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Sun, Sept. 22

Column: Life is kind of cruel in the sports world
'My Point'

Don’t you think life can be kind of cruel in some ways? About the time you start to learn something really well (like the game of tennis) your body starts to tell you it won’t perform for you the way it needs to, or used to.

Not to mention you finally begin to have more time with kids out of the house, retirement looming or already in place, and a little extra money to go to tournaments and events.

You’ve put this whole idea of tournament competition off because you didn’t have the time, money or energy earlier in life and now you’re finally ready — but the body just isn’t what it used to be — but who’s is?

Even Roger Federer at the age of 36 is scratching his head a bit after losing in the semi’s at the U.S. Open, of course he’s still trying to compete on the pro circuit with a limited tournament schedule so he doesn’t over-do-it.

We don’t have to worry about winning the Australian or Wimbledon, but it would be nice to think we can still compete in our own area in our ability and age level — within reason.

How are you with getting motivated in upping your game a notch or two with a better diet, getting closer to a weight that doesn’t put you in jeopardy of pulling muscles when they become taxed more than normal, and a little more drilling to ready for increased competition?

It’s definitely a mental and physical challenge for most — me included and I suspect even Mr. Federer.

This thing called motivation — what’s it all about?

Why would we possibly want to get better at something at this point in our lives, does it really matter to anyone other than ourselves? Going fishing just might seem as much fun and a whole lot less work, but not nearly as adventurous and exciting.

Roger Federer, he’s done everything in the world of tennis, has more money than anyone could ever need or spend the rest of his life, yet he’s still willing to continue on a path that might gain him another title, maybe another grand slam — at the expense of maybe not and one heck of a lot of work.

Putting ourselves out there is a challenge, one that doesn’t have to happen, but one that is like in our youth putting food on the table, a roof over our heads, getting ahead in life; it’s another one of life’s challenges and seems no matter how old we get, we still desire.

So to hell with whatever age we are ­— we’re still going for it!

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or

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