Tip of the Week

Roll with the punches! Life is gonna smack you right in the face when you don't expect it. If you're head's on straight, you're certainly gonna handle it just fine. Roll with it. Complain a little bit, and let it go.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Work It, Wednesday!

...Or as I'd also like to call it, my love affair with Jelena Jankovic. Let's take a moment to look at this woman...Oh, wait--there's a link to her official site right here? YEP. Click it. First of all, Jelena is Russian. What does this mean? That she has great, funky Russian style, her website is weirdly translated into a European British-english format, and she gets to speak a secret language on the tennis court to her coach (who was sitting seats away from me.) Because the gods that be felt destined to award me, I was lucky enough to score a take-along ticket to the Cincy Tennis Tournament. So--how much do I know about tennis? Well, a lot more now, thanks Wikipedia. How much did I know when I went? None. Sure, it's obvious that there are two to four people smacking a ball between them, but scoring, rules, referees, uniforms, anything? No, I had no caliber on what all that mystery meant. Do I still really know? Nope. BUT! I was thoroughly impressed. Let's take a look through these photos.

Damn. Readiness. Look at them being ready. Their bodies are perfectly sprung, coiled, and ready to unleash if and when necessary. Can they do it? Of course they can. They're used to this movement. They're used to springing forward like cougars and panthers, uttering some expected grunt of feasibility, and returning, calm, cool, and collected like the amazing athletes that they are.
This woman was the bomb.com. Seriously. She was tiny, muscled, and ready to kill. Tennis. Ready to kill tennis. Take a slow look at the muscles of these women! They are inspirational! Yes, I WILL put that cookie down, Jelena Jankovic and other woman that I can't remember your name. You're right--I do want to be as kick ass as you, if even for just today (small things add up!)
Ah, I have no quirky quip for this photo, so now seems like a good time to copy and paste information from wikipedia about tennis. The modern game of tennis originated in the United Kingdom in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis" which has heavy connections to the ancient game of real tennis. After its creation, tennis spread throughout the upper-class English-speaking population before spreading around the world. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all ages. The sport can be played by anyone who can hold a racket, including people in wheelchairs. In the United States, there is a collegiate circuit organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The rules of tennis have changed very little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1960 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and then the adoption of the tie-break in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point challenge system, which allows a player to challenge the line (or chair) umpire's call of a point.

So, I like history of a sport much more than rules. Here is some more great history of tennis! Tennis as the modern sport can be dated to two separate roots. Between 1859 and 1865, Major Harry Gem and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of rackets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham, United Kingdom. In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club in Leamington Spa. The Courier of July 23, 1884 recorded one of the first tennis tournaments, held in the grounds of Shrubland Hall.

In December 1873, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield designed a similar game — which he called sphairistike, and was soon known simply as "sticky" — for the amusement of his guests at a garden party on his estate of Nantclwyd, in Llanelidan, Wales. He based the game on the newer sport of outdoor tennis or real tennis. According to most tennis historians, modern tennis terminology also derives from this period, as Wingfield borrowed both the name and much of the French vocabulary of real tennis and applied them to his new game.

The first championships at Wimbledon in London were played in 1877. In America in 1874 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a young socialite, returned from Bermuda where she met Major Wingfield. She laid out a tennis court at the Staten Island Cricket Club in New Brighton Staten Island, New York. The exact location of the club was under what is now the Staten Island Ferry terminal. The first American National tournament in 1880 was played there. An Englishman named O.E Woodhouse won the singles match. There was also a doubles match which was won by a local pair. There were different rules at each club. The ball in Boston was larger than the one normally used in NY.
On May 21, 1881, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association (now the United States Tennis Association) was formed to standardize the rules and organize competitions. The U.S. National Men's Singles Championship, now the US Open, was first held in 1881 at Newport, Rhode Island. The U.S. National Women's Singles Championships were first held in 1887.Tennis was also popular in France, where the French Open dates to 1891. Thus, Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open (dating to 1905) became and have remained the most prestigious events in tennis. Together these four events are called the Majors or Slams (a term borrowed from bridge rather than baseball).

So, here's the deal. Am I going to go out and play tennis today? No, I am not (only because I don't have good enough friends in proximity to embarrass myself properly and still be able to laugh at it.) BUT. I am going to pretend I'm Jelena Jankovic and work out extra harder and eat extra well. This is a DAILY inspiration, and today, I want to be Like Mike. And by "Like Mike," I mean "Like Jelena" which still has a great alliteratating sound. Kind of.

Oh my god, I burned a million calories from that match. Set. Match? Whatevs.

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