Posted by: forgingahead | March 15, 2009

Watching the Pros

We spent last week in the desert – Palm Springs area. There were birthday parties to attend and pools to lay around. But the REALLY fun stuff was watching the pros.

Indian Wells Tennis Garden hosts a top tier tennis tournament every March. We’ve attended (as spectators – just stating the obvious) for a few years and it never gets old. The best part is sitting a few feet from the training courts watching your favorite players going through their drills.

I’m partial to Marat Safin, the always beautiful, entertaining and often heartbreaking Russian who lives in Monaco (smart man). I admit I was glued to the court where he was working out Tuesday morning. His tennis stroke is just as magical as ever.


The courts were also sprinkled with 5 foot tall petite blondes from countries formerly associated with Russia and really long names. Women who were solid muscle in order to generate the power that their taller counterparts produce with longer swings. Their bodies reminded me of rubberbands unwinding with a *snap* as they connected racket to ball.

Then there was Roger Federer. That man has a backhand that makes me swoon. I don’t even play tennis and I can see that the fluidity of his swing is heaven.

Earlier in the week we stopped by a huge hunter/jumper horse show in the middle of nowhere…a town called Thermal (ya think