of a tennis player, hiker, writer
A bird in the bath. well, just before.
On court 1. Lookin' to own.
In Jax, enjoyin' some solid juniors tennis.
I love my new phone cam.
* Clears throat * “Um, Robin here, your friendly neighborhood MC(Mistress of Ceremonies). Welcome to my blog. In it you’ll find my rants, ramblings and random updates on everything ME...
…and since I’m the typo queen and master of misspelling, these will be present in most, if not all my posts.”
A few of my better entries - all quick reads:
|Gotta get this information in the June NL. Check last year's procedures, etc.
Call out to nomination Submit your nominations for the 2012 USTWA board
Must be submitted by July 1st..
Open up the voting by July 9th
Voting starts on July 10th
Voting ends August 22nd
Personal statements along with your nomination.
The voting will be tallied by outside organization.
§ Week of August 9: Slate of nominees announced on USTWA.org
§ Aug. 9 - 27: Voting via email
Sept. 8: Election results announced at our Annual Meeting and via email.
|First, the good news, TN was filled with lots of good memories…it started snowing on Christmas day and didn’t stop until the following evening. We must have gotten 15 plus inches. Laney got engaged on Christmas day, Autumn and Shaun and the baby were there. We went sledding on unfolded peach boxes, our makeshift sleds. We built a six foot snowman. Jason made turkey soup to warm our insides.
Bad news. The baby woke up sick Christmas Eve morning and got progressively worse. (he’s on the mend now) but we got stuck in TN for the snow.
Some rental property rented a plow and they shoved their snow right at the mouth of our driveway; a bus turned longways and blocked the path down the mountain, and the wrecker, who was going to pull everyone out, couldn’t get in.
After almost seven hours of Jason(Laney fiancé) and Shaun(son-in-law) shoveling snow, they finally got Bryan’s 4-wheel drive out. They had to shovel 15 inches of snow up a 300 foot hill of a driveway. they used dust pans and brooms because we didn’t have snow shovels – I know, bad on our parts; but in our defense, we’ve never been up in the real snow before. We had no idea.
Anyway, Jason was in the most danger of losing his job so Bryan sent him in our truck thinking we’d get his(Jason’s) out the following day.
Shaun got the Highlander out late Monday night in time to head toward the doctor with my getting sicker by the minute grandson.
The following day everything turned to ice. No go on the truck
Worse news: Bryan has been sick through all of this…the snow, the holidays…with pneumonia-like symptoms.
At this point, it’s Tuesday and we’re stuck in TN. Not too bad, but I’m worried that bryan, after 10 days of antibiotics doesn’t seem much better.
Wed, he’s just too sick to drive so we don’t even bother to get the truck out, but make arrangements to be pulled out bright and early by Thursday, surely he’ll feel well enough to drive.
Wrong. Now, he’s dizzy and nauseous. Plus, there’s a 15 car pile up on a road leading to our house, yet another wrecker delay. I’m beginning to feel like I’m not supposed to make it back to Macon.
Later that day, we attempt to leave. With the truck parked at the top of the driveway, we lug our belongs up there –several trips. This wears Bryan out. He drives for a little over an hour and says he can’t do it anymore. We rent a room.
Still, he thinks he’ll wake up Friday(New Year’s Eve day) and feel better.
Wrong. We have to get Laney and Jason to drive almost 5 hours to come get us. Sux being a non-driver. In the meantime, Bryan is getting shaking, difficulty even moving, focusing, It’s scary but he refuses to go to the hospital. I swear to him and to myself I will call 911 if this EVER happens to me again.
Around 10:30ish New Year’s Eve, we roll into our driveway. Can’t say I’ve ever been so glad to get there. Bryan promises to see a doctor in the morning.
Wrong. Despite feeling zero percent better, he won’t go. Okay, well, he’s a little better, less disoriented. I yell at him for this and tell him it’s not fair to do this to the rest of us.
He’s planning on going to his regular doctor tomorrow. The one who has his records and knows about he tick bite illness, and his whooping cough spell and all the other things he’s gone through this past year and a half.
Meanwhile, I’m just a wreck.
