I have been a tennis player most of my life. Long before running became a passion of mine, tennis was my life. I first picked up a tennis racquet at about the age of eight. I lived in a household of tennis players, and quickly became quite a good player over the years.
When I was growing up, I played every chance I got. I loved it. I loved learning, and I loved getting better at it. We played as a family. We played doubles, we played singles. I played all the way though Junior and Senior High School on the tennis team. My Senior year I played #2 singles, and finished my high school tennis career with a record of 16-2 that final season. I made it to the State Qualifying tournament one year. I played in several local tennis tournaments, playing men’s doubles and mixed doubles. Actually winning three tournaments before I hit 21 years old. I loved it!
I also watched a lot of tennis on television back then. I loved watching John McEnroe, and Jimmy Connors. Andre Agassi, and Pete Sampras. Loved watching Steffi Graf, and Martina and Chrissy.
Once I got married and started my own family, I had much less time for tennis, or even watching it on TV for that matter. I never lost my love for the sport, and even joined a USTA men’s tennis team several years ago when I once again dove back into the sport. With age comes injuries, and I’ve spent the better part of the last few years with some pretty exhausting tendon issues in my elbows due to work, so I haven’t been able to play hardly at all. This past Spring, I watched several of my sons tennis matches at his High School, and it really made me yearn to get back out on the tennis court again. Here is a photo of him from the local newspaper.
Well, in honor of Wimbledon, this morning my son and I got out on the tennis court. Probably the first time I’ve played in the last year or so. It felt so good. We had a blast. The best news? My arms feel good still. The last time I played my elbows instantly hurt after a few rallies, and I could only play for about 15 minutes. Today though, a full hour and a half, no pain. Pretty stoked about it.
Because of my long time connection to tennis, and my new found love of running over the past several years, when I decided that I wanted to find a charity team and fundraise for a chance to run the New York City Marathon this year, my choice was clear. I was a big fan of American tennis professional James Blake years ago. He’s retired now, but started a foundation to honor his late father who died of gastric cancer.
This is James at Wimbledon….
He played with a lot of passion, and made it to #4 in the world at one point in his career. He was always fun to watch. I decided to join the charity team, and will be representing the James Blake Foundation when I run the New York City Marathon this year. I pledged to raise at least $3,000 for this cause, which provides vital resources in finding a cure for cancer. The research that goes into the effort is funded by donations. It is very important work that they are doing, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a team member for the 2015 race.
I have been reaching out to family and friends, soliciting donations for the past few months and have made some great progress. Funds have come from all over, from runners, and tennis fans, from strangers, bloggers and even my closest family. As of today, 6/30/15, I have raised a total of $1,245. Nearly the half way point in my efforts, I am asking for more help and donations for this fine charity.
Please help me to reach my goal. It feels so good to give, so won’t you please consider a donation today? Please share this post on your own blogs, or share in other ways so that I can reach as many potential donors as possible. I thank you!
The link above takes you directly to my fundraising page where making a donation it so simple and quick.