As any observant reader of this blog will have noted, I have several obsessions/hobbies: wine, cats, my bike, hiking, reading and tennis.
The tennis craze was what led me to weight-loss -- well, it helped, anyway. I decided to learn to play after Serena came back from knee surgery and won the Australian Open in 2007, I think it was. She was about 15lbs overweight, at least, and the commentators could not refrain from talking about it, even right up until the day she finally won the tournament.
I was so jazzed by her determination that I ran out and signed up for private lessons -- and promptly ruined my left knee about six weeks later while playing with a friend on a hard court. Sadly, I was really too big at that point to be doing that kind of activity -- it was just so much strain on my joints. But being stubborn -- and, quite frankly, hugely in denial over just how huge I was -- I ignored the warning signs and kept pounding away when I should have found a less competitive friend to bat the ball around with until I dropped more weight.
This past weekend I watched the Australian Open again -- this time rooting for Andy Murray, who struggles mightily to crack into the Top 3 in men's tennis, but he just can't get by Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic.
This year, Djokovic -- who is basically unbeatable after adopting a gluten-free diet about 18 months ago -- took him out, but Murry fought back harder and more effectively than ever before. Martina Navritalova, the sports commentator, kept talking about how Andy was able to "reset the point," on Djokovic, just when the Serb thought he was going to win. Djokovic would have Murray on the run, and he'd somehow come up with the just the right shot to buy himself that extra second to get back on court, find his position and be ready for whatever Djokovic threw back -- and often, Murray wound up winning those points.
It's time for me to reset the point in my own Grand Slam against the Fat. Like Djokovic, my opponent appears to be unbeatable. It makes my strengths work against me, it covers all the angles, it knows my shots too well. And I, like Murray, find that no matter how many times I produce a winner, Fat always takes the damn game!
But I welcome the official start of the Grand Slam tennis season, and my goals are linked to the upcoming tournaments: For the French Open, I will have lost 10lbs. And by Wimbledon, I'll be working on 15.
These are modest and achievable goals, and I need to impose some markers in my life or time slips by all too fast. As Murray prepares for his next chance at glory, so will I.
You can all tune in for the Grand Slam weigh in on May 27th, start of the French Open. Until then, I'll keep you updated on my training regimen. May the best tennis player win!!
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