Healthy Living – Get Inspired by Sport!


Those who know me, know I couldn’t let the Wimbledon Championship Men’s Final match pass by in infamy without commenting on my favorite sport and player, Rafa Nadal.

I’ve been a tennis fan for over 30 years and I’ve watched and loved many players along the way. Rod Laver, Stephen Edberg, Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi, Pat Rafter, Monica Seles, Gustav Kurten and now Rafa. All have two things in common: never say die and lots of class.

I’m not sure what happened when I was a teenager that attracted me to the game. No one in my family or any of my friends played tennis. It wasn’t a sport offered at my school and the courts in my rural Oregon hometown were grown over with weeds and used primarily as a soccer field for truants.

I just remember one afternoon watching Rod Laver play Ken Rosewall and I became mesmerized by the athleticism, strength, strategy and intelligence it took to get that ball back and forth so quickly and still set up an unbelievable shot.

Little did I know that this particular meeting between Rod Laver (The Rocket) and Ken Rosewall (referred to as Muscles), would be an epic encounter – just like the one we witnessed this past Sunday. It was 1972 and part of the world championship tennis tour. I had happily stumbled upon the final which would later be deemed one of the most influential matches in tennis history. It was magic and I’ve been watching (and even sometimes playing) ever since. I love this game!

What does all this tennis talk have to do with anything? It has to do with what’s really important. It has to do with moving your body for the pure joy of it. It has to do with allowing yourself to be the best you can be and getting the most out of your life. And it doesn’t have to be as a professional tennis player.

At times in my life I’ve been hopelessly lethargic, unfit and unmotivated. And it was tennis that came to my rescue. Every summer there is was – the great motivator. Austrailia, France, England and the United States. It inspired me to get up off my duff.

It wasn’t about losing weight or getting a flat stomach, or ridding me of my flabby upper arms. It was about getting out on the court and playing a game I love. It was about being even the slightest bit like my idols – after all, look at the dedication and work they put into their sport. I could at least get fit enough to hit a few balls!

So whether it’s tennis, the summer Olympics or your son or daughter’s community soccer game. Let sport get you inspired. It can be the best reason you ever had to get in shape and start feeling good about yourself again. Let’s play ball!

And what about Rafa? Well, just like the greats before him, he never says die and he’s a class act all the way. Way to go, mama and papa Nadal for raising such a great kid.

2 responses to “Healthy Living – Get Inspired by Sport!”

  1. Paul Duncan says:

    I think many people don’t like to exercise because it gets so boring on it’s own.If there is anothr goal attached to it apart from weight loss,then it becomes more important to do it.

    I used to exercise for many years but a lot of it was going through the motions without improving very much.Years later I became interested in trekking and later on this grew to climbing.

    I remember walking up a large hill for the first time and actually came to realise that the training i had been doing was nowhere near what i had to do if i wanted to trek and climb.

    This motivated me to train far harder than i would have previously thought i was capable of.This happened because i head a goal that i wanted to reach.

    I realise weight loss is a major goal but if anyone can squeeze in ome more goals that exercise will help them achieve,the motivation becomes more powerful.

    It can be anything,tennis,running,climbing,dancing,yoga,walking,rowing,the are endless goals to pick from.

    Even with a goal training still gets tedious,so the thing to remember is why you are doing it and what the end result is going to be.

    I use a stepper for the bulk of my cardio work as it imitates going uphill.Believe me when i tell you that i am bored silly after about 25 minutes.What works for me is that i close my eyes and imagine thayt i am not on a stepper in my house.I imagine that i am going up a mountain with some people and they are watching me climb.I imagine the sky,the wind,the sun,the scenery,and anything else to make it real.

    Another good thing about closing my eyes is that i don’t focus on the timer on the stepper,there’s nothing worse than checking how long you have been on every few seconds.

    So try to find other sports related or a hobby that requires a certain level of fitness and it will give your exercising that extra boost that we all need from time to time

  2. Michael says:

    Who can forget the classic matches between Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg? Or Connors and John McEnroe? Or McEnroe and Borg? And on and on. Thanks “Inspired By Sport” for the trip down memory lane. I agree wholeheartedly, get involved in physical activity that challenges the body to perform at optimum levels. Have fun, live life to its fullest.

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