Yesterday he looks at me and says, “I don’t remember Christmas. I don’t remember it snowing.”
“What?, Really?” I say, trying to hide the alarm in my voice.
“Where was I?” he asks, “When it was snowing?”
“Honey,” I say, “it snowed for two days.” This is true. It started Christmas day and didn't even stop until midnight the next day. We're talking 36 hours of non-stop snowing.
“Yeah, but where was I? I don’t remember it actually falling.”
“You were on the couch,” I tell him. “You were in the kitchen, on the back deck, asleep…you don’t remember?”
|Fundraiser for the men’s and women’s tennis program. Went really well 45 players…assistant both teams…Ryan Ingram….
The trophies were huge. They are mag.
The weather was great most pleasant day we had all month.
Eeked out a victory in 3 sets. Lost first set five…won two down and came back 7 five great competition.
Carol Carlson and Diane Lewis…
- " Saturday of the tournament was the nicest weather we have had all month, so the weather gods definitely cooperated.
- The trophies were magnificent. (You probably don’t want to put that in there – but they were really huge!!)
- The tournament was well run, it was a lot of fun, and it was for a good cause. I hope that next year there will be even greater participation". --Francess Clay
charlie Aguilar 60's 116
I'm playing the 60 division and my tentative published rankings are #6 in GA and #22 in the South and I'm still waiting for a National Ranking.
I performed well for my coming back to competition. I worked as hard as time permitted on condtioning, stroking, and playing practice matches. I competed with a strained knee that needs further rehab in the off season. It did hinder my last results.
My goals for next year are to play a few more tournaments to be a little more ready for the bigger tournaments.
My last tournament I lost a 3 set match and had match points. I lost focus for just two points and couldn't regain it. Suddenly I found myself shaking hands at the net with my opponent who was as surprised as I that he beat me.
I tell students that I coach they will find out something about character in every match played. I accepted that defeat with dignity and wished him success in the future.
I'm looking forward to facing him again.
I would be happy to give u a quote....what do u need? I didn't know. Charlie has been a great coach for our team. Coaching us thru two 3.0 state championships & helping us as we work to improve our skills at the 3.5 level. He has patience and teaches in a way that is easy to comprehend. He also takes an interest in watching us during out 3.5 matches and then works on the areas that need improvement. Our team nickname for Charlie is "Charlie's Angels". He has been a great coach and mentor.
Ken Nelson 6th - in his age division 75's
Title of the trophy? ATLANTA CITY CHAMPIONSHIP
2. how long have you played tennis? 8 years
3. How many on the team were Middle Ga residents? 5 from Macon (Myself, Shawnder Worthington, Angie Miller, Amy Mathew and Kathy Tripp)
4. Tell a few sentences about how you were down and struggled to come back? or, something where you overcame adversity during your team match. Our team were playing the 1st place team. Me and my partner took the 1st set quite easily, but they came back and took the 2nd set. In the 3rd set, we were down 1-5. We ended up winning in the tiebreaker! What a victory, and a nail biter for the rest of our team.
5. who played the clinching match? We were tied at 2-2. Our # 5's came through and won, to put us at 3-2
6. how did it feel to win the title? Gratifying. I had recruited Angie, Shawnder and Amy for the season. Amy and Angie had never played ALTA. The rides back and forth to ATL paid off. It felt great to have them part of the win.
|I bought an organizer calendar yesterday during my trip to Wal-mart with Aedan and Autumn. We went looking for the $5 holiday blankets but walked out with office supplies instead.
Now that I am on the national USTA tennis in the public parks committee, the Georgia USTA diversity and inclusion committee and vice president of the united states tennis writers association, and on the tech panel of the tennis industry association, I’ll need to keep up with all my activities.
|Seventy-one Georgia junior tennis players wrapped up play Sunday in the Middle Georgia Junior Fall Championships, where both regular play and QuickStart format tournaments were contested at the John Drew Smith Tennis Center.
Last week’s rule change dictating tournament play for the 10-and-under age groups meant shorter courts, lighter racquets, low-compression balls and modified scoring. The goal of the changes were done to encourage immediate success and increase retention among young players.
