Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tennis Tuesday - HPTA Highland Open 2015 Tournament Recap / New League Starting

Over the weekend, my tennis partner, Devon and I participated in our very first real tournament, the HPTA Highland Open 2015 for Cystic Fibrosis!  (I had previously been talked into doing a in-house tournament at my home courts, but I don't really count that because it was all just YMCA Members and I was just barely into learning the game then!)

The weather going into the weekend was forecast to be really rainy and yucky.  Fortunately our first match was scheduled for 5:30 on Friday and it was only supposed to rain overnight, so we were able to get that match in with no problems.  Saturday, we weren't so lucky with the weather but by Sunday it turned out to be gorgeous and sunny - albeit HOT!

(Also note, unfortunately there won't be too many pictures as my official photographer, ahem - Mr. Skinny Geek, was too engrossed in watching the matches that he "forgot".)  But I digress...  I did manage a couple.

Registration and check in areas were on the side and this was the raffle/silent auction area.  Inside the building was the players lounge stocked with food and drink (and beer).
Right after work, I changed into my tennis clothes and headed to the courts.   The weather was cloudy and very humid.  All day long, my normal pre-match nerves were hitting me hard.  I tried to not think about it but it was hard to not concentrate on anything but being nervous.  Devon said she felt the same way.  I brought a Quest protein bar to eat once I got there since I wasn't sure what time I'd be getting home to eat or if I was going to just eat there at the park.  After, I arrived, I stayed in my car trying to absorb as much a/c as I can and played a little Cookie Jam on my tablet.  Not long after, Devon arrived so we just decided to walk around a bit and go ahead and check in and also get our swag.  No pics, sorry it wasn't all that great other than the tank top, a nice draw string bag that looks like a tennis ball and a chip clip.  The rest was an emery board, 2 pens, a small notepad, stress ball and a State Farm Insurance Fridge magnet.   (I'm not ungrateful - I promise, but have tons of that stuff around, so it all promptly went in the trash once I got home)

Oh!  Before I go any further, let me tell you about my tennis partner, Devon!  She is one of my teammates from the Mid-Court Crisis team that I captain.  I had sent a email out to everyone seeing if they were interested in this tournament and she was the only response.  She isn't my normal league play partner, but we have played together on a few occasions like round robin and also during practice but we haven't actually played a real match together until this tournament.

After we got checked in, it was only just a few minutes later that the lead organizer called for us over the megaphone that our court was ready!  I hurried up and scarfed down my Quest bar and then we met up to get some last minute details and instructions for the match and also met our opponents.  Since the organization knew that we were expecting lots of rain this past weekend they decided to change the format a bit of the tournament and only allow no-ad scoring. This means that if we get to deuce (40-40) then normally it would be advantage next, but in this scenario to keep the matches going quicker, they made it to where the next point would win the game.  So that was a little different than what we were expecting but not a huge deal. 

Then off to the courts we went!  We introduced ourselves to our opponents and they tried to feel us out asked if we had ever played in a tournament before, to which we said no, and that this was our first one.  They were friendly enough and said this was only their 2nd time playing this particular one and that it was a great one for first-timers!    After a nice little chat we started to warm up a bit with some mini-tennis then full court hitting and then finally serves.  After that, we were ready to get started!

Devon and I were both extremely nervous but just couldn't quite overcome this team.  I think we could have beat them too.  This pair actually went on to be in the final round of the winners bracket and they came in 2nd.  We just couldn't quite get with it with this match.  My serve was not consistent at all and we kept making silly mistakes.   Nervousness 1 - Desiree' and Devon 0.   We lost 6-7, 2-6 (at least the first set was close!)

We lost "face"



Our second match (Consolation round or, like I call it "loser round") was scheduled for Saturday at 11am but because of the rain delay, it got pushed back until 4:30.   Chris and I left the house around 2 and decided to swing by Target and pick up a foldy chair for him to sit in rather than on the few bleachers that the park has.  While we were at Target, Devon calls me and asks if we can head that way now.  They were ahead of schedule even with the rain delay and wanted to see if we could get there by 3:30 and that we would play then!  We hurried and checked out and headed to the courts.

