How to be a Bad Influence on Your Parents

My parents read Sometimes Healthy Living blog religiously. In fact, they are probably my most loyal readers (shocker). Whenever I don’t put a post up, my mother calls to make sure I’m not stressed or overwhelmed with some minor issue. She knows how much I love to write about my adventures in Sometimes Healthy Living, so when I don’t, she becomes concerned.

Bless her worried little heart.

Anyway, since they read it so often, they’re well-aware of my love for 16 Handles. Always willing to go the extra mile to please their daughter, they agreed to have frozen yogurt for lunch with me on Sunday.

What a bad influence I am!

I know you never let me have ice cream for dinner...but what about fro yo for lunch?

If you’ll notice, there are only two cups. My father agreed to go along with us for the ride, but insisted on eating a normal lunch. He is on a diet and has already lost over 30 pounds. Please congratulate him in the comments section, because he may be mad at me for sharing this ;-). Nevertheless, it’s an achievement to celebrate!

On another note, my mother might have gotten the weirdest fro yo concoction that I’ve seen to-date. She combined strawberry-lemonade yogurt with chocolate, vanilla and banana. She topped her unique creation with a bunch of blueberries and mangos. If you ask me, my combination of Irish mint, graham cracker and chocolate topped with fruity pebbles, captain crunch, animal crackers, gummy bears and maraschino cherries is a MUCH better creation. Perhaps it’s a fro yo generation gap?

Anyway, in the end, my mother said she actually prefers Tasti D-Lite because she doesn’t like the self-serve approach. I firmly disagree, but to each his own, mom. At least she chose to be a bit rebellious and eat frozen yogurt for lunch with me. Breakin’ rules, takin’ names – that’s how we roll.

Envying Serena Williams’ Guns at the US Open

Not only did mom and dad have a “room with a view,” but they also got us tickets to the US Open for Labor Day.

US Open, here we come!

As a former high school tennis player who played tennis most of her life (and had an UNhealthy obsession with Pete Sampras), I was extremely excited to go to my first US Open. I believe I went through a phase in life where I wanted to be the next Steffi Graf, but then I realized that goal was just a bit out-of-reach.

My first love...we could have had something special, Pete.

So, I settled for being a semi-average high school tennis player and occasionally getting my butt kicked by male friends during weekend pickup matches. Why is it a relatively athletic guy who is just picking up a racket for the first time can easily beat a Sometimes Healthy Girl who played for 10 years? I never understood that, but nevertheless, was always able to swallow my pride and remind myself that I was really just playing for fun :-)

Anyway, back to the US Open. I was particularly looking forward to seeing Serena Williams play and roaming the grounds for an up-close look at some of the less notable matches. My mother was a little less excited, as sporting events aren’t really her thing, but we assured her there would be a lot of shopping there (Polo is one of the main sponsors, so we promised a Polo shop at the very least).

I’ve watched the U.S. Open every year for as long as I can remember, so it was almost surreal to see all of the things from the tv screen in real life. I was immediately struck by the beauty of the actual Flushing Meadow tennis grounds. When you’ve become accustomed to playing on less-than-stellar courts, pristine and freshly painted courts are actually quite a beautiful sight!

Oh hello Flushing Meadows

We arrived there around 11:00, and although the junior matches were just finishing up, there was already a large crowd lining up to get into the marquee matches, as well as get in on some of the many food and beverage options which included everything from a Stonyfield Farms Cafe to Carnegie Deli and more traditional ballpark fare, like pretzels and burgers. Since Heineken and Grey Goose were also big sponsors, there was also a significant amount of booze. You couldn’t turn a corner without running into a beer stand or vodka bar. Hey, it was 5:00 somewhere.

It's always 5:00 at the US Open.

Before my parents set me loose to roam around, we went into Arthur Ashe stadium to check out our seats. We were fortunate enough to have suite tickets which meant two things: free food and great seats.

Is this for REAL? (bad pic, what can ya do?)

I couldn’t believe how close we were to the action! I would have been grateful for ANY seats but being so close to the players made me feel even more engaged.

Oh and then there was the food, which was not only free but also healthy! It must have been my lucky day. In addition to unlimited fresh fruits and veggies, there was freshly carved turkey and delicious sandwiches.

I'll take one of everything, because it's free.

Now, this is what I call “living the dream.”

A Sometimes Healthy Dream Come True

Accidentally Stumbling Upon the Good Stuff

The first match of the day had less-known players, so I decided to use that time to peruse the other male tennis players matches and check out the many other activities that were going on outside of the stadium.

A picture of the Open grounds - so much to do and see.

Somehow, while exiting Arthur Ashe stadium, I took a wrong turn and ended up just outside the Player’s Lounge. I swear it was an accident! Nevertheless, the security guard was quick to “steer” me back in the right direction. Oooops! I did see a couple of players before I was “redirected” though. See, this is why I prefer to roam around with out a plan – you never know where you’ll end up.

The Grey Goose vendors kept hounding me so I finally relented and ordered a vodka soda to enjoy while viewing some matches on the smaller courts (Don’t worry, mom and dad, I didn’t really drink it – just sipped a bit). Since we had such delicious free food in the suite, I didn’t want to waste money in the food court, but it was certainly tempting!

The view from one of the side-courts - much easier to get up close and personal.

After taking in a couple of matches and watching some of the bigger players on the practice courts, it was time to head back to watch Serena Williams.

And may I say, she sure knows how to put on a show. Between her powerful serve and her unique “grunt,” this girl is fun to watch…even when she’s killing her opponent.

