A day trip to Bournemouth and a rare win

I had initially downplayed the win. Now my brain is saying be proud and I gain a little spring to my step.

Mon 30th May

British Clay Court Championships – West Hants Club, Bournemouth. A 46 player draw for the over 60s- wow!

My original plan was a solo one day excursion to Bournemouth for the British Clay Court Championships. In reality we are plus one wife, two dogs and John, another who thinks that a one day four hour drive to Bournemouth for a tennis match is a good idea. Alone I would have been happy in my madness. When others join in, well it starts to look like a reasonable idea! Rising fuel costs are a hot topic just now, so for the record this was a £77 round trip for petrol alone.

There have been speculative conversations about “what if you win?” It’s an enticing thought, not given any serious consideration by me, hence the day trip, although I am going to give it my best shot. Optimism comes from an unlikely source, as wife adds a sleeping bag to the load just before we set off!

Postscript. Overheard later in the week. “All that way to Bournemouth, the two of them and not a single game between them” The pre match support had ebbed. Sleeping bag returned untroubled.

Weds 1st – Fri 3rd June. After a rest day it is time for the Newquay Heron Open, a mere 10 minutes jog from my front door.

Two really poor performances in the over 40s singles. Maybe the switch from indoor fast courts for the doubles to immediately outdoors on the slow courts for singles, did not help. That however would be a poor excuse. I was beaten twice in quick succession and deservedly so, as I did not engage with the slow conditions or my opponents strengths and my timing is off. The learning point is about preparation. Tail between legs this evening.

Maybe it is the familiarity of being on home courts. A further blunt observation is delivered unasked and without any detriment intended to my opponents “that was awful, what were you doing?”

My preparation for each of the 6 matches I played over the three days was seriously lacking, so I feel lucky to have come away with a win in the over 60s final. 14-12 in the match tie break on the Friday.

Sun 5th

Easy paced run today around the Barrowfields loop returning via the school field.

The beauty of running is that there is no other interference, or distraction, just the rythmic one foot in front of the other. It allows thoughts to surface like nothing else I know. Today it is saying, be proud of your achievements, referring to the recent win in the Heron over 60s tournament. I know it is such a little achievement in the grand scale of things. It is my achievement though. Easy to dismiss as there were only three other competitors, who wanted to win just as much as I did, I am sure. I had initially downplayed the win. Now my brain is saying be proud. I gain a little spring to my step.

Thursday 9th. Watch ladies match from the Rothesay Nottingham Open on TV. Harriet Dart, GB is having a battle and eventually loses in three sets. How difficult this sport looks even for the professionals sometimes.

Friday 10th. Haircut. Last time in the barbers chair it was all football and a very enjoyable chat it was too. By all accounts from those who had to look at it a terrible haircut though. Change of barber this time, hairstylist no less. Different chat, all about fitness and recovery and recommended to visit by all accounts an exceptional Clinical Massage Therapist near Truro. Looked him up and he is booked up for two weeks, which I take to be  a good sign. Seems that I should be able to self massage my arm anyway, so giving that a go, thanks to some youtube pointers.

Saturday 11th. Reaching the end of my break from tennis week. Mid season break I have called it. Working on my fitness, let the body recover from tennis a little, rest that sore arm and refresh the brain for the remainder of the season. And more importantly make a big dent in those DIY jobs that have to date been progressing slowly.

Started this weekend with a parkrun at Lanhydrock reputedly the second hilliest one in the UK, with a climb of over 450 feet over the 5k distance. Just to make it interesting I took along Nelly the dog as she likes to run. Though I discovered she does not like to run amongst people and she sat down twice, followed by an extra long wee part way round. Nelly probably saved me from myself as my instinct unhindered, would be to try and do the best time I could. And that would have been painful on this course with the long uphill second half. Thanks Nelly.

It has been a good week of running, gym and stretching. In truth I can’t tell whether the arm is getting better or not. It feels a bit improved. The only true test though will be on court.

Sunday 12th. Pressing on with DIY jobs.

An involuntary and unintended rest day as totally immersed in refurbishment of the small shed. Strangely painting the outside seems to have helped my elbow – I think?

Raring to get back on court tomorrow and I am hoping my arm is going to be OK. Start of the grass court season is just around the corner.

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