My friend Carla who I played tennis with in high school went on to play college tennis, become a tennis pro, get her MBA and open a tennis store here in town. The store happens to be next to Chick-fil-A so sometimes when Melissa and I eat at CFA we walk over afterward to say hi to Carla (we were all on the team together for one year, until Mel graduated). Every time I walk in that store I get sad that I haven't picked up a racquet more than a couple of times in six years.
A while ago I asked Carla to keep me in mind if she heard of anyone close to my age who might want to hit around sometime. There are a lot of tennis players around here but most of them are senior citizens. A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a woman (in her early 30s) who'd gotten my name from Carla after mentioning that she needed another singles player for her team. This afternoon I'm going to meet her and another woman on the team and hit around with them for a couple of hours. I'm afraid of how bad I might be but mostly excited to play!
The league doesn't officially start practicing until January and matches aren't until March, so I'll have time to improve my game if I decide to join the league. I'll have to join the USTA to play on the team, which presents the major potential problem -- their team is a 4.0 team, and if USTA rates me a better or worse player than that, I can't play with them. That is lower than I was rated in high school but I have no idea how far I might have fallen.
Since I haven't played in a USTA tournament since the '90s, I have to rate myself based on a series of questions about my skill level. And I have to join USTA before I can do that, which of course costs money. We'll see how things go. Joining a tennis league is No. 20 on my list, so I hope it all works out. But for today, I'm just looking forward to playing tennis on a gorgeous fall afternoon.