Do you know what I did today? Well, of course not. How could you?
Unless, that is, you’re stalking me. And if so, that’s creepy. Why would you be following me to the shelter to distribute my version of Hostess cupcakes? Then over to a friend’s work to offer her a few. After a quick stop at Chipotle for a veggie bowl, I head up north to one of our feral cat feeding stations to put netting around it so the crows don’t keep making off with mouthfuls of kibble.
Then it’s on to Costco and Safeway to grocery shop for my sister who has trouble walking. A new volunteer needs cat food so I drop it off before heading home to walk my mutts, check emails and answer text messages. After feeding my pets and 2 foster kittens, Lassen and Posey, I make myself dinner and watch the news before sitting down to write.
Evidently I’m not too exciting to stalk and right about now you’re wishing you’d been anywhere today other than tailing me. As for me, the most thrilling thing I did today is buy a case of tennis balls at Costco. Why is that? Because (send in the marching band) I’m back playing tennis! I haven’t been able to say that in 11 1/2 months.
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m no Steffi Graf. But tennis is my favorite sport, one I’ve been playing for 35 years (although that’s not evident by my strokes). I get to exercise, compete, be with friends, challenge myself and just generally appreciate the opportunity to do all of the above.
When I messed up my back over a year ago, I never dreamed it would take this long to move again without pain. I’ve had my fair share of injuries in my nearly 65 years, most of which took weeks to heal (or in the case of broken bones, a couple months). But 11 1/2 months?! I didn’t even put my tennis membership on hold because each month that passed I was sure by the next one I’d be good as new.
Physical therapy, massage therapy, stretching, heat, icing, topical CBD and THC, anti-inflammatories, ultrasound, chiropractor, spine doctor, x-rays, MRI, epidural…nothing seemed to really alleviate the pinched nerve pain from a herniated disc, 2 collapsing discs, osteoporosis and arthritis in my lower back.
But then, months after my epidural, I noticed I could actually roll over in bed without wishing I was a crackhead oblivious to the vice grip of radiating pain streaming from my back, through my butt and down my right leg where it took up squatters rights around my knee. Wait! Could I be on the comeback trail?
I started doing light exercises in an attempt to rid myself of the extra 10 pounds I’m now lugging around. And I began hitting on the ball machine. Never mind I could barely raise my arms the next day (a welcomed pain, by the way). So I signed up for 2 USTA teams and played a couple matches for fun. But I can’t lie; it wasn’t pretty.
Did I mention I also have an injured rotator cuff? So I’m now serving underhand. I have to admit…surprisingly, it’s more effective than my usual serve. Yes, my timing is off, my footwork a step slow and most high balls I tend to shank. But what a blast to be out there again.
Now the trick is to find partners with either a high tolerance for my unforced errors or seek those with a good sense of humor. On second thought, they’re definitely going to need both. And so am I.