Once we go there, we checked in and got to hang out a few minutes and met with Devon.  My mom has been wanting to see me play for a while so she was able to come out and watch the first set at least (she had somewhere to be Saturday evening).  We finally got called to play and we met our opponents.

These ladies were really nice too (much like the first round opponents).  Going into this match, Devon (I keep wanting to spell her name Devyn, which is my daughter's name...)  and I felt better about it.  We felt more calm and controlled and we communicated on the court a lot more.  This match we just felt all around better.  I was hitting some decent alley shots and we both were very good up at the net.  Devon's serves were accurate; whereas mine were still 'off' on my first serve.  My second serve I "tapped" in so it was playable at least.   During this match it started to sprinkle on us and we were worried that we would have to stop playing and continue later.  Momentum was in our favor here, so we definitely didn't want to do that! 

This match was pretty historic for both Devon and I though, because after 2 sets, we were tied at one set apiece.  It went to a "set" tie-breaker.  Devon and I both are like 0-5 at winning tie-breakers, so the pressure was on us to actually see one through and that we did!  We won this match 7-5, 2-6, 1-0, which put us in the Consolation round final on Sunday.



Sunday arrived and it was absolutely gorgeous outside.  The weather was sunny and beautiful.  We were scheduled to play at 11:00 am.  Chris and I arrived at the courts a little after 10:15.  I called my mom to confirm that we were playing at 11 (she and my aunt were coming to watch this one) but once Devon and I checked in, the officiant said, the other team is here and you can start now! 

I hurried and texted mom that we were starting asap!  We got to the area where we meet the other team and lo and behold, it was a team that Devon and her normal partner, Carly had lost to earlier last month.  Devon hurried and explained what she remembered about them - that they love to lob the ball and the other lady is domineering at the net.  Uh oh. 

The nerves made a reappearance.  This was the hardest fought match I have ever played in.  We wanted this so badly and I truly feel that we could have beat these ladies.  They did exactly as Devon remembered.  Lobbed us, used angles and when the amazonian lady got fed a ball at the net, it went down our throats.   Now, mind you we did get some good return shots back at them.  We found a couple of their weaknesses - we have to hit it past Net Monster Amazon Woman and at the feet of the other lady.  Also, my little alley shot worked great when N.M.A.W. was playing back - the other lady didn't have the reach to return it, so when she was covering that alley, we would just drop it over the net on the opposite side.   A little dirty, maybe, but they were playing dirty too.   A few times (we had gathered some people watching and they would tell Devon and I that they were calling things out that weren't.

We learned from this match too that we need to be confident in calling the ball.  Most of the time if there is a point in question, we usually give the benefit of the doubt to the other team.  We have to communicate better because a lot of times Devon had a better eye on what was happening while I "played" the ball.  And vice versa.  So yes, this was definitely a learning experience.  And heat was also starting to play a factor in this match.  It was over 2 hours long!

We lost this match 6-4, 3-6, 0-1.   I want a rematch now so badly I can taste it.  Again, I feel that Devon and I could have won.  With a little more practice, I truly believe we can. 



All in all, the weekend was a wonderful experience and I can't really say anything bad at all.  I wish the weather would have been kinder to us but we did manage to get all the matches in so it wasn't all bad!  I also wish I wasn't so nervous and I could have had a bit better control of my serve.  But that's all on me and I will get there, eventually.  I will definitely be doing this tournament again next year! 

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During the course of this tournament, I received an email from a lady who is looking for more players for her Mixed Doubles league.  She and I emailed back and forth a few times and eventually she offered me a spot on her team and I gladly accepted!  So, I am now playing on a summer Mixed Doubles team ---- and I'm not the captain this time!  First practice for this team should be in a few weeks, actually she emailed me that it was going to be the same weekend that I am to be in NYC, so I had to decline that practice.  She said that they will plan to have one sooner with just me, her and 2 others so I can meet with them and check it out.   I'm definitely looking forward to continuing to play, even though it is in a different format (and with guys!).  This league is for 40+ year olds, so no youngsters - Get off my lawn!!!   :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekly recap

Happy Monday everyone!

It's been a crazy busy week here and loads to tell you so I guess I'll jump right in.  Look for a recap of the tennis tournament that I played in tomorrow for Tennis Tuesday!


A much, much better week on the exercise/activity front (thanks to loads of tennis).  The last 3 days during the tennis tournament, the lowest calorie burn I registered was 1203 cal - the highest was 1808!)


Anyway here's the recap of what I did.

Sunday - 10 minute attempt at a walk in the rain with new dog (We've only had him less than 24 hours at that point!)
Monday - 60 min. bowling, 30 min. weight training, 10 min. elliptical, 17 min. walk
Tuesday - 1h 11m tennis match
Wednesday - 42 min tennis (Practice serving)
Thursday - rest
Friday - 1h 53m tennis match
Saturday - 1h 31m tennis match
Sunday - 2h 7m tennis match

Going to totally give myself a solid A on the exercise front.  I wish I could have gotten in more walking and weights last week but I still averaged each day of about 10k steps (with the exception of maybe 2 of the work days) so I'm still pretty happy with that.

Food, I'll give myself a C for the beginning of the week but I started to reel it in and switch to eating better towards the end of the week.   I'll say it was a B-.

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Ok going to talk about underwear.  Boys... look away.   And the usual disclaimer, I was not paid for this opinion.   It is strictly my own.

I have been on the hunt high and low lately for undies that do not ride up or give wedgies, especially when playing tennis.  Unfortunately, I haven't been too lucky lately and Wonder Woman/superhero  underoo type of underwear that I normally wear doesn't bode too well for doing anything active.

I recently found these while browsing Target and gave them a try this weekend.  (I bought the 3 pack, so no worries... I did not wear just the one pair the whole weekend long! LOL)  These were perfect!  They were comfortable and didn't cut into my leg, plus it held my booty jiggle in place.  I cannot sing the praises enough for this brand!  They do feel "flimsy" when putting them on but they are actually really comfortable, especially while being active!

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The cats are finally starting to get a bit used to having a silly puppy in the house.  I've only heard one hiss at Ollie over the weekend which is much better than several hisses each day.  Plus they all actually are starting to slowly rejoin us in bed at night.  (We do crate Ollie while we are gone on errands and to work, with a little break for him each day at lunchtime).   So hopefully we are all going to be getting along much better from here on out.  I think the lone holdout is going to be Oz.  He's still not totally crazy about this situation I think.

And I apologize in advance for the puppy overload of pics.  He's just so darn cute (if I do say so myself!)

We are starting to get used to walking on the leash!

And destroying toys

After about a week solid of rain, someone was a happy boy to enjoy the sunshine!


And of course, nap time is the best time!


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I purchased this the other day.  Saw it advertised on my facebook feed (thank you ads... for once!) and it was too cute!  I ordered it from Activate Apparel.


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And finally... what did everyone think of the new Star Wars trailer?



How was your week/weekend?  Do anything fun?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Weigh In Wednesday and a pup-date

She's a big star

Ok so my not logging in MFP has seriously come back to bite me in the behind.  I thought that since I pretty much eat the same thing day in and day out that it wasn't necessary to log.  Between that and mindless snacking, I am up 2 pounds this week to 204.8.  Sorry no picture.  This weigh in is on me.  I've gotten lax once again with food so time to tighten up the reins and do what I know works.  I had wanted to be down to where I was before I went on vacation in November (186.6) by the time I go to New York (a month away..) but that just isn't gonna happen.  So now I just want to see at least 195 again by then, and that seems a bit more reasonable.  That's 10 pounds in a month. 

Of course, I need to focus on portion control again and WHAT I'm eating and to log everything, even the bad.  I can't keep buying Nutter Butters and think that I'm going to actually drop weight with them in the house.  Because everybody knows that you can't just eat one Nutter Butter.  One leads to twelve.

We've been having a lot of rain here lately and we were unsure as to whether or not we would be able to play our league matches last night up until the last minute.  We finally got the green light to play.  It was a good night on the courts!  As a team, we won 2-1 with both of our doubles teams winning their matches and our singles player lost hers.   My serve was a bit more consistent last night but maybe because of the lack of practices or matches lately, I just felt like it was an "off" night.  I'm glad the other team had an "off" night too and we were able to secure our victory at least.

A post-match victory selfie with Ollie

A teammate and I are playing in a for-realsies tournament this weekend and I'm really excited about it!  There is only 10 people total playing our level - 2.5 (or beginners tennis) so it will probably go pretty fast!  We have our first tournament match this Friday at 5:30 and if we win, we will play Saturday at 8am and then again at 11am!  Wish us luck!

Like any dog mom knows, I had to take about 20 pictures to get a halfway decent one of the above  selfie taken.  Here's a few outtakes from that "attempt".



I love this little doggie so much!  But man, I am exhausted.  I feel like we have a newborn baby and our schedules have been seriously out of whack lately with trying to feel out Ollie and get his needs met and all the cats as well.   Ollie has been a dream but the cats, eh, that's another issue.  I'm sure everything will calm down but its just all the little things.  We bought some baby gates thinking that will allow the cats some 'alone time' from the puppy but 2 out of the 3 don't mind the gates.  Apparently Loki is the lone exception to this and he ended up being scared of the gate and was 'trapped' in our bedroom for a few hours.  We also had a gate in front of the laundry room - which leads to their litter boxes... well, as it happened, apparently we found out that Loki hadn't pottied since the gate went up and the few accidents that we thought Ollie had done, ended up being on Loki's behalf.  Soooo, now ALL the gates are down and when we let Ollie out of his crate, we just have to keep a closer eye on the litter boxes so that Ollie doesn't get a taste for Kitty Poo-Burgers.

We also had an incident with Oz.  We left Ollie's crate door open the night before last and Chris saw that at about 10:30 that night that Oz was "angry pee'ing" on Ollie's bed, crate mat and blanket.  So, we knew that since Ollie was going to need to be crated while we are work, off to Wal-Mart we go to get another bed and mat.

Soooo hopefully everything will calm down and all the animals will start getting used to each other soon.



Oz is the "most interesting cat in the world"  Stay Thirsty, My Friends






Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekly Recap & introducing a new family member!


I'd like to introduce you guys to our newest family member, Oliver Tiberius Stormageddon Roger Roger Marshall - or just "Ollie"!  :)     Nerdy side quest, can you name all the references that his proper name comes from, with the exception of his last name?  The vet's office is gonna LOVE me.  heh heh

The week wasn't so hot on the exercise front.  Exercise lately has been minimal at best.  Work has been insane this time of year and I barely have time to scarf down my lunch much less walk on my breaks, unfortunately.   I am hoping that after this week things will return to normal.  Plus I should be getting a few more steps in each day due to the above little dude (once we get the hang of the leash thing..)


Monday - 1h bowling
Tuesday - 2h 14m tennis match (Round Robin play)
Wednesday - 1h 31m tennis (team practice)
nothing else the rest of the week other than puppy prep

Food, this week was pretty ok.  Nothing too bad at least even with Game of Thrones back last night.  I kept everything mostly in check this weekend.

This week is supposed to be super rainy here, so it's likely that our Tuesday match will be postponed and practice may be out too so I'm hoping to actually get my behind to the gym again.  The Lovely Anna from Losing My Puppy is challenging herself to go outside of her comfort zone and get some swimming and biking in.  And I'm kinda itching to get back into the pool myself soon so maybe I will be able to get some swim time in in addition to elliptical and weights (which I REALLY need to get back to).

Back to the puppy.   We have been planning on adopting from a local rescue group once we got our yard completely fenced in.  Well that finally happened last week!  I had my eye on a cute little pup that I saw through petfinder.com and noticed that he was affiliated with the same rescue group that I used to volunteer with, A.P.A.W.S.   I took a risk and sent my application in sight unseen.  The lead rescue lady had been really good with emailing me back and forth with my questions about his temperament and she notified me not long after that we had been approved to rescue "Rocky", as he was formerly called.  We arranged a time to meet up on Saturday.  As Chris and I walked into our local Petsmart, we saw "Rocky" being walked out of the store.  I immediately panicked thinking that someone else had just adopted him!  I went to the desk and asked for the lady I had previously emailed and she said oh yes, Rocky just went out to potty and that he will be right back.  :) 

Phew.

We finally got formally introduced to him and were blown away.  Within seconds we knew he was the dog for us.  He is smart, cute, affectionate, well-mannered and just all the other amazing adjectives that I can come up with.  I cannot sing the praises enough of how well his foster family was with him.  I did exchange email address with is foster family in case we had any questions.  Holly (his foster mom) gave us a bag full of his food, treats, blankie, teething ring and his small bed and then they left fairly quickly.  I can only imagine how hard it must be for foster families.  Poor Ollie started off after them and started crying.  Then that in turn made me start to cry.  Oh man it was tough. 

After they left, we filled out the paperwork and then officially adopted him!  We needed to pick up a few things (food, a collar, etc) that we grabbed and then drove home.  He did really well in the car.  Once we got him home, things got interesting really quickly.  The cats are doing better than I expected with him but they are still not quite 100% on board.  I think each day that goes by they will get better and better though.  There have been no fights or territorial disputes so that's a relief.   Ollie has been almost perfect with the potty training though.  We only had one accident last night and he made a poo on the floor.  Other than that though, he has been going to the back door and asking to go out when he needs to.  I think with all the rain we've been getting lately that he is just not loving that so he hurries up and wants to get back inside.

Leash training will be interesting too though as he was not sure about that.  I attempted a walk with him yesterday and we only got about 8 houses away and he was shaking so bad, I ended up carrying him back home.  Of course, it could have been the rain also...

Anyways, here's a few pics from the weekend with our new little dude!  (Oh, and he's already been programmed with "Fetch version 1.0" and loves to play with tennis balls!)

I cannot recommend highly enough that if you are even slightly considering opening your heart and a home to a rescue dog, please do so!   We are over the moon and in love with this little guy!








BTW,  Netflix's new Daredevil show.... is AMAZEBALLS!  We are only on ep 7 but it is SO SO GOOD!

Are you watching?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fit Geek Friday: Stop Being Negative

#FitGeekFriday at GeekFitness

Another edition of Fit Geek Friday!

If you’re not familiar with link-ups and blog hops, they’re super simple: Use the “Add A Link” button below to leave a link to something awesome you wrote at your website, click into someone else’s links, comment, and make new friends! #FitGeekFriday is about bringing together the community of geekery-loving fitness junkies, so get out there and be social!

Today's topic is "Stop Being Negative" and boy does that topic hit home for me.  It can cover the gamut of many sorts of things such as internet trolls already badmouthing the new Star Wars movie, fat shaming and even internalizing the negativity.  I'm totally guilty of the last one. 

I have always been a quiet and shy person.  I've only (within the last 15 years or so) started to come out of the shyness.  I still freeze up around people when I meet them for the first time but I'm not so catatonic anymore, at least not like I used to be.  Growing up like that was tough though because my debilitating shyness lead to peers thinking I was snobby.  It also made me prime bullying fodder and dealt with those issues from middle school all the way up to high school.  The bullying also lead to some pretty low-self esteem issues,  which kept on going all the way through the disaster that was my first marriage.   Of course, being married and being verbally and mentally abused doesn't quite help matters either (not by Chris!  Let me make that clear, he is amazing!  This was all during my first marriage). 

I didn't mean for this topic to get so heavy and I'm finally at a pretty good place in my life.  I don't think my self-esteem issues will ever go away but I am, continually, a work-in-progress.  I am trying to focus on the positive things that I do have going for me and not to dwell so much in the negative.

These are some ways that I try avoid the negativity. 

I try to remind myself to look how far I've come (in weigh loss and through personal issues).  I'm also at a point that I will seek help when I need it.  I never used to do that.  I would internalize everything and never share what I had going on in my cranium.   Chris and I communicate ALL THE TIME.  That made my focus shift from keeping everything in, to spilling it all out.  And I never realized how just talking things out can really make a difference and alleviate any stress that is going on.  If something is bothering me, I no longer hold back.  These things have been monumental in helping me bust through many of my confidence issues.

In what ways do you focus on the positives and stop being negative?



Monday, April 6, 2015

Weekly recap

Quickie post here I started out last week firing on all cylinders and doing really well. Food was much, much better this week too but the exercise slacked off big time. Not sure if I just needed a break or what but I do feel refreshed and ready to get back to breaking a sweat on a regular basis again.


So the week went like this -

Sunday - nothing (skipped practice to let my shoulder heal a bit more)
Monday - 15 minute walk with Chris; 60 minutes bowling (not pictured)
Tuesday - 30 minute walk with Chris; 35 minutes elliptical; 20 minutes weights
Wednesday - 15 minute walk; 1h 30m tennis with Chris
Thursday - nothing
Friday - nothing
Saturday - nothing
Sunday - nothing

We had a pretty busy holiday weekend and was planning to walk with my mom and aunt yesterday after Easter dinner but the rain had other plans for us.  Ah well. 

It was a really good weekend though.  Chris and I got some more of our dvr cleared off Friday, then Saturday we went to some friends and spent the day with them and also played some DnD.  Sunday morning I met my dad for a movie (Furious 7), then Chris, Devyn and her boyfriend and I all went to my parents house for Easter lupper (lunch/supper) and we had a really nice time with family.  Then Chris and I went home and watched John Wick. 

So it was a fairly busy weekend and now I'm left feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the things I didn't get to do, like meal plan and groceries and laundry has been washed, just not folded or hung up.   So I'll have to get all that done at some point this week.  Fortunately, we do have some grilled chicken left over from my dad's grilling yesterday so I can make a couple of meals off that!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!  Let's get back to business though!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Fit Geek Friday: Superheroes

#FitGeekFriday at GeekFitness

So the wonderful B.J. with Geek Fitness has offered me the amazing opportunity to co-host his Friday linkup!   I'm excited to be a part of it!  This weeks topic is Superheroes so feel free to join in and link up with us!

If you’re not familiar with link-ups and blog hops, they’re super simple: Use the “Add A Link” button below to leave a link to something awesome you wrote at your website, click into someone else’s links, comment, and make new friends! #FitGeekFriday is about bringing together the community of geekery-loving fitness junkies, so get out there and be social!

In the Skinny Geek household we are always having a debate over who is the better Superhero.  Chris is firmly in the Batman camp while I am set in my ways in the Superman camp.

Each of our respective favorites in the role.  Christian Bale and his gravelly voice is Chris's fave while the amazing and wonderful Christopher Reeve gets my vote as the Man of Steel
Chris and I wear our allegiances proudly.  Although it will be interesting to go watch "Batman Vs. Superman" with us.  Superman is gonna kick gadget boy's butt back to Gotham, I just know it!


Here lately we've been inspired by a few new Superheroes on the block both in fitness and in spirit.  Check out these amazing Superhero transformations!


All kidding aside, those two movies last year (Big Hero Six and Guardians of the Galaxy) have quickly become firmly situated in my "all time favorite movie" category!

A few of my other personal favorites that will hopefully slay you are...

Buffy (*and she is totally a Superhero, after all, she saved the world.  A lot.)

Good ole Cap
Wonder Woman

Ollie Queen a/k/a The Arrow

Honorable mentions go to any of the Avengers because they are all amazing.  And Wolverine because he is a badass. 


Part of the whole reason I started my weight loss/fitness journey was because I was single-handedly inspired by Buffy and a few others.   Sure, I'm inspired by people in real life, but why not allow some fictional characters inspire you along the way too?  I mean seriously, if Stephen Amell's abs aren't enough motivation right there, I don't know what is!!!   :)


Who is your favorite Superhero?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Weigh In Wednesday

Weigh In Wednesday
Not sure why the button is still posting to the old linkup image and not the new?  Weird.



Another W.I.W. is here!  Wish I could say I had good news but this one is all on me.  I didn't exercise much towards the end of the week and once again, weekend eating sunk me. 


So those combined gave me a gain of 1.6 so I'm back up to 202.8.  But good habits have been happening the last few days so I'm hoping to string a few more together and actually start seeing losses on regular intervals again.  My mind feels like I'm getting everything back in the right place too.

I got to watch a good bit of tennis yesterday (both professional and non!)  Watched a few matches from the Miami Open on tv (so sad about Venus losing but Djokovic had a really stellar comeback!) and then went and watched Mr. Skinny Geek play for a bit with his Tennis Apprentice group.  After watching him for a bit I headed over to another set of courts to watch my teammates play their matches.  Tough night for the team as we went 0-3 but they played really well and had a lot of great shots, rallies and volleys.  Here's a few pics from last night.


Mr. Skinny Geek and his 1 handed fancy backhand!











Me trying to avoid mosquitoes.  Didn't avoid any.  Found them all.