// High school courts in Minocqua, Wisconsin //
Do you ever get a feeling in your chest that bubbles up with so much anticipation and awe and gratitude and passion that it can only be described as magic? A feeling that sets your soul on fire? If not, I hope you find it–it’s unlike anything else. If so, I’m so glad we can share this experience. Isn’t it the most wonderful thing?
This describes how I feel about tennis. I’ve been smacking the ball around since I was six years old (or at least trying my best to), and I’ve been in love with the game ever since. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most wonderful coaches and teammates in Des Moines, and that’s what’s made this game so much more than a simple sport. I honestly can’t picture my life without tennis in it–no matter what that looks like. My mindset has shifted from training for competitive play to enjoying any and all time on court. Oh, so high school tennis is over? Let’s go hit with friends and family and coaches for fun. Oh, so you can’t get out to hit this week? Let’s read biographies about the tennis greats (just finished Monica Sele’s book–incredible). Oh, so you want more competitive play again? Let’s join the club team at SMU. Oh, so you want to be around the game more? Let’s work at the Life Time Fitness tennis desk. Oh, so you don’t want the team atmosphere to go away? Let’s think about joining a USTA team (United States Tennis Association, for anyone that doesn’t know tennis), or potentially even coaching a high school team someday. There are countless ways to stay involved in this sport, and that’s another reason I love it so darn much. It’s a life sport. Whether you’re on a tropical vacation or in the middle of a city, there are most definitely going to be courts nearby, which is so cool (at least, to a tennis junkie like me). I have an obsession with finding cool courts and would gladly drive out of my way to snap some pics if I know there’s a sweet set up nearby (these are some of my faves, along with these and these… okay, maybe I just love all courts).
Tennis is such an individual, isolated sport, yet there’s a sense of team sparks from it like no other. I’ve learned a new sense of family through this game. As I grew up, I spent my summers traveling the backroads of Iowa with a group of kids that were out there to win their own matches while supporting everyone else like crazy (even if the guys would never admit it). The coaches that fostered that and made it all possible–they are just as much, if not more, of the cause for the family I’ve gotten to be a part of over the past twelve years. All the tournaments, all the traveling, all the learning–I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world. It has enriched my life and filled me up in the best way possible. And if I’ve already met so many wonderful kids, peers, coaches, teammates, and friends through this sport, I can’t even begin to imagine all the people I will continue to encounter through this lovely game in the future. My passion for tennis runs very deep, and I’m thrilled to continue walking through life with it. xx