Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to Not Look Cute on the Courts

Today I wore new shoes to my tennis lesson.  My family has always played tennis, and my childhood home was two doors down from the courts, so we would frequently hit the ball back and forth.  My dad, who at age 60 still plays 5 times a week, tried to “instruct” us a couple of times but those experiences remind me much of the recent commercial where the dad hits the ball to his 3 year old daughter, knocking the racquet out of her hand.   My two sisters and I grew up feeling totally inadequate but when we learned he was practicing his 115 mph serves (at us), it all made sense.

Now I have this wonderful gentleman instructor.  He speaks slowly, repeats himself, and he has a lot of patience.  He’s about 80 years old, and today I noticed that we also seem to have the same “tennis” shoes.  I’m a little sad because I think we might even wear the same size?!?  Don’t know about him, but for me it’s a 9W L 

Yesterday after my normal walk with a girlfriend around the neighborhood, I noticed the ball of my foot hurting so I decided it was time to get a new pair of tennies.

I walked into the same store we recently bought the kids’ shoes at New Balance and some nice, modern looking, sleek tennies caught my eye.  Not so fast...  The resident podiatrist (aka New Balance Manager) starting asking all kinds of questions because apparently a person needs different athletic shoes for each different athletic activity?!?  Who knew? I’ve had my current ones since college, I think? 

Currently, I told him, I mainly walk, play tennis 1-2 times weekly, and occasionally do a workout DVD at home.  Well, he latched onto that “tennis once or twice a week” and ushered me away from the small, sleek shoes and, instead, over to the ginormous, white, orthodic, cement block-like shoes.  These ARE your grandpa’s shoes.

I was so disheartened!  Why can’t I be a runner?!?  Actually, I think my plan is to convince the wonderful girls I play with to do what my mom and her "tennis girlfriends" do... they gave up playing and for the past 20 years have met for lunch, monthly.  That's more my speed, actually.

Luckily my foot hasn’t grown -in length- much since having 2 kids, although I’ve never bought a WIDE before!  Defeated, I tried to choose two of the least bright, WHITE options and my 9 year old, appearing from nowhere, glided by, rolled her eyes, and muttered under her breath, “a bit of fashion advice… get the purple ones.”

I had him throw in the honest-to-God orthodic inserts for my high arches (I’m only 35 years old!) and we were ready to check out.  Almost $200 for shoes I don’t even like!  But they do feel good… even if they are the size of my head…


  1. Funny. I have terrible feet (and also a 9) and can't wear cute shoes either. Tennis has always seemed fun. I say, keep it up!

  2. Blahhhhhhhh! You just made my whole morning:)))))
    I turned 41 on Monday and needed a little pick me up...purple,HA!

  3. Too funny! At least they are comfortable.

  4. I haven't played tennis in decades, but I used to wear tretorns (canvas). Are they still around? I'd love to play again, but I guess it will have to wait for retirement.

  5. Just make sure you have on a super cute tennis outfit and no one will ever notice your shoes!

    I'm with you in wearing the "big ugly" shoes except mine are even bigger than yours!

    Hope you continue to enjoy your lessons.