I started playing tennis at age 31, then became a champ + Win a chance to hang with Kyrie Irving

I received compensation from Aleve to write this post. All opinions are entirely my own. #NeverBackDown #Aleve #CollectiveBias #advertisement

learn adult tennis

I became obsessed with playing tennis at the age of 31.
I certainly was exposed to tennis as a child, but my passion was basketball.
I mean I was obsessed! I was that kid who always had a basketball in hand - practicing and playing at every chance. Daydreaming of the glory of hitting buzzer-beaters and eagerly searching for clips of my box scores in the local paper after each game!

learn adult tennis

But, it took a trip to London, when I got to cover one of the biggest tennis tournaments as a young journalist, to open my eyes to the beauty of this sport.
In order to play competitively and seriously with basketball, you have to have at least nine other players - four to round out your squad and five for the other team. With tennis, you just need a racquet and yourself! I was so intrigued and mesmerized after seeing these players walking through the pristine grass courts of the iconic tournament to compete.

learn adult tennis

I asked my guide about it and he said they were in the seniors league. And that’s all I needed to hear! But to explain - what we see on TV are the professionals at the heights of their careers. However, there are opportunities for many other groups - juniors, seniors and some amateurs -  to participate in this bucket list event.
This was the moment when I became intrigued with tennis. It is a sport that you are in control of your own destiny.

I took my first tennis lesson in 2009.
By 2013, I was ranked ranked #1 in the state (for my division), and #7 in the Southeast (9 states). I was also nationally recognized by the United States Tennis Association.
That year I played 15 tournaments, even gaining recognition by the USTA.

I was already a full-grown adult when I became inspired to learn this new sport. It soon became my obsession. And boy did I have to learn quickly how to take care of my body! After one too many times of stiff muscles and cramps because of a good session of play, I had to develop a post play wellness regimen, which includes seeing a chiropractor once a week - for long-term back strength- and a post-play stretch routine. If I don’t do it, I will get stiff and sore muscles up to four days after - for just that one day of play. Additionally, since tennis is a sport where you pound into the ground, my back would also jam up. That means that some days it would be so painful to just roll out of bed, bend over and sit down. My post-play wellness routine is essential because this is a sport that I want to play the rest of my life!

Here’s my post-play wellness (stretch) routine
It takes just five minutes immediately after play to complete this routine. If I am diligent to do it, I will not suffer any tight muscles and soreness the following days.

Starting from head to toe, hold each pose and stretch for 30 seconds.
To really sink into the stretch, take slow deep breaths.

Gently pull the head to one side - stretching the neck. Repeat the other side.

learn adult tennis

Hold one arm across the body. Repeat the other side.

learn adult tennis

Raise hands over head and clasp palms pointing index fingers in the air, then bend backwards for a deep back stretch.

learn adult tennis

Now reverse by spreading legs open wide and bending forward.
I have really tight hips, so for me this stretch it helps to really sink into this pose, widening my stance every few seconds.

While bending over and touching the ground, it’s also an opportunity to stretch my fingers.

learn adult tennis

For deeper hip stretches, I change from on my back happy baby yoga pose to a variation of deep lunges. The point is to stretch deep enough to reach my psoas muscle. (My right side, in particular, often tightens so badly that inhibits aches and cramps.)

learn adult tennis

Finally, I bend, rotate and twist my ankles. Then stretch the toes or stand on my tiptoes.

On days of intense matches, tournaments or if I haven’t played in a while, I take a bath.
Cold baths are best. We’ve all seen athletes take ice baths. Well, we don’t have to be that extreme. But the benefit of the cold is that it quickly reduces inflamed muscles and delays onset muscle soreness. (If you don’t have a bathtub, cold showers can also be effective.)

learn adult tennis

For times when the pain is particularly persistent, I add Aleve Back & Muscle Pain and for occasional sleeplessness associated with minor aches and pain, try Aleve PM. Aleve provides all day pain relief with just one pill to help stop tough pain so I never have to back down from achieving my tennis goals.

learn adult tennis

I get my Aleve Back & Muscle Pain at Walmart, as it is among the leading over-the-counter brands. Aleve Back & Muscle Pain is now available at Walmart. Only Aleve offers up to 12 hours of pain relief in just 1 pill*. All Day Strong, All Day long. *Among leading OTC brands,. based on minimum labelled dosing. Use as directed.

Win a chance to hang out with NBA star Kyrie Irving!

I was inspired to share my tennis story because of the movie Uncle Drew. Uncle Drew was a legendary streetball player who laced up his basketball shoes for one last time. I happy to offer you all a chance to hang with Kyrie. Just  CLICK HERE to enter.

Here’s the legal stuff!

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Claim your rebate by purchasing two (2) Aleve products (80ct or larger) at any retailer between 9/15/18-10/31/18 on a single receipt, and text ALEVE to 555888 to receive submission instructions. Rebate: one (1) $5 Walmart eGift Card. Rebate offer valid 9/15/18-10/31/18, while supplies last. Limit one rebate per person. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. eGift Card subject to printed terms. Reply STOP to unsubscribe or HELP for help. 4 messages per month. Msg & Data rates may apply.

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