I am officially a card carrying member of the French Tennis Federation! To take lessons here or to play on the local tennis courts, you must join. I was completely amazed when I received my official card in the mail. I have been taking lessons every Thursday night at 8:30 pm (20h30) at the courts down the street. Lately it has been just a little frosty cold, but after a good warm up it is barely noticeable...although playing with my gloves on changes my grip just slightly.
This last Thursday we had a mini tournament with all of the night lesson players. Our foursome in lessons had a great time playing each other. I have met some really nice new friends through this endeavor...There is Serge who likes to serve like the ball is on fire, Isabelle who is so petite but hits the ball with finesse and lastly ??? I still have not figured out his name, but he lives just one street over from us and is so sweet. I almost beat ??? and was successful slaying La Petite, and held my own with Serge until I lost all feeling in my fingers due to a mix of his hard shots and the icy cold at 9:30 pm and ended up losing the last two points! Actually I was so grateful to have ended up 1-2 because I then discovered that if we ended on top we had to move to the next level and play against the other group which was entirely made up of 17 to 20 year olds who were scarfing down pizzas and then slamming the ball down their opponents throats at breakneck speed while we over 40 somethings had naively been hammering at seven bottles of the local red colored water hoping to fend off the cold. We losers watched sympathetically as Serge courageously took a whooping during his opponent's pizza break.
I began the lessons to try an old hobby again, but ended up really having a great time. Sebastien, the pro, is such a fabulous and patient guy and loves to learn and practice his tennis English. I even taught him that his dog's name...Swan...is that beautiful, but dangerous bird in the canal. Evidently to the French it is just a name like Mary. We all have become great friends and we now are starting to play each other outside of lessons.