Dear Serena: You are buff - can you be my personal trainer?

And then there’s the arms. They are even more stunning and defined in person. I couldn’t help but wonder about her weight lifting regiment. I’d love to get a hold of it and steal a couple of moves (not all of them -I’m going for more of a “subtle” tone).

Serena won her match very quickly and was extremely gracious in her post-win interview. She discussed how every win is a “gift,” since she’s coming back from an injury. Like I said yesterday, I love a good comeback!

Chatting after her quick win, discussing the thrill of her comeback.

Next up, it was time for the men’s match, which featured another comeback story, the number one ranked US player, Mardy Fish. He 29, which is considered “old” in tennis years (yet he’s only 1 year older than me!), and is only just peaking right now. While I enjoy watching a good women’s tennis match, I’ve always liked watching the men a bit more. Maybe it’s the fast serves and the quick pace of the games. Or maybe it’s watching a couple of nice-looking athletes chase after a ball for a few hours.

Regardless, I was really looking forward to the men’s portion of the day, and Mardy Fish certainly was easy on the eyes. Too bad, he’s taken.

Looking good, Mr. Fish - too bad you're off the market...then again, not sure Jamie Fish really works for me.

We ended up leaving after Mardy won the first set, because I had a few things to get done before work the next day and my parents wanted to pack before their flight home today.

Before we left, my parents snapped a quick photo of me.

All-in-all, we couldn’t have asked for a better day: the weather was perfect, the seats were amazing, the tennis was exciting and the atmosphere was indescribable. I can promise you that back in 1995 when I was sitting in my bedroom in Omaha lusting after Pete Sampras on the television screen as he won the US Open, I never thought I’d actually have the chance to be there watching some of the greatest tennis players live before my very eyes. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I feel very grateful to my parents for taking me!

Watching all that great tennis reignited my love for the sport. Today, at work, I talked to a few other coworkers who are interested in getting back on the court. Unfortunately, nothing is quite that easy in NYC. So, we’re looking into finding court space that is both convenient and relatively affordable. Then, we can get our tennis league started! We’re thinking of making it more of a tennis/brunch thing. We’ve even got a possible name for our league: Balls n’ Brunch. Who knows if the name will stick but it’s a start…stay tuned!


Have you ever picked up a sport after not playing for a while? What was it and have you continued to play? Is there a sport you wish you could play again?

What’s the coolest sporting event you’ve been to in a while?

17 Thoughts on “How to be a Bad Influence on Your Parents

  1. This was a great post. I wish I could get my parents from LI into the city to “corrupt” them more frequently :) I love fro-yo, but shockingly, I’ve never tried 16 handles. I know, I’m practically not a New Yorker. I guess I’ve been eating a lot of ice cream this summer . . . .

    The answer to most of the questions is N/A! I’ve never been very competitive athletically and despite having 4 brothers, I don’t watch many sports. I would love to get involved in tennis though. I have the same issue your Balls and Brunch team has (amaaazing name btw): space and price. Lessons are hard to find and even harder to afford. Good luck!

  2. There is NO SUCH THING as an unhealthy obsession with Pete Sampras.

    That is all.

    Actually, it’s not. I just wanted to also say congrats to Papa Bear. How awesome that he’s adopted a healthier lifestyle. Bonus points to you — I’m sure you’re an inspiration to him.

    • Another P Sampras fan? Me likey! I don’t know if I’m an inspiration to Papa Bear. Usually he just rolls his eyes when I make him rearrange our plans to ensure I can fit in an adequate workout. He is a frequent reader of the blog though. So…perhaps!

  3. What a great post lady, I seriously always look forward to them… you are so creative and funny :)
    I can’t believe your dad turned down 16 Handles! I would have to completely ill or out of my mind to not have something so incredibly tasty :) And I am going to have to go ahead and disagree with your mom about Pink Berry, self-serve is the way to go! Oh and btw, congrats to your dad, I bet he looks great!
    How great you went to the tennis event too! Pete Sampras is a good person to be obsessed with

  4. Jamie A. on 7 September, 2011 at 1:59 pm said:

    Petesam. ‘Nough said :) I wish I had the self-control your dad does. Way to go Sometimes Healthy Living Dad! So jealous you guys got to go to the U.S. Open – I love a good tennis match!

  5. I took my mom to pinkberry and she got NO toppings! The horror… You’re right – there must be a fro-yo generation gap!


  6. This sounds like a blasssst. Froyo is allowed at any time of the day. I have never been to a tennis match, but have been to my fair share of baseball games. My all time fav sporting event to watch live has to be soccer though.

  7. I would love to play volleyball again. Not that I ever played. Except in gym class. When the boys would all just jump in front of me and not let me hit. Which created a very bad volleyball player out of me. But I love it anyway, and that’s what matters! :)

  8. that looks so fun! I’m not a big tennis fan but I’d totally go to that. I heart Serena Williams. When I first moved to NYC I joined a softball team for the summer after not having played since like sixth grade. I kind of sucked, which I was not ok with, since I’m usually pretty good at sports! Hehe, needless to say I did not return for a second summer. I think everyone was happy about that

  9. She didn’t prefer self-serve fro-yo? WHAT?!

  10. Wow, congrats Dad on the weight loss, that’s great!!!!

    I went to my first pro football game last week – it was a blast!

  11. I knew I’d love this post as soon as I read the title šŸ˜‰
    One can never go wrong with fro yo!
    I picked up swimming after a few years off, as well as dance.
    I went to the Ohio State Game two weekends ago, it was a blast!

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