a peek inside the fishbowl

04 Aug, 2009

Tennis anyone?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

As a gal of Eastern European decent I feel like I should be hardwired for soccer, not for tennis. Although now that I think of it, one of the most famous tennis players in the world is Czech. So maybe I come by it more naturally than I had thought.

My parents weren’t exactly sporting types. My only memories of doing something athletic with my parents was (a) walking the dog along easy trails in the woods (b) riding our bikes. (Or maybe we only did this once or twice and it was so momentous that the memory has embedded itself into my brain and become greater than life.)

When I was a kid I asked my parents to sign me up for tennis lessons, which they did. On the first day I fell over and twisted my ankle, never to return. I’m not even sure if I was actually playing when it happened. I may have tripped over my own feet. (!) Pretty bad huh? That being said, I’m not sure why the idea of batting a little fuzzy yellow ball appeals to me as much as it does.

I should point out that I was (and in some way, still am) ridiculously uncoordinated. Perhaps when I was growing up I never got used to my long limbs. Maybe I gave up on them at some kind of early developmental stage, and then it became too late to do anything about it. At 5’10” I’m still doing my fair share of tripping.

I must have been in grade seven or eight when I took our dusty tennis racket out of the garage and started biking to a nearby highschool to hit the ball against the wall. I spent a lot of time doing that. I made a friend while I was there and we’d head out to the courts together. Funny how fuzzy those memories are.

And then it all stopped. In high school I made the basketball and volleyball teams (although I wasn’t really ever that good) and picked up swimming instead (a better sport for tall people!). I didn’t really think about tennis again until I read something about it over at girlaboutOtown, which reminded me about what I’ve been missing.

Her post inspired me to pick up two tennis rackets and a can of balls from Canadian Tire and start batting the ball around with Mark. It is terribly embarrassing but a lot of fun too. At this point we’re not even keeping score. We’re just trying to keep the thing in bounds.

I love sending that ball sailing over the net, the small victory of getting to it before it bounces out of reach, the feeling of my muscles working together as I lob a return.

My next tennis-related expenditure is going to have to be a new pair of running shoes, as mine have given up the ghost after many hours spent pounding the crap out of them on the elliptical trainer. Gah!

I just wish the weather could be more predictable so we could get out more. It seems like tennis has become the official sport of the summer that never was.

3 Responses to "Tennis anyone?"

1 | The Moffman

August 4th, 2009 at 1:09 pm


Oh, how I miss tennis.
When I first started working for myself, business was pretty slow and I played almost every day during the warmer months.
I wound up playing less and less over the years as business picked up and was down to one or two sessions a year when I blew out my knee playing hockey.
I haven’t had the courage to try tennis (or hockey or basketball or anything that involves planting and turning) since.
I now stick to straight-ahead activities like running, biking and swimming. Good times, but I do really miss tennis.

2 | archie belaney

August 4th, 2009 at 9:19 pm


we picked up tennis again this summer as well. we have made it a family activity with mom and 6 year old against dad. 2 year old has become an excellent ball boy. with a court around the corner it has become a wonderful after dinner activity with little or no planning required!

3 | andrea

August 5th, 2009 at 6:59 am


Moff: tennis does require a lot of pivot action, for sure. I’m just waiting for my legs to buckle out from under me like they did when I was a kid!

Archie: We do the same. It’s a great thing to do after dinner. And we also use our children as “ball girls.” :)So fun!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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