Tag Archives: sports

How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart by David Foster Wallace

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A tennis friend just sent me this. By Jove he has a way with words.

How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart by David Foster Wallace.

austin1

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The Half

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In order to get back on exercise track after, you know, “the op”, I took myself and my jaw on a light jog around my island. I learned two things on this brief, red faced, slow-paced hurry.

1) My jaw seemed alright and in tact at the end of the short circuit and potentially would sustain near future exercise when I got my breath back and

2) I am rubbish at running.

So now that I am certainly back to full fitness I decided a couple or 3 months ago that running should be an aim of mine. Something I would do regularly to supplement  my game playing and gym bunny activities. So how come I have not even cantered to the shop since this vow!?

I think it is because my legs and I despise running. In fact I know that is what it is.

How then would I get my butt into gear and get out there on the roads? Like a really cool Nike ad. I probably needed to enter a half marathon. A convenient half marathon that would cost me enough that I wouldn’t back out but also would scare me sufficiently that I would pound the roads for weeks to ensure survival. Right, so as of last Thursday I am entered into a “not fun” half marathon, under the banner of “for proper runners”. Error. Now I have to run in my spare time but without the end reward of those more famous halfs. The ones where bands entertain you on the way round. The ones where at every other minute someone is offering you a digestive biscuit or some orange squash. The half marathons where Geordies line the streets giving quality banter and enthusiastic AND sincere encouragement. Where Northern legends blast music from their open windows to drag the many crowds through their individual pain.

Oh no wait that is probably just the Great North Run then.

Yep, I successfully clicked a few buttons online, provided my bank details and managed to get myself a spot in a proper run around the hilly Central Park course, which takes place in just over 3 weeks!

THREE WEEKS?! What? Why did I do that? I have run not a mile and in just over 3 weeks I will have to run 13.1 of them and mostly on a sort of agonising gradient. Good move Beth. Good move.

On Friday I began in earnest. Well I had to. Any dilly dallying on this score and I was in even more trouble than I already am. I managed a good 5.5 miles. Impressed? You certainly should be. I was. I even made myself a chocolate torte as a reward.

Now it is Sunday. And on Saturday I did not run. So Sunday sort of had to include a run at some point if I was to keep the momentum moving forward (literally). And guess what I did? I checked out where the tennis courts were relative to my apartment on Google directions and allowed it to plot me a course by foot. Yeah I ran there. I RAN to tennis. IN Brooklyn. Man I’m good. It was sunny too and I didn’t stop once. Oh no wait I did stop a couple of times actually. Just quickly though because my phone is not working very well and needed me to be stationary to skip a slow paced John Legend track. Luckily this next song came on just as my heart was beginning to lose interest:

So apt. Thanks Jackson. Really helpful. Thanks a bunch.

Va Va Voom

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A visit to the Red Bulls stadium this weekend. To watch none other than Monsieur Thierry Henry. Surely his superior skills in the company of American “footballers” would make for a delightful showcase.

Erm… not so much. I think it must be pretty difficult to perform when the ball is moving at a snail’s pace. It must be frustrating to be unable to predict your teammates’ moves. Well they don’t know where it is going to go either. It would be tough to score in the box when outside the box is chaos and the service is dire. Poor Thierry. Poor poor Thierry Henry with his $14 million triplex in SoHo. We did feel sorry for him.

English Flag bearer with his mohawk “do” stepping out of line

The Red Bulls stadium has a good showing

Thierry Henry. Need I say more?

After a frustrating match Henry sets up the winning goal. He couldn’t make it any easier for his team mate. We were all relieved he didn’t fluff it!

Re-post: Mel comments on the NY League Squash win for Sport’s Club L.A. ladies

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from left to right: Melanie Heim (author of this post), Patricia Arroyo (disco squash), Louise Wilson (champ), Beth Ashbridge (ashbe), Jennifer Dorland (Jadore) Kara Popowich (kpops), Elizabeth Wainwright (Wainwright)
Susan Collins, the esteemed Republican Senator from Maine, asked me to forward this message to you:
Ladies, I haven’t been this inspired since Gerald Ford assumed the presidency. I had the good fortune to catch all of your matches via the closed-circuit spy cameras that were installed at SCLA as part of our Homeland Security Offensive on Liberal America Program, established 10 years ago. Though this costly program has done little to secure our nation, it has provided hours of entertainment to my fellow Subcommittee members. Here are my observations, which, since I am not seeking reelection, you may take as sincere:
  1. Grace and Skill – Louise, your footwork and seeming ease inspired all who watched you. I actually heard several people in the Senate chamber comment that we should do what we can to get you onto Dancing with the Stars – NY Edition, as you absolutely would outclass Mayor Bloomberg, Regis, and even Tim Tebow (if he has the guts to show up).
  2. Determination – Beth, way to dig deep and respond to coaching. Mackenzie gave it all she had (no wonder she was recently voted Most Relentless in the Northeastern Directory of Annoying Boarding School Graduates) and then some, but it wasn’t enough. I look forward to watching future drubbings handed out by you, particularly if Mel ever gets back on the court.
  3. Consistent Improvement – Jadore, despite playing an opponent who, at the least, was sandbagging, you rose to the challenge and demonstrated that no one on your team deserves Most Improved more than you. Your ascent within 12 months took Mel close to 10 years (according to a study of the future elderly recently completed by the Surgeon General’s Office). Wow your generation moves fast!
  4. Quiet Performance – Patricia, your game 2 win clinched your team’s championship, and you did it with little fanfare. You simply got on the court, didn’t give up, and delivered when your team most needed it. I have asked my colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to delay by three more years any plans to invade Canada. This has been done in your honor. I make no promises, however, about Peru.
  5. Leadership – Kara, though you didn’t have a very high benchmark to reach, you went above and beyond your predecessor, exhibiting organization and key decision making over the course of a very long season. You never lost sight of your goal and modeled excellent play-hard behavior. Your team responded in kind. If you ever choose to go into politics, please consider running on the Republican ticket. We could use a few more poli-hotties in DC.
  6. Celebration – Elizabeth, nice touch with the drinks. When you’re not playing, you’re supporting your team mates and adding to the overall esprit de corps. Though my colleagues do not embrace your politics, I secretly do and hope that you continue to influence both your peers and students. A few more of you around the halls of the Capitol and fewer Lindsay Grahams, and I’d consider sticking around.
  7. Longevity – Mel, have you considered tai chi or something else that would be a little gentler on your body? I’m concerned that you continue to tax our already over-burdened medical system with your ongoing physical ailments. However, I do admire the way you just don’t know when to give up. Reminds me of Newt Gingrich a little bit, but only when I’m really drunk.
To all the rest of you, congratulations!  You are true patriots and warriors!
Fondest regards,
Sue
(by Melanie Heim)