Goodbye Florida, Hello Mexico
Jan 19, 2012
Goodbye Tallahassee! I’m on a plane headed for Monterrey for the first tournament in this Central American circuit. The plan is to play two events in Mexico followed by one in Guatemala and one in Panama. I’m meeting up with Jason Jung, who is a good player I met this summer at the Washington State Open. He’s from the Los Angeles area and ironically grew up training with Andy, showing just how small the tennis world can be. The plane is less than a fourth full, which is a refreshing change from the crowded sardine feeling you get a lot of the time. It seems, with everything you hear in the news, Mexico may not be the most popular place to travel right now. Whatever though, I appreciate the extra legroom.
I had a good last day and night in Florida. Besides the necessary preparations for my trip such as laundry and packing, I took it a bit easier training for the day. This week I’ve played more tennis than I have in months and my body isn’t quite used to it yet so I felt it would be beneficial not to work myself to death the day before traveling. I hit in sparingly with FSU practice, did some light conditioning with the team, and just relaxed and hit around with Andy for a while. We hadn’t had much of a chance to play together since he’s been working so much and it was nice to get out on the court with him. At the end of the day we even got in a couple of sets of mixed doubles with Annie and Lori. Sometimes it’s nice to take a step back from “training” and just have fun playing for a change. It refreshes the mind to take some of the pressure away so you can just enjoy the feeling of being on the court. Especially when you get to show off a little for the ladies. Annie and I played well but weren’t able to capitalize on a couple match points, losing 12-10 in a third set tiebreaker. We played well though and had a good time, even if it would have been nice to take them down.
We debated going out to a bar for a drink to celebrate my last night in town but decided we were too tired so instead we went back to Andy’s to have a few beers. Annie came with us and Clay stopped by as well to have a good old-fashioned pull-up contest. He and I had been talking about it all week seeing as he’s a personal trainer and I just like doing pull-ups. But really it’s just hard to pass up a chance to take your shirt off, blast some music, and do your best to boost your ego by dominating your buddies (stop giggling I know how that sounds). I picked Chili Peppers as my montage music and Clay chose Muse to pump him up. It was a hard fight and while the shit-talking and excuses were flying in all directions I managed to get the best of him putting up 33 to his 24. I’m certain he will not be pleased with my including this segment but what’s the point of winning if you can’t gloat a bit afterwards. Sorry Clay. I know you’ll get me when I come back in April.
Besides that excitement I had a pretty tame last night in Tallahassee. Andy and I chilled and watched some Australian Open while I stole some of his music and got ready for my trip. I’m definitely sad to leave and it’s surprising how settled I became in just a week and a half. I guess it must be that southern hospitality or something, but between Andy and his friends’ gracious hosting and the FSU team’s generosity in including me so much I almost feel like I’m leaving home again. Hopefully I will get to come back soon though to visit and train some more, and who knows, maybe I’ll even be part of the coaching staff someday. That’s a long way off though. For now it’s time to focus on the next leg of my journey and see if I can’t do some damage in these tournaments.