The minute you step on the court, green, or field, the regulars start checking you out. Oversell your skills and you'll be found out sooner or later and probably demoted if not shunned. Undersell yourself and you won't get the competition and workout you deserve.
Meet Mohamed, a new guy who rediscovered fun in his old sport.
Should politicians be judged on their weight as well as the weight of their words?
Should sugary soft drinks be taxed?
Probably. Nobody likes a scold. But elections won't change Memphis much or fix health care. Neither will the Dalai Lama or President Obama or Congress. The only thing that's going to do that is policies that encourage changes in individual behavior.
Gotta be a tough sport, right? Only if you consider the annual Robinsonville, Mississippi Bridge Tournament at Sam's Town Casino in Tunica a sport.
Are non-contact mental games sports? Former athlete, newspaper columnist, and Memphian Bob Levey thinks so.
"I'm proud to announce that we had 77 percent complete the race and 81 percent complete the program," said trainer Star Ritchey of inbalance Fitness. "A couple of people were unable to do the race due to scheduling conflicts but did complete all the runs with us. Looking at the numbers, we had a few injuries, thankfully none caused by running, but out of all of our "starters" I can proudly say only five people actually quit the program with no reason other than they just decided it wasn't for them."
Restaurants, homebuilders, multiplex theaters, and big-box retailers previously beat a path to the 'burbs. Now we have big-box fitness. At this rate, it shouldn't be long before there's a workout machine for every man, woman, and child in town.
I checked out the action this week with Collierville resident John Shepherd. John is as old school as they come. Back in the Fifties, he played football, track, and boxed in Golden Gloves, plus a little extracurricular roughhouse. His knowledge and memory of all things Memphis is encyclopedic. If there's a trend, he's usually among the first to spot it. And he can start a conversation with a stranger faster than you can say "what was your name again?"
For more than 50 years, Hosea Hill and William Foster helped hundreds of Memphis boys and girls literally run to success on high school cinder tracks, college and Olympics stadiums around the world, and later in their professional lives as doctors, police officers, and businessmen and women.
Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe have raged against fans, umpires, linesmen, and themselves in matches at the Racquet Club of Memphis. Their antics were endured in silence by the linesmen and lineswomen, but they were no less boorish than William's f-bomb-laced tirade of the lineswoman who called a ridiculous foot fault on her at the end of her semifinal match against Kim Clijsters.
One of the biggest changes in tennis is how much better the sportsmanship is since the Connonrs-McEnroe era.
Stafford has what he believes is possibly the only flier left from the event that matched two highly skilled athletes with very different personalities and, according to Sports Illustrated, drew more than $30,000 in on-site wagers.
In 1976, Elvis Presley had a basement court at Graceland, where he played Dr. George Nichopoulos and other members of his Memphis Mafia. Memphis had a half dozen racquetball professionals and a young phenom named Andy Roberts who would later win a world championship. One of the city's most prominent businessmen, William B. Tanner, was a racquetball fanatic and promoter who built a court on top of his office building on Union Avenue Extended. Memphis State University, as it was then called, and Coach Larry Lyles started a club team that dominated college racquetball for two decades. Baseball legend Don Kessinger took up the sport and built a court complex. In all, there were more than 150 courts in the city.
If you do, then send your easy-to-view (and short) video to Get Memphis Moving or post it on this blog in the comments section.
Judging will be purely subjective and grossly unfair. Note: This indulgence was a birthday present from my daughter to her old man. Thanks, Katy. Don't tell anyone it wasn't your idea.
Granted, dogs eat cat poop and drink out of the toilet, but nobody knows more about processed dog food. And nobody knows more about pain and pain remedies than serious amateur jocks.
Many of us take an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen before, during, or after workouts as routinely as we drink a glass of water. If you think it works, does it work? Or are you fooling yourself and possibly doing more long-term harm than good, as some of the experts quoted in the NYT article suggest?
In racquet sports, running, swimming, and Senior Olympics, we have seniors, super seniors, masters, grand masters, golden, silver, over 40, over 50, over 60, over 75 — more divisions than Ford Motor Company has cars. Such is the nature of lifetime sports. In Atlanta this weekend, I found that I could probably play varsity college squash, albeit for the women's team. And I can still beat most men, providing they are over 60 years old. The bad news is that I am cannon fodder for younger players.
He didn't play tennis in high school or college, and didn't play much at all until he was 25 years old. His first NTRP rating was 3.5, roughly the equivalent of a 20 handicap in golf or a 6-minute mile. He's 5'8" tall and weighs 150 pounds and the only way his serve will top 120 miles an hour is if he counts both of them. At 46 and married with two kids, he still looks about 17. Half the hackers in Memphis can remember beating him 20 years ago.
So what's he doing as the U.S.P.T.A. pro — that means certified — at Memphis Country Club and now Tunica National Golf and Tennis? The answer has to do with ping pong, hard work, hard knocks, getting better as you get older, and helium balloons. And being nice, don't ever forget nice.
Club sports and intramurals, that is. Do something for the 19,800 students who are possibly somewhat athletic but are not "student athletes."