Two weeks ago I finished a great day of teaching and learning the great sport of tennis with my students, and could barely walk to my car from the tennis courts. This nagging pain in my right ankle area was previously tolerable with a couple of Tylenol and stretching exercises, but not this day. It was hard to plant weight on it to serve, load on the forehand, or basically to run/walk.
It was a scary and humbling feeling. This pain wasn’t going away. Finally, I began to contemplate a life without playing tennis. F*ck.
I have been on a forced sabbatical since receiving the diagnosis of inflamed tendons. I never thought tendinitis would be cause for celebration. At age 42, I’m forced to contemplate tennis mortality, and accept my time of playing against players half my age might be running out, if I don’t take better care of myself.
That includes stretching before and after tennis. That means ice packs. That means some time in the gym strengthening some joints. That means an off-court stretching routine. That means diet changes that assist in better recovery.
I realized I can’t burn both ends of the candle without proper maintenance.
But with all that gloom and doom, I realized I’m going to be ok, take care of myself, and listen to my body better.
I can’t wait to see you all again, and to get back to the business of playing our best tennis.