I broke into a sweat at tennis last Monday night — before stepping onto the court. My doubles partner went home sick, leaving three of us — two women who play tennis fast, hard and smart, and me.
They suggested Canadian doubles: You play two against one for three games, and then rotate, taking turns being on one side of the court by yourself. Gulp. I’ll tell you a not-very-well-kept secret: I’m not adept at doubles, let alone singles, American, Canadian, or Slovenian.
Sure, I said, mopping my brow.
I bring three strengths to this league: I more often than not show up on time (with seconds to spare), have a positive attitude and deliver the Lob of Death.
My serves and returns are so high, so weak and so slow that occasionally they actually win a point for my side. The opposing player swings and misses, like a batter swinging at a knuckleball
. Sometimes the bounce is so high, the receiving player goes back-back-back until she slams backwards into the back wall. Usually, though, my opponent can run out to the water fountain, check her Blackberry, re-tie her tennis shoes and still smash my poor excuse for a serve right back at, and by, me.
That’s OK. They’re a friendly group of women who encourage my weak, weekly stab at sports.
They are gently forcing me to admit I’m not getting any younger. That’s why today you see a new picture of me here and on my blog, Fresh Ink, at www.saratogian.com. The old "head shot" as we call them in the news biz, was about to celebrate its sixth birthday. Time for a change.
So when I showed up earlier this week with newly cut hair and a freshly powdered nose, photographer Erica Miller took the challenge. I was willing to let her Photoshop
an extra eye if she could remove an extra chin. She did better than that, sitting me on the stoop of The Saratogian
’s corner entrance and demonstrating the trick of shooting from above, so that all chins are tucked safely out of sight. All things considered, she made me look good, as everyone in the newsroom usually does.
But it’s not enough to look good. We need to feel good. And to feel good, we need to be healthy.
Yet the governor’s proposed soda tax is making me nauseous.
I grew up on Pepsi and have the cavities to prove it. Soda was the standard drink at every dinner.
Nowadays we supposedly know better. Yet we’ve
become a nation of obese people, diabetes is becoming more prevalent, and there’s a frighteningly cavalier attitude about fat kids.
The governor weighs the problem and comes up with a way to lighten New Yorkers: take more money out of their pocket. The state health commissioner on Friday urged the Legislature "to adopt a penny per ounce tax on non-diet sodas and other sugary beverages and challenge the beverage industry to stop unethical and predatory advertising and marketing of high-calorie sugary beverages to New York’s children, especially in low-income and minority communities."
Try this instead: Lower the price on healthy food.
And send those kids outside to school me on the tennis court. I could use the lesson.