Macon resident Clay Bowie, father of 10-year-old Jordan, said he loves the QuickStart format.
“I’m a big fan,” Clay Bowie said. “The entire program helps teach kids the game; from learning to keep score, its rules … it’s allowed (Jordan) to learn (tennis) correctly while avoiding bad habits.”
Jordan Bowie, the girls 10-and-under finalist, only lost one of her five matches.
“I felt good about the way I played,” Bowie said. “My dad taught me how to put topspin on the ball, and I played with topspin.”
Rebecca Rubanov, a 9-year-old Macon resident, won the girls 10-and-under QuickStart event. Rubanov, no stranger to tournament play, only dropped two sets during her five-match run.
Rubanov said she prepares for tie-breaks mentally by reviewing previous head-to-head matches of her opponents in her mind.
“I tell myself to work hard, shake it off,” Rubanov said. “I can bring it back.”
Both Bowie and Rubanov plan on entering the next QuickStart tournament in October.
Connor Chancy, a 7-year-old from Hahira, played in the 8-and-under QuickStart event. He said he began playing tennis because it looked like fun.
“I watched Nadal, Federer, and the Williams (sisters) play,” Chancy said.
Chancy lost one of his matches in a third-set tiebreak but still plans on continuing to participate in QS format.
“It’s easier to hit (the ball),” said Chancy, who hits with his family on his driveway with both the QS balls and the regular yellow balls.
Chancy predicts Rafael Nadal will win the U.S. Open men’s final, which was delayed by rain to Monday.
Chancy’s parents have recently picked up the game in order to be able to keep up with their two sons.
“It’s a family sport,” Cyndi Chancy said. “All four of us love going out and hitting on the court together. Also, I love hitting in the driveway, especially with these low-compression balls because you can have more control over it and they don’t go as far. It works out better.”
Read more: http://www.macon.com/2010/09/13/1262357/quickstart-event-leaves-players.html#ixz...
|Earlier this week, the United States Tennis Association passed rules administering competition for 10-and-under tennis tournaments using the QuickStart tennis format.
Now, children 10-and-under can compete on smaller tennis courts with lower bouncing, slower balls and lighter racquets made for their little hands.
QuickStart made its way to Macon two years ago during a pilot program when Carl Hodge, Macon’s tennis manager, began offering drills and play format adapting QuickStart recommendations. A year ago, the John Drew Smith Tennis Center offered the QuickStart tournaments. Sarah Witherspoon, the tournament director of this weekend’s 10-and-under event, is an advocate for the QuickStart method.
Hannah Purvis a 10-year-old from Warner Robins, trains at JDS under Hodge. Purvis was 8 when she picked up the game after she attended one of the center’s summer camp sessions. This weekend marks her first tournament.
“I’m sorta nervous,” she said.
Another first-time tournament player, 9-year-old Nailah Ramos, also trains at JDS.
“I like the orange balls better because I can hit them better than the other ones,” Ramos said.
Ramos began playing because her parents were players.
“The orange and yellow low compression balls are ideal for 10-and-under children,” Witherspoon said. “They make training easier. I can have a 30-ball rally with children as young as 8. There’s no way I could do that with the traditional yellow ball. I can’t even do that with some of my older students.”
“My dad and I spent our Labor Day weekend practicing with the orange balls,” said Bowie, who said she is glad she’s in a round-robin event in which she can play everyone and not worry about results. “I’m glad I’m not just playing one match, where I’m just eliminated. I get a chance to play (all the players).”
And the younger players get a chance to enjoy the game and grow their love for the sport.
“Scaling tennis down to the size of children will promote greater participation and ensure that young kids will be able to play tennis much more quickly,” says Kurt Kamperman, the chief executive for community tennis for the USTA. “This rule change to the competition format for kids 10-and-under is critical to the long-term growth of our sport, and ultimately will help us develop new generations of players and champions.”
All that doesn’t matter to players like Bowie, Purvis and Ramos; they just know they can’t get enough. QuickStart competitive tennis has opened up the court to young players. “It’s fun,” said Ramos. “No matter what, if you win or not, you’re still a winner to yourself. I love it!”
Read more: http://www.macon.com/2010/09/11/1259783/young-players-get-a-taste-for.html#ixzz0...
|This past Sunday, I covered the Atlanta Tennis Championships, an ATP event, for Tennis Life – yay me. No pay, but tons of fun, and five awesome by lines.
Mardy Fish cooked John Isner under an on-court, heat-indexed sun of 155 degrees --no lies --about the heat, I mean. During the match, and I can’t pinpoint when, an enthused fan yelled Mardy’s name while Isner served. “Let,” the chair called. Fans booed. Isner regained composure. Seriously? During a serve? C’mon.
After the three-setter, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4), and the trophy ceremony, tournament staff directed us to exit via a different route than usual. Somehow, I found myself in the direct path players take to get back to their lounge. Some guy, wearing K-Swiss clothing, carring a Wilson bag over his shoulder, gripping two Wilson racquets in hand, walked toward me. Insert schoolgirl squeal cuz at first glance I thought it was Mardy...all those K-Swiss clothes...
I snapped a few quick pics(see below). He flashed me a wide smile. Heck yea! Okay, so maybe it wasn't so wide...and maybe it was directed at the camera, not me...who cares? I got it on digital.
Once I actually realized my feet walked on off-limits territory, I scurried toward the media room. I dumped my cam, notepad, and other reporting essentials down on my desk, which, by the way, awesomely overlooked the player’s lounge. Yes, this means I did get peeks at hottie ATP guys, shirtless.
Drew, one of my desk mates, using a sarcastic tone says, “I can’t believe you called out Mardy’s name like that.” The guy behind him nods in agreement. Then Drew adds, “and how did you get your voice to change to a man’s like that?”
I let my body go limp. “Oh great,” I moan, my words smothered in disappointment. “Do you think this means I blew my chances of a one-on-one with Mardy?”
Author's note: Drew, the photographer, got pics of the guy who interrupted the match by yelling out, "Mardy" during Isner's serve.
For more on the actual event, visit
|Sporting a pony tail and baby doll tee, she fishes around in the second drawer of the bedside table. “Um, so…where’s the Beretta?” Laney asks in a high-pitched almost little girl voice.
We're about to head out to Tattnall at nine-thirty-something PM. I forgot to leave the gate unlocked and the home school group blocked the courts for a before breakfast hitting session, hoping to escape the hot Georgia sun and humidity.
It strikes me as almost comical, her girlish movements, her baby voice, her pony-tailed hair... fingers wrapped around steel metal while her father reminds her about the safety.
“I know, Dad” she whines, dragging out the word ‘know’. After all, everyone’s skilled in Beretta shooting.
I grab my things, trawling through my purse to make sure I have the right keys. Being a facilities coordinator for two Parks and Rec. tennis centers means my key ring weighs almost as much as the custodian’s.
On my way to the door I notice Dakota, one of our Doberman’s, on her leash. She’s sitting in front of the door waiting. I guess Laney’s not taking any chances. A few weeks ago, one Sunday evening, approximately 90 minutes after my friend Sarah and her crew left the place, a carjacking occurred in the middle of Tattnall's parking lot. The poor man was shot in the stomach. He survived, last I heard.
“A gun and a Doberman,” I say while walking out the door. “No one’s messing with us.”
Laney and I make jokes about the consequences of anyone who dares to approach two ladies, a firearm and a canine. We settle Dakota into the back seat of the Toyota Avalon. Still joking, we hop into the front seat. “Wait, times…” Laney says, still using her little girl voice. “Where’s the Beretta?”
“What?” I ask. "What do you mean, ‘where’s the Beretta?'”
“Oh, un-times...here it is,” she says, flashing me a smile. 'Very funny,' I think. She puts the loaded gun in the middle console.
Dakota isn’t used to traveling. Unlike the husky and boxer/mastiff who love loading up and heading to Tennessee, neither of the Dobermans ride often. Dakota looks nervous and won’t lie down.
Arriving at Tattnall we jump out of the car, grab Dakota. Laney has the Beretta by her side, cutting her eyes left and right the entire walk from parking lot to front door.
“Do you want me to grab her leash?”
“Nah, if anyone comes up, I’ll probably just drop it and let her go to town.” Like she’s an experienced attack dog. While protective, Dakota’s never had to actually prove herself. I’m not really afraid, maybe a little uneasy. If anything, the presence of the gun and dog underscore my uncomfortable-ness rather than eliminating it; both blatant reminders of human ugliness. Well, okay, Dakota’s not ugly, but…you know what I mean.
Dakota keeps my pace as I hurry, jamming the key in the instant I reach the door. The SUV in the parking lot pulls out, thank goodness.
All’s well that ends well. Dakota proved model. She wore a proud almost smile on her muzzle when she jumped back into the Avalon. Laney and I pat her while cooing words of approval. I watch as Laney puts the gun back in the console. I learned how to shoot a gun when I was 19. But, by the time I turned 20, I was pregnant with my first child. I never touched one after that. Laney carries pepper spray and key chain knuckle weights for protection. She owns a gun and practices shooting it.
When I was 20, I never even thought about self-defense...I wonder what the world will bring when Aedan, my new grandson, grows up.
All over the courts
The Southern 14’s, a junior event begins today with tennis players coming from a nine state area. Two players are in their own backyard. Jess Jones, from Warner Robins and Everett Reese from Macon
Arianda Riley southern 12’s in Cary NC at the Cary Tennis Park
Becker O’Shaughnessey no 2 seed in Roame, Ga.
|Stateside coverage of a few of the Aussie Open tennis matche for Tennis Life's website:
|During the third week in April of this year, I flew out west to a town called Gold Beach,(Oregon). My mom had fallen, broke her hip, had surgery and was beginning the slow climb to recovery. I wanted to be there to help out.
Mom’s apartment sits within walking distance of everything; Radio Shack, Subway, McKay’s Market (grocery), Ace Hardware, and the Bookworm Bookstore. It was easy to whisk to McKay’s for Mom’s favorite foods, drop by the Corner Drug to pick up her prescriptions, or swing by Panther’s Den for a slice of pizza.
Located at the corner of First and Ellensburg is Bookworm. I passed it on every outing. On my second trip out, I noticed a huge sign propped out front noting an upcoming book signing on the Friday of my stay. A book signing…on a Friday night…when I had no other plans. Why not? I asked myself and told my mother I’d be MIA for a few hours Friday evening.
Turns out, Ann Rule was the author! You know, only the most renowned true crime writer. Rule, the one who practically defined the true crime genre as it exists today. Rule, who’s written approximately 17 books, countless articles and many short stories. Rule, the one unknowingly sat next to Ted Bundy, during her volunteer service with a suicide hotline, then later wrote, The Stranger Beside Me. THAT Ann Rule.
To fess up here, I’m not a big fan of the true crime genre. Shhh, don’t tell Ann. Nonetheless, I couldn’t wait until Friday. I chatted it up with anyone who would listen.
Another “turns out” factor was why Gold Beach marked her docket. Besides making a point to visit at least one independent bookstore on her “signing” agenda, Ann wrote a book, Mortal Danger, including a true life story about a murder that almost happened in Gold Beach. The survivor, Kate Jewell, and Detective, Dave Gardiner sat on either side of Rule during her question and answer session prior to the signing.
Standing room only. I was proud that I found a spot on the floor near the front. Many of the attendees were devout fans of Rule’s work. Many others were curious because a book had been written about an atrocity happening in their “backyards”. Still, others, like me were writers, intrigued by the inspiration and success of other writers.
Even thought true crime books don’t line my bookshelves, I found myself hanging on to every word she spoke. The audience asked specific questions about the case in print, the Ted Bundy book and many of her other works, but writers asked about her inspiration and start of her career.
My point, as writers, our muses often thrive on the climb of others. Hearing how successful writers began their careers douses us in a feeling of “Yes we can” sending us to our keyboards ready to type.
The next time you’re stumped with plot, character, narrative or any other elements of story writing why not surround yourself with other writers and go attend a local book signing at a bookstore near you.