Grass Court Tennis

Grass tennis court at Wimbledon

A Game of Luck, Resilience and Finesse

If you’ve been playing tennis for a while, you can appreciate the difference between different surfaces. The beauty about grass court tennis is that the lawn is catchy to the eyes, it feels good to walk on and provides you with a hint of nature at your fingertips. To get good at playing on grass, you need to first become one with the court and let it play for you. This involves appreciating the uniqueness of how grass plays; accepting the circumstances while willing to learn how to maneuver, deliver and conquer.

It’s a game of luck: well it kind of is! You can be down 4-1 in the first set and find yourself in a tight tiebreaker 25 minutes later, only to win the set and cruise in the second. How do you create this luck? You believe and you enjoy the surface; you learn to dance. And the more you want to dance, the luckier you get. I know, this is still a work in progress.

Tennis racquet with tennis ball on grass court

Grass Court Tennis: The Resilience Factor

It’s a game of resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, in this case not feeling the ball, not identifying with your strategy and being mentally distracted. Grass can help you change when experiencing any of those difficulties; it provides you with longer points that help you build a groove and feel; in other words, the surface buys you some time. In return, you develop a capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; this is resilience.

And lastly, it’s a game of finesse: doing something in a subtle and delicate manner, in this case introducing backhand and forehead slices from the baseline and on returns of serve; introducing chip and charges and following the ball in to the net more often; serving and volleying at least 1-2x per game; throwing in several drop shots to keep them honest while testing their physical stamina; and most importantly, loving the grass and believing that your matches will turn into your favor. This is grass court tennis.

Have you played grass yet?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

smiley winking Gif face

Exercise and Fitness

White man riding bicycle on road during daytime

Exercise and Happiness

Exercise and fitness is like a tug of war for your mind. For instance, part of you envisions yourself getting stronger and fitter, while the other half prefers to sit on the couch and watch Netflix or play video games. Negative thoughts about exercising include:

  • Why put more effort into my life?
  • I’m fine doing less work
  • Working out requires effort; I’m already tired from my job
  • I won’t lose weight
  • I’ll probably get tired within five minutes of exercising
  • I don’t see any results
  • It’s too much work

Right off the bat, your mind comes up with negative thoughts and reasons as to why you shouldn’t exercise. This is because it’s easier for your mind and body to relax and not put in any effort. Why? Because as humans, we prefer the easier route in life that maximizes results with little effort. The problem is that you can’t obtain the benefits of exercise and fitness if you don’t make an effort. Some people try to get away by exercising here and there; inconsistency leads to inconsistent results. Eliminate your negative schema about exercise with the following positive thoughts listed below.

Fit blonde model staring at ground

Positive Thoughts that you need to start Implementing Regarding Exercising:

  • Hard work pays off
  • My mental health will improve
  • My body-mind connection will improve
  • I will feel more confident and better about myself
  • My discipline will improve
  • People will compliment me on my improved physique
  • I will have more confidence in my ability to work hard

Exercise and Fitness: Just do it

You see, as with anything that requires hard work in life, negative thoughts often get in the way of succeeding. Negative thoughts have to be intentionally replaced with positive ones until your attitude shifts and the process of exercising becomes easier. It’s definitely possible. You just have to be willing to make a change and then put yourself out there to accomplish it. Ask yourself, what is it that I’m trying to accomplish? Are you looking for an improved physique? To lose weight? Or do you simply want to feel better about yourself? Also keep in mind that exercising is also great for your mental health and you’ll feel much better after a workout. The question is, are you willing to start?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Exercise and fitness winking, smiley Gif face

Stay in Shape

Stay in shape - blonde athletic girl holding weights in gym in front of mirror

Positive Affirmation – Staying in Shape

“I am physically fit because I put in the effort every day to maintain a great body by exercising and eating healthy. I enjoy to exercise because it makes me feel good about myself, including my mental health. Exercising makes me look more physically attractive and people notice how fit I am. I feel great waking up in the morning knowing that I exercised yesterday and that I have more motivation to exercise today. The more that I exercise, the more motivation and desire I harness to keep pushing forward. I stay in shape because it makes me feel happy!”

Stay in shape because you want to; not because society expects you to. You feel good when you put in the work; fatigue does not bring you down. You enjoy working hard, sweating and getting tired. When you exercise, your mind becomes stronger and you become happier. People start to notice your results which further propels you to keep exercising. Your body improves and you feel more confident. People notice your improved confidence and become more attracted to you. Exercising brings you happiness, confidence and an improved physical health.

Stay in shape - white woman doing leg presses in gym

Exercise for Your Mental Health

Exercising helps you to overcome your sadness. When you feel depressed, working out helps your mental health. Exercising is a distraction from negative thoughts that accompany depression. Rather than focusing on feeling worthless, you devote your energy to breaking down your muscles to become stronger. You transmute your negative thoughts into physical energy. Your mind becomes distracted and focused on exercising; it has no room for depression. With constant repetition, you overcome your depression and become mentally sturdier. Your mental health benefits just as much as your physical health when you stay in shape.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Stay in shape - smiley GIF

Being a Good Athlete

Being a good athlete - female athlete jumping above ground near sunlit sky

Positive Affirmation – Improving Your Athleticism

“I am a great athlete because I have what it takes to work out longer, run father, lift more and compete at a higher level. Even if I’m not naturally athletic, I am improving every day because I have the will, determination and drive to keep improving. I no longer give up when I lack strength and I no longer give in to others when they put me down. I am capable of doing extraordinary things and one of these things is being a good athlete. Being a good athlete is no easy task, but when I put my mind to it, I experience the impressive results.

I wake up every day believing that I will make it a productive day. My athleticism relies on my motivation to improve. Without motivation, I fall behind in the race and others pass me. When I fall behind, I become sad and less motivated to keep trying. Motivation is key to becoming a great athlete. Motivation is the building block behind my success as an athlete. Sometimes things come up and my motivation takes a hit. It’s okay when this happens; I take the day off and restart tomorrow.

Being a good athlete - white women practicing archery

Being a Good Athlete Requires Belief

It’s not enough to be motivated to succeed. Motivation without belief is like having money but with nothing good to spend it on. Coaches, friends and family can encourage and motivate me, but only I can find that inner belief to become a good athlete. When stepping on the tennis or basketball court or soccer field, I have to muster up that belief that I will play well. The more I capitalize on my previous success, the more my belief will increase. Belief is the fuel that will drive me to becoming an excellent athlete.

Don’t ever give up when you experience a series of losses. Losses are teaching points that help build my character and inner strength. A loss in athletics is like doing poorly on an exam at school; I feel like giving up and throwing in the towel. But giving up is the wrong attitude. Giving up is the easy way out of failures. Failures are not meant to discourage me; they’re meant to get me to reanalyze my game and to come back running harder. And this is where belief comes into play: if I believe that I will recover from my failures and improve even more, the sky will become the limit.”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Getting Your Workout On

Female tennis player hitting backhand on red tennis clay court

Working Out Even When You Have No Drive

One of the most challenging tasks throughout the day is working out when you have no motivation. Growing up playing competitive tennis in the USTA juniors, I felt the experience of having days when I lacked drive and motivation to practice or even compete in tournaments. The worst part about it was traveling to other states for tennis tournaments and attempt to compete in 90 degree weather with no passion for the sport. When you have no motivation to exercise or compete, it often feels like you just want to quit.

But quitting gets you no where exciting when it comes to that realm. The more you allow your lack of motivation to prevail, the harder it’s going to become to get back into a solid routine. That’s because it’s not easy to work out, exercise or competitively play a sport. You have to power through even on the days when you don’t feel like doing it. That’s because if you can get through those days successfully, you often end up with a renewal of energy and interest for your next session.

What you don’t want to do is power through on those days and not enjoy it one bit. This is because it will lead you to burning out rather quickly. I felt that with tennis when I was 14. I was an extremely hard-working tennis player who reached a national boy’s 14 USTA ranking of 69th in the country. But as I entered high school and realized that I didn’t have many friends and that my entire life revolved around going to school and getting yelled at by tennis sergeants at the local tennis club, I lost passion for the sport.

It’s not that I ever disliked tennis to begin with; otherwise, I wouldn’t have played for that long (by the way, I still play tennis today). But as with anything in life, you need a balance of different activities. Even if you are focused on working out, exercising or playing a sport, make time and room for other activities as well, such as socializing, spending time with family and friends and even kicking back and watching a documentary or two. You are not a robot to be doing only one repetitive task continuously.

So whenever you feel burned out or have no drive to work out, remember to push yourself to still get some in that day, but mix it up with other activities as well. On the other hand, you don’t want to just stop working out because then your lack of motivation will take over and you’ll soon lose interest altogether. It’s normal to lose interest in exercising here and there, but don’t lose it completely to the point of quitting.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

I Am A Fitness Beast

White woman dressed in black outfit working out with weights in gym

Positive Affirmation: The Drive To Exercise

“I am a great athlete who has the strength, stamina, drive, willpower, energy, ambition, desire and motivation to consistently exercise on a daily basis in order to keep my physical and mental health topnotch!”

No Drive To Exercise

Tired black man with backwards cap on with hand on face

When You Feel Drained

Everyone has experienced those days when you feel drained and you have no idea why. You feel like you’re dragging yourself throughout the day, carrying your own weight but as if you lack the strength to effectively do so. Not only do you feel your body drained of energy, but your mind feels mushy as if all you want to do is pass out. But even passing out is a difficult task because that takes effort to actually lay down and put your day on hold.

Not everyone can afford to just put their day on hold and take a nap as they wish. These are also the days when exercising is the absolute last thing that you want to do. You almost feel that even if someone were to offer you money to exercise, you’d still find the energy to say no; the only energy you do have. So why do these days occur and how can we prevent them?

We will not tackle that question in this article. Let’s focus on how we can regain our energy and exercise so we don’t allow another day to go to waste. Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to regain your oomph is by consuming sugar like ice cream. Fill yourself a big bowl of your favorite ice cream and watch the energy slowly come onto you. You can also go with an ol’ cup of Joe for that extra boost.

The key is to not consume too much or your energy will be followed by a crash; always in moderation! The sugar will also help you exercise and that will make you feel better. So the recipe comes down to sugar and exercise. This is the quick fix to those kind of days when you don’t feel like doing anything.

As to why these days occur in the first place, there are many reasons:

  • Fatigue from work
  • Fatigue from lack of stimulation
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Poor sleep hygiene
  • Stress
  • Drug consumption
  • Simply a bad day

. . . and the list goes on. Only you can discover the true reason as to why these days occur. The more honest you are with yourself, the easier it will become to prevent these types of days from reoccurring in the future. But when you are too tired to analyze why, just remember that you can always rely on a quick sugar fix to get your day going and allow you to continue your exercise routine.

At the end of the day, exercising will burn off your sugar consumption, allowing you to have effectively tackled your day in style and good form!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Exercising During A State Of Quarantine

Silhouette of man jogging on the street during sunset near body of water

Finding Pleasure Outside Your Home

During this state of quarantine, many people are wondering what to do with their free time. Now that society is under a lockdown and gyms have closed, many are scratching their heads thinking to themselves, “Crap . . . I always hated exercising in my home.” But who said anything about turning your studio into a gym? Exercising during a state of quarantine should not be a difficult task.

Just take a look outside your window . . . do you see a street? There you go. That’s where you should go exercise. If there’s a park near your home then that’s even better! Now that it’s spring and the temperature is rising, it’s quite lovely to put on your Apple AirPods and go jogging outside. Forget the treadmill; it doesn’t beat nature.

Just because you’re quarantined does not mean that you have to become paranoid. Leaving your home to exercise is actually really good for your mental health: it helps you to step out of your quarantined state of mind and be free again. Being locked up in your home really emphasizes the feeling that you’re in trouble or have done something wrong; neither is the case.

Exercising in nature really helps to clear your mind and escape the confinement of your house. Allow the fresh air and cool breeze surrounding the trees to guide your way through the park; just float down the paths as the clouds float above your vicinity. Feel the air rushing into your lungs as you increase your pace to the beat bumping in your eardrums.

Don’t become a sloth during these times. That’s exactly what the coronavirus wants you to become: it plays with your sanity by gaslighting you. It wants you trapped in your home so that your mental health can be more easily manipulated by the media, internet and your natural curiosity. With too much time on your hands, you risk falling prey to manipulation.

Exercising helps you dodge the coronavirus’s mental attacks.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Waking Up Early To Exercise

Blonde woman stretching outdoors beside brown leafed trees

Morning Exercises Feel Great

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of waking up late on the weekends. After all, you have just worked 5 days in a row, and the last thing that you want to do is force your body into some annoying exercise routine. But waking up early to exercise actually feels quite amazing, once you actually get going with it.

The thing with sleeping in on the weekends is that you feel rested, but it’s a different kind of feeling than exercising early in the morning. When you wake up late, you have the tendency to lay around the house and maybe just relax on your couch; your mind continues to want to rest.

But when you force yourself to wake up early on the weekends in order to exercise, you feel tired at first when you wake up, but afterwards, you feel amazing just in time for lunch. Incorporate a yummy lunch to go with it, and your afternoon is set up nicely for enjoyment. And then it’s time to enjoy your evening as well!

It feels much different to exercise in the morning than in the afternoon. In the afternoon, you still feel good after a nice workout, but you kind of also feel a little tired, considering that you just spent half or more of your day doing things. When you get home from exercising, you kind of just want to relax and maybe even stay in for the evening.

When you exercise in the morning, you feel great up until midday, and then you also have the option of recovering with a nap. It honestly depends on how you like to set up your day: either early morning exercises with relaxation up until the evening, or morning and midday relaxation with exercising in the afternoon or evening.

It comes down to preference. But the important thing is that you are exercising! What are your thoughts?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Benefits of Regular Stretching — Muscle Magic Massage Therapy

While many people may associate stretching with their workouts, loosening up before or cooling down after, it’s actually a very beneficial practice to get into every single day regardless of your workout routine. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, every hour or two throughout your day, or winding down before bed, taking a few […]

Benefits of Regular Stretching — Muscle Magic Massage Therapy
%d bloggers like this: