When you wear the right pants the ball is in your court
Gym burn-out can strike at any time. And it might not even be your hamstring or your Achilles that gives out – but rather your eyeballs. My gym has more make-up on show than the ground floor of Myer; and the fashion is the closest you’ll get to psychedelia this side of the law.
One day it’s all too much – you know you’ve got to get off that rubber road to nowhere.
Just like dogs used to eat scraps, we used to exercise in clothes that weren’t really good enough for any other activity. But it’s a rare sight these days to see an independent soul out exercising in some kit that the Salvos would turn down.
For my own part, I’ve swallowed the high performance fabric trend down to the sinker. There is a certain comfort in knowing that whatever standard I’m working at, my clothes will be performing at an elite level.
Gym burnout can lead to all sorts of places – it led me back to tennis. How did I ever forget the unique value of a score, rules and some opposition in distracting us from the fact that we are exercising?
Even the language of tennis is charming: if you’re losing badly we will call your score “love”, and instead of saying, “I’m just about to kick your ass”, we will merely observe that it is “advantage server”.
The safety of the game enhances its appeal: no helmets, pads, guards, boxes or stretchers on the sidelines; and no need to have an orthopedic surgeon in your contacts.
The only serious part of resuming the sport was the skirt. After nearly 20 years off the court I didn’t even bother thinking about where the old one might be. Instead I headed, gravely, to a store stocking high performance fabrics.
What a joy it was to be advised that in lieu of skirts they now purveyed “skorts”: that eminently rational and discrete hybrid of a skirt and shorts. As I type the word “skort” I see spell check objecting. But my only objection is why we didn’t come up with this garment, which is a distinct improvement on each of its forebears, much sooner.
Feeling limber, and perhaps a touch self-satisfied, I casually dropped the fact of my rebirth as a tennis player into the conversation at home that night. My partner’s principal contribution on hearing this was to ask me what underpants I was wearing under my tennis skirt.
It may well be that as the wave of political correctness washes over us he will be the last man with dry feet, but there is a little more to it. The last time he played tennis, which was when Wham was peaking, what someone was wearing under her tennis skirt was a pertinent question. This is because the tennis skirt provided no veil of mystery – what you were wearing under your tennis skirt was pretty much what you were wearing.
You had to hope you had thought ahead and selected immaculate mega briefs, rather than ones with any, shall we say, personality; or worse still, the terrible pair that you only wore when you hadn’t come in contact with a washing machine for over a week.
There is room to take offence at my partner’s enquiry. And yet, time your partner spends wondering what’s under your tennis skirt is, after all, time not spent wondering what’s under other tennis skirts.
In any case, I felt compelled to respond with a look of sympathy comingled with condescension, and retort that I had worn a skort, of course.
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