adventure, fitness and nutrition, friendship

The Season Is Over

My first tennis season in the senior league (over 50) is over. Done. Finished. Kaput. Five weeks went by fast and I learned so much this time around. Maybe I was ripe for learning. Maybe it was a good stress reliever. Maybe it was just good timing.

Nonetheless my partner and I lost every match, but we worked together and achieved our goals for the season. We won a game. We won her serve. We made it to deuce many times. We won single games. We won multiple games, but never a match. We took a tennis lesson. We learned to work together. We had fun. We exercised together. We even had a cheering section for some matches.

It was my partner’s first tennis experience. She never served or knew how to score in tennis. She didn’t even have a racquet. From the start she learned. She adapted. She got better. She faced her fear of not wanting to try. She was a great partner for me this season. She can look back at herself and I say look what I did now. And what a great feeling it is for me to know I encouraged her the same way another encouraged me. 

We met some people we never would have met before had we not joined tennis. We traveled to some neighborhoods that were new to us. We played in the cold. We played in pollen-filled spring air. I’m pretty sure my eyes looked like I was crying in the last match however it was really all the pollen that was getting to me. We heard some great comments from seasoned players. Just keep playing. The more you play the better you will get. Ya’ll are doing great. 

Lo and behold we signed up again for the next season. It is not the senior league this time around so we shall see how the new adventure goes. For now I will remember this season as my first in the golden years age group. Where teams don’t physically move as much but they are well trained to place the ball where you just can’t hit it back. I guess that’s what I like about tennis. No two games are the same. No opponents are the same. The weather is never the same. 

You just show up. Do your best. Win or lose, you live on. Pretty simple way to get some fitness in for a day. I can happy that my body allows me to step onto the court each week to play again. Some don’t have that ability. I treasure the fact that I can compete at any level.

adventure

24 Hours

I had a small window of time to do a lot. Would I get it all in? Should I try to fit it all in? Do I focus on the need to’s or want to’s? I just said fuck it, and rolled with the punches.

I started out solo by car. I was pretty excited so I got up extra early. I totally miscalculated my arrival time as I changed time zones. Oops! First diversion in place unintentionally.

Visited a military installation. That was not a new experience, but something I hadn’t done in 10 years or so. Brief visit was good for me. Grabbed a coffee and snack with a buddy. Did some apartment shopping in the town I was visiting. Interesting to see old vs. new and how one mile one way you get one quality of life and the other way is completely different. Hence the purpose of shopping around.

Took a scenic route to visit the big city by car. Did some walking. Then some window shopping. Popped into a cozy bar for some punch in bucket and some good ole boy music. Not planned and not my normal environment, but in the end the lack of planning was good and so was the the punch bucket. I guess I sucked it from the bucket.

Time to kill before a dinner reservation. Time to sneak into a tattoo shop to get small piece of art to commemorate the 24 hour stint with my buddy. One for me two for the other. Inked up in no time. Feeling a little tired but time to fuel up to endure the time clock.

Refueling station (aka meal time) was again unplanned but a unique experience nonetheless. A supper club with 3 floors and a roof top. We sat on the main floor but could observe everyone coming and going from the main door. This of course made for good people watching while the food was prepped. Smash burger and turkey pastrami sammie for the win. Not five star but maybe a three for the food quality, but the substance was enough to level up in the time category.

Just when I thought I packed in enough we booked tickets to the hockey game. What are we thinking? Already pooped but we made it. A win for the home team and some great drunk people watching. An unexpected/unplanned adventure that exceeded my expectations.

A quick trip to the hotel to crash. Just a few hours to spare for rest. I didn’t want to get up. It was so early the coffee wasn’t even done brewing in the lobby. Such a tragedy. My route back home involved a plane. Solo again. A full flight. A mask which I almost forgot about. I couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing over what I just did in a short 24 hour period.

The year of 2022 has brought so much new to me. New ways to look at life. New experiences. New adventures that lack my normal plan– gram style. There are some days where I think life is an absolute shit storm while other days I think are just amazing as they can be.

Sometimes I write to have memories for later. Sometimes I write for therapy. Today I write to say today is a gift and tomorrow is never guaranteed. Take 24 hours and spin it your way. Lose the worry of tomorrow and be present in today.

Tomorrow may look different for you. You never know. Therefore embracing what is today is a true gift. My 24 hours with my buddy was a gift. One I will treasure for years to come. 24 hours. Your gift. Spend those hours your way. Enjoy!

adventure

Bricks & Alpacas

Bricks remind me of strength. Bricks are the basic foundation for many buildings and / or empires. Bricks would be the last thing I thought about carrying around today yet I am so excited I had such a great opportunity with a brick.

You see, the brick is representative of a challenge from my adventure book. As odd as the instructions appear when read, the more fun that can be had ahead. How one interprets the assignment leads to the adventure itself. We started by naming our bricks. Mine was named Flash as a brick doesn’t move fast. Another was named Richard or Dick for short. Chase was named as well as Ash. Little Ash has a backstory. She could be short for Ashley or Asher making her gender neutral. Also bricks are represented in fireplaces as is ash. Brittani with an I was named in honor of Brittney Spears and the brick she is. Below is the first outing with our brick family as we set out for the day of fun adventures.

