasional backache while on the court. A simple rest on the tennis bench and he is back at it again. When asked when he plans to stop playing tennis, he said he will keep playing until he no longer can. At his rate, that may be a long time away. Another fun fact, he and his wife recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Pablo Picasso was quoted as saying “Youth has no age”. These two superstars have certainly proven that. Besides, while advancing in years, tennis players never die…they just lose their bounce.

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Did You Say Court Shoes?

Culture shock can be fun to experience at times. When it comes to language, there certainly are many differences to go around. Hearing the term court shoes in the United States obviously makes you think of footwear for the court: namely the tennis court and basketball court. While in England, don’t expect to grab a catalog entitled court shoes and expect to see sports gear. Instead you will be surprised to find some fantastic dress heels or opera slippers.

Languages have evolved over time. It has been reported that there are over 6,000 languages in use today and approximately 30% are spoken by 1,000 people or less. That certainly is a lot of languages to be spoken in this small planet  we all call home.  But even within just the same language, there are different meanings.

Take for example the word holiday. Those in the United States refer to holiday as a day on the calendar when most stores and offices are closed in celebration or reverence of some event. Canada and other parts of the world refer to “holiday” as a vacation time to take off.  Even within the same west coast, you could ask for a soda in Southern California and get a Coke or 7Up handed to you. If you ask for a soda in Washington state, you will receive just that, a bottle of club soda. That’s not as tasty as a Coke.

The other comical thing about the English language is its spelling and meaning. For example, number and number. It’s the same word, spelled the same, yet entirely different meanings. If you ponder over the topic of spelling, that doesn’t help the situation either. Words such as potato can also be spelled potatoe. Next time you are on a holiday ask for a soda and see what they hand you.

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Tennis Benches as Recycled Recliners

The other day I found myself sitting on a bench made of an interesting material. I would not have given it a second thought, but I realized I wasn’t burning my bottom on hot aluminum or steel. The material was brown. Brown I wondered? Upon looking a little more intently on this brown seat to rest and recline my tired body, I saw a decal that read the bench was made with 1,050 recycled plastic milk jugs. I was impressed.

Consumers always thought of recycling but never really acted upon it until recent decades. Even though Earth Day was named in April 1970 by a US Senator, it really gained momentum in the 1990’s through the present. During that time, it also became an international movement where other countries celebrated Earth Day as well.  Some even extended it to Earth Week.

So we know about recycling the basics such as plastic bottles, cartons, glass bottles, and aluminum cans and so forth. The list is long, yet the end result of all our recycling efforts can be fascinating just like that sturdy bench that offered me a seat. The other side of recycling is reusing. The internet offers a galore of websites to peak your creative side in recycling-reusing our everyday discards. Children’s crafts many times use empty cartons or toilet paper rolls. This all makes recycling fun and involves and teaches young ones.

A great example of reusing can be found at Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen,  where you will come upon a lovely tennis bench like no other.  This bench is brought to us by Dutch designer Tejo Remy. He used real tennis balls to create this work of art. It is quite a sight to see. It resembles a giant piece of PVC pipe covered in yellow balls. Museum visitors can sit and muse at the art hanging on the walls. Some are even giving this designer some ideas to make a tennis ball couch. How comfortable would it be to sit on? Not sure, but you may want to bring a lint roller with you.

tennis bench at Museum Boijmans

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen/Artist Tejo Remy

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You Are Cordially Invited to a Tennis Bag Marriage

How many of us are waiting for such an invitation in our mailbox? Why can’t some of the hottest tennis bag styles marry the similar looks of finer name brand handbags found at high-end stores? Will someone please invent this for the small population of us that wants it all, and right now! Talk about entitlement.

Let’s have Court Couture meet up with Coach purse makers.                                                                                                                                                                                                        What about Cortiglia having a rendezvous with Louis Vuitton? Envision it- your fingertips feeling the quality, your nose smelling the fine leather. Sorry, this is no place for tennis ball boas.

Tennis bags have come into their own in recent years. It is no longer the vintage bags of old that resembled bowling ball bags. Tennis bags have morphed into a beautiful butterfly, yet very few makers are out there of such exquisiteness. We’re not talking Maggie Mather bags, nor are we bashing those. If you are seeking simple and functional, then Maggie Mather is certainly your bag.

If you want someone to have a double-take at your handbag, this is what we’re talking about.  Purse fiends around the globe need a bag that has that dainty Court Couture look, maintaining that same shape, perhaps a tad smaller, but minus the hole opening for the Cortiglia tennis bagtennis racket to protrude. We want such a purse minus the beverage container too. Cortiglia has a tennis tote that stands up true. Most name brand purses flop over.
By the way, why should tennis bags get all the pockets? The mainstream purses should get just as many pockets, yet have that glamorous look. Regular purses are being excluded from having that handy hide-a-way clip to hang the purse wherever needed. It’s just not fair.

This utopian bag wouldn’t be for sports. It would go from work and into the evening, while dining at a 5 star restaurant. Woman want to look good. With all the money spent on surgeries, cosmetics, manicures/pedicures, the discriminating woman would not waste a moment to obtain the latest and greatest of these two worlds meshing.
Until then, that small population of purse fanatics will suffer until this marriage finally takes place.


Tennis Shoes for the Modern Woman

For many decades, tennis shoes for women have pretty much all looked the same. There had not been a significant change in appearance until recent times. When shopping for such footwear, the standard colour had always been white; sometimes with white streaks on the sides. White on white, what a novelty then. In that era, it was mostly the design of the bottom of the shoe that was highlighted rather than the aesthetic aspects of the upper portion, that is obviously more visible.

From the late 1990’s to the present, tennis shoes for women  became a fashion statement and “bling” was and currently is still very popular.Up until then there was nothing fashionable about tennis shoes nor was there anything pretty about having to find tennis shoes with a larger than normal toebox to accommodate your bunions. Use of mesh had not really become hip yet to cater to your sweaty feet.

Nowadays female tennis players can get fashionable tennis shoes to satisfy such problems and they are proudly made by the same companies that manufacture their reputable tennis gear. Babolat, Prince, Head, and Wilson are the most prominent companies that make tennis racquets as well as tennis shoes for women. While all these are good, quality shoes, Prince and Babolat scored some rave reviews.

Babolat has some amazing colours. While looks matter to the vanity market, the performance of the shoe cannot be overlooked. Backed by Michelin durability, you can count on Babolat tennis shoes to have much traction on the courts. The technology incorporated into these shoes has taken into consideration injury prevention, addressing heel cushioning and features lightweight construction. This company offers an “out of the box comfort” with a “no break in” period required.

Prince serves up their Lightspeed and T Series for women that will give the most finicky of female tennis players an opportunity to select a colourful shoe without sacrificing safety, support, and performance on the court. Shock absorption is addressed with their signature cushioning. Mesh is also a standard component in this shoe.

With other popular shoes such as New Balance, consumers are not disappointed when finding an attractive wide width shoe. The fashion sense has seeped over into the men’s styles as indicated by the variety of greens, blues, and reds found in tennis shoes, thereby unifying the genders. Having an array of fashionable tennis shoes, the next task for women is to find that fashionable tennis bag to match!