THE RELUCTANT RUNNER: You cannot be serious...tennis is hard

The Reluctant Runner with son Ben at Bridlington Tennis Club at Dukes Park
The Reluctant Runner with son Ben at Bridlington Tennis Club at Dukes Park

The gym has been great for my fitness but after a while, it does get a bit monotonous.

I have done all the virtual routes on the cross-trainers and I needed something competitive, everyone likes being a winner after all.

So Bridlington Tennis Club’s open day on Sunday seemed like the perfect chance to try something different.

It was 10 years since I had played properly.

I think my playing partners were reasonably surprised that:

a) I knew how to hold a racket

b) I could hit a ball so it landed on our court and not the one next door and

c) I could serve with reasonable accuracy.

However, I was consistently inconsistent. One minute I played like Roger Federer, the next I was more like Roger Rabbit.

But with Charlie’s guidance, we found ourselves 5-3 ahead and from nowhere, I produced a backhand volley that would have graced centre court at Wimbledon (in my mind) and won the set.

Experience told in the second set and my beginner’s luck began to run out as we slipped to defeat.

But I still enjoyed it.

Before I had time for a breather, another group of players were one short so the new boy was sent to make up the numbers.

Playing against different players, with different abilities and styles, it was a constant learning experience. I don’t think I disgraced myself but I do get easily frustrated when I play a bad shot and can see how the professionals hurl their rackets to the ground in a fit of rage.

After that I spent half-an-hour practising with my son, but as soon as I stepped off the court, my body soon realised I had been playing non-stop for more than three hours. Walking home was a struggle.

And as for the next morning, never mind tennis elbow, I had tennis back, tennis shoulder, tennis knee, tennis ankle, tennis hips and tennis backside.

Nothing I have done at the gym so far made me ache as much as tennis did. But it was fun. It was not a chore.

We had both had a great time and were made to feel so welcome.