The girl gang is loaded with bricks today. A weapon? A stepping stone? An item to build with? For today it’s about the adventure and memories we create with our bricks. A strengthening of our relationships. Our travels start by car so the bricks are packed in a bucket with tissue paper for protection as well as flair. Off to eat brunch we go. Will the restaurant give us a high chair for our little brick family?

The bricks were involved in photos ops and shenanigans as the day progressed. From poses at the restaurant to a visit to an Alpaca farm. There was never a dull moment.

The bricks will find their final resting place in a pasture on our family farm while we head off to make more memories without the weight of the bricks. The giggles will be present for years to come as we pass by the bricks in their new spots on the farm.

As I close out this brick post i’ll now leave you this smiling Alpaca who posed for me on our field trip. This gem of an animal smiled bright with its stained teeth and grass-colored face. It was so funny to share this creative pose. So soft and fluffy yet such a hot mess up close.

What started out as a brick adventure ended up including an educational agri-tourism component allowing me to learn about Alpacas. It was a pretty cool experience and I won’t ruin the surprise by giving away the details of my Alpaca experience but I will share some photos for fun.

Because who doesn’t like a creature with hair as cool as this?

friendship, giving

Lucky or Unlucky

Was it a lucky book?

Was it an unlucky wooden book?

Perfectly sized to fit the most amazing surprise. A neatly crafted wooden delight. A treasure chest of sorts. A wooden book filled with 50 cash surprises. Scratch. Scream. Sigh. Giggle. The battle of numbers is on. Will there be any winners? Will there be a big winner? Will there be disappointment or celebration? Time will tell. Take a look inside my treasure filled box.

I am in the processes of scratching off 50 scratch cards in honor of my 50th birthday. Such a fun and creative gift I received today.

The lucky number 8 struck after a few duds. Eights across the board as if I hit the jackpot on a slot machine. To my surprise it was just a one dollar win but multiplied by five makes it a whopping $5.00 win. For now I will pause on a high and begin my scratching again later when I may feel a little luckier.

Here I am again. The original scratch yielded $2.00. The second scratch off added $5.00 in wins. Will I make it over the initial investment at the end of the scratching? The shavings pile on the floor is adding up. The next round of scratching was a good one. Five singles doubled for $10.00. Then the next one has a wild card for instant win of $20. Rounding out the total to $37.00. Will I get over $50.00?

I have made it into the positive. Sitting at $55 with a few more scratches to go. My arm is a little cranky from scratching but it’s been a good time passer. Finally I sat down for the last few scratches just after 9pm. I had to move to a butter knife for scratching as my coin seemed worn out. I was hoping for a big win but ended up with just another dollar.

50 cards. $56.00 in winnings. Net result is positive $6.00. Nothing major but it showed me winning is possible even though I don’t make a habit of buying scratch offs unless it’s a holiday or I’m giving a gift of some kind.

Today I decided to pay it forward and bought the meal for a cute elderly couple at a local breakfast shop: 91 and 85 years young the couple was. I made them smile as they did me. My winnings were passed on today. Kindness and karma go hand in hand. I am thankful for my life, my friends and my good fortune. Never lose sight of how valuable it can be to pay it forward in some way.

Lucky or unlucky was the title of this post. This was of course referring to the scratch offs, however over the course of the day I really got a chance to see and feel how lucky I am every day as I sat back and enjoyed a day with some great friends.

Feeling lucky is how I choose to wrap up this post. Until next time….

challenges

Food Pong

Most people have heard, observed, or played beer pong at some point in their lives. Some may remember more details than others. I’m also sure there is a kids version of pong but today’s twist is food pong.

Same red solo cups. Same instructions. Only instead of beer there is a mystery snack or something that may have been liquid but is now frozen or jelled. Such a scary game to play when you don’t know what’s in the solo cup. Will you like it? Will you puke? Only time will tell.

First up I got Wickle Pickles. I had to eat a couple of these, but they had a nice zing of spice that lingered. Then came the nacho kale chips that were supposed to taste like Doritos but I’d say it was closer chalky dirt. Up next was vodka-soaked gummies which were pretty self-explanatory but not a good accent to the other items.

A little alcohol-infused gummies didn’t settle my tummy for what was next. Birthday cake flavored peeps. So much sugar sitting in my stomach on top of the mess already loaded in there. If I wasn’t already to quit, out came the wasabi peas. I don’t even eat wasabi with my sushi, making this a hard one to stomach.

Now that I have played food pong or pantry pong, I think I would recommend beer pong every time. It seems more logical to choose the simplicity of beer and get a hangover vs feeling like you want to vomit for the next few hours.

in the end, this was fun, gross, and adventurous all at once. Stay tuned for my next adventure post to see what kind of trouble will lurk on the months and weeks ahead.