Tag Archives: Tennis

Tennis Strokes and Smokes, Folks

Last weekend I played my first tennis match. Matter a fact, I played four. There have gotta be some leagues out there somewhere, but the only opportunities I’ve heard of have been tournaments… which is fine. I’ll just play me some tournaments. This tournament last week was in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The next tournament I’m probably going to find myself at is in Grand Rapids, Michigan next month. This tournament put me in a great mood. I guess that means I really enjoyed myself. I had been hitting with my able-bodied coach at Schroeder Tennis Center since last October, Brian Dean. Although, I hadn’t yet played a match, and Brian is just an AB (people not in wheelchairs are literally commonly referred to as A.Bs), so I didn’t have many expectations. Now that I know what to expect, I’m pretty amped up about future tournaments.

The tournament went pretty well. I was meeting other paras, which is always very cool for me. I was learning a new side of sports, which was interesting. I was getting the familiar taste of my old competitive self, which was exciting. It wasn’t long before I was – painting the town? Thesaurus.com is telling me “paint the town” is a synonym for enjoy. Didn’t know that… definitely gonna start using it.

I won my first match. I won my second match. The third match was a doubles match and it was my third of the day. My partner and I lost the first set, and I forfeited the match. I straight quit: “Sorry patna.” I was playing like garbage and I didn’t care anymore. I was exhausted, sore, and my skin burned. Definitely packing sunscreen for Grand Rapids. My first two wins also already secured my spot in the singles final Sunday morning. Singles was what I cared most about anyway.

The final match started and I was a little nervous, no lie. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I always do that. Just how I operate, I suppose. I was doing the darn thing in the first set, though. Each set is the first person to win six games and I won the first set 6-3. Then I chilled out a little too much. “You got this no problem man, even if he pulls something out his backside and takes set 2, you’ll just take set 3.” Set 2 was a battle royale. We traded each of the first eight games, but he took the last two winning 4-6. The sir then announced on the loud speaker, “Alright ladies and gentleman, we’re going to have ourselves a tie breaker!” Everybody in the large crowd stood up and clapped vigorously. I Definitely recall some whistling. “Sudden Death!!!” the sir finally continued announcing. The crowd gasped for 15 minutes, easy. Even the paras stood up from their chairs for this one. Finally, the sir – alright, I’ll quit messing around. We did only play a tie-breaker though to determine the winner. The first one to 10 points took the chip, the respect, and the bragging rights. I got nervous again, I thought I was going to have a whole set left – plenty of time and room for error to be able to win.

I’m reluctant to even write about the tie-breaker. It was embarrassing. He got the first 6 points on my candy ass. I ended up getting a handful, but he still punished me 4-10 and sent my caramel-apple-candy ass packing. I got runner up in my division, so ya know, not bad, but it almost makes it worse. It’s like getting a B+. I hate B+(s).

Nah well, I had a good time and I did okay, so I’ll call it a success – Couldn’t upload pics for some reason, but I got some pics on my FB and Instagram – I also had an awesome long weekend with my dude, Alex Marshall. We left for Chicago on Thursday, then to The Fort at 5:00 am Saturday morning. I needed the bro time. I’m riding this Chicago/Ft Wayne high for as long as I can. I can’t WAIT to make it back to The Fort. Indy is the place to be, man!

Sorry Hoosiers, just fooling. Ohio’s really not much different

…just way better.

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Hey Girl

I’ve been wanting to make a comeback for awhile now, but I haven’t found the time. I wanted to end a great weekend on a great note with a little dabbling on my keyboard.

I got a little poker in on Friday with some good people. Hanging out with those guys, playing some hold em, and drinking a few beers was a lot of fun. And even though I lost 40 bucks, I almost lost only 20, so it wasn’t so bad. Then on Saturday my beautiful cousin, Amanda got married and I had one of the best nights of 2014.

Some big things have gone down in my life recently. I returned to Cleveland over the summer to repeat my internship with Parker Hannifin. I did more marketing work and, on top of that, got to finally use Indego (exoskeleton). That took some getting used to. Walking, but not feeling your feet hit the floor after each step is a wild feeling / lack of feeling. I started to get the hang of it, but I didn’t have nearly enough time to prepare for shows as the demo star. Parker does not employ any PTs on site, and the engineers have more important things to do than hold my hand, as I try to learn how to walk. They’re too busy having doctorate degrees and talking about quantom thermal energy and shit. So I wasn’t able to get my face printed in magazines and posted on websites this summer, but hopefully next summer.

After my internship, I started my seven (and a halfth?) semester of school. But not at Miami, I’m now going to Wright State University. Miami is a great college and I’m glad I was there for the time that I was, but I felt like my time was up in Oxford. It was time to move on. I think I made the right decision. It has taken a lot of adjusting, but that’s to be expected, and I think it’s already becoming more normal than it is abnormal. Living off campus is really allowing me to keep my priorities straight. I’m gonna spank my classes this semester. Well I guess you can’t really spank a class, so I’ll spank my professors. And I guess that doesn’t allude that I would do well in a class, but that’s what I’m trying to say.

And now, hunterheck.com followers and shit givers, for what I’m personally most excited about. My tennis wheelchair came in about two weeks ago! I have known that I wanted to order one for about six months now, and finally got around to ordering it sometime mid summer. I’ve been asked by many, many people what the difference is between an everyday chair and a tennis chair. Understandably so, I mean they’re both wheelchairs. They can’t be very different, right? WRONG. The difference is uncanny. It’s mystifying. Okay, I’ll chill, but these are the differences. My tennis chair is one inch narrower than my everyday chair, has 20 degrees camber (tilt in the rear wheels), very short back, and a third caster wheel in the back to prevent myself from flipping over backwards. And maybe that doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but to a wheelchair user, it’s huge. I’m borderline obsessed with the chair. Thus far, I’ve only had two tennis lessons. But starting this week, I’ll be at the tennis center taking lessons twice a week. Getting in that chair and on the open court, moving at a fast pace, working up a sweat, having sport related goals, and something to push myself / better myself in is unreal. It takes me back! And my chair has a seat belt strap and toe strap. Both click straps that are exactly like snowboard bindings. It’s quite possible that’s what I like the most about the chair.

Oh and one more thing, which I’m slightly hesitant about mentioning because It’s still in the very earliest stage. Over the summer I started writing my book that I’ve mentioned before, and oh my f****** s*** C***** of Nazareth b**** and t****** on an early, muggy afternoon f****** H*** – writing a book is uh, is gonna take awhile! I’ve got two pages down. I’m planning on going through with it because I wouldn’t ever be satisfied with myself if I didn’t. It’s just going to take thousands of hours of writing/thinking. Trying to get a 4.0 in school, become a paralympian, and become the face of Indego doesn’t leave me with a lot of spare time. So I might be 35 (hopefully a lot sooner) by the time I publish this thing, but I’ll get there sooner, or later.

I’d like to make this more of a regular thing again. So maybe one post every two weeks. I’m just thinking out loud though here. Have a good week everybody. If you’re going through some stuff, look on the bright side. Think of how much worse it could be. Keep that chin at 90 pointing up. And kill something this week!