Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Down the shore (day 2)

We made our way back down to the beach Sunday afternoon, and I introduced the group to my most important purchase from the day before. Over many summers of trial and error at Brigantine, my cousins and I developed our own version of beach paddleball. It combines the action of tennis with the simplicity of ping-pong, with a little beach volleyball mixed in. Basically you draw a court 30 feet wide by 60 feet deep with a line right down the middle representing the net. It has to be done during low-tide so that there's enough hard sand to play on. The ball is hit into the other player's court, who then has to return it after one bounce. It's more a game about placing shots with precision than simply going for power slams, because otherwise you just wind up chasing the ball down the beach all day.

Most of the group was still dragging from the night before, except for Tim who was off swimming to Atlantic City or something. Mira took me up on my challenge and after a very short learning curve was placing shots all over my side of the court like a pro. We weren't keeping official score but she was definitely ahead on points when we were through. Actually, winning games isn't the big attraction for me. I'll play all day just for that one shot where the ball is hit deep over towards the far side of the court and I have to take off sprinting to chase down the ball from behind and hit a blind shot over my shoulder back towards my opponent's court. Then you have to dig in your heels to stop your momentum and spin around to race back to cover your side of the court which is now completely wide open. It was during a desperate dive to return a backhand shot that I picked up this little souvenir from our match that afternoon.

By midday I had to head back to Philly to pick up Brendan from his grandmother's to take him and one of his friends to a Pearl Jam concert later that night. The last day of the holiday weekend was spent going to see X-men 3 at the movies with him and catching up on some household chores. I was pretty tired by Monday evening, but also very glad for the change of scenery and the chance to spend time with new friends. I have a feeling that there will be plenty of great weekends ahead this summer.

But for now I've got to head off to bed and set my alarm early to hit the gym tomorrow morning before work. With a fitness instructor and an apparent tennis pro for roomates, I'm going to need to step things up a notch. As a matter of fact I've been jogging in place and doing bench presses the entire time that I've been writing this post. And I think I just heard the timer go off in the kitchen telling me that my all-natural soy energy shake has finished blending. Okay--I may have added an ingredient or two of my own to the recipe. I'm pretty sure that Twizzlers are low-carb anyways...