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