They say having a child changes your life. And my daughter has. She’s beautiful, and she’s everything my husband and I dreamed she could be and more. She was born in December, and I’m just now returning to work.
Returning to work for me also means returning to the tennis court. My doctor cleared me for exercise six weeks after she was born, so I could have played before I came back to work, but I didn’t. It’s not that I hadn’t wanted to get back out there earlier. Rather as a new mom, I just was not yet ready to leave her in someone else’s care while I went to play. Instead, I took my baby girl on daily walks, and my route inevitably would swing by the tennis courts. Trying to entertain my little one, I would tell her about tennis and how mommy liked to play for fun and to stay fit.
Now it’s time for this new mommy to make good on that and begin playing again — and regain some level of physical fitness. My fitness has taken a big hit. I played until the start of my third trimester, but honestly those last few weeks of playing were not intense. I exercised to the end, with my doctor’s permission, lightly using the elliptical machine and walking. Since the baby’s birth, I’ve been walking and going on small hikes. My body has changed, and so has my mindset as a new mom. No longer do I want to get in extra exercise after work. My No. 1 priority is to get home to spend the evening with my family. That, however, is no excuse.
So, today I put on my new shoes, the adidas adiPure Pro, and went down to the TW tennis court to play. I’m on the playtest squad for the Yonex V Core 100 S, so I took that down as well. I borrowed a racquet from Brittany, a fellow playtester and much better tennis player, and she had it strung up with Adrenaline. I prefer multis to begin with, so returning after about six months off, the poly setup was a little brutal since I was shanking more than I’d like to admit. Initial impressions are that I’ll like this stick as a Yonex fan, but I am going to have to try a different, softer string setup.
My timing was slightly off; I was catching balls late off both sides, but I noticed an improvement toward the end of the hitting session with some good rallies. Though what’s painfully obvious — and I do mean painful as I’m fully expecting to be aching tomorrow — is that my footwork and stamina have fallen off dramatically.
Lindsay Davenport and Kim Clijsters are moms who can really kick butt on the tennis court. I don’t have their games, but I am inspired by them. What I don’t have in tennis skill, I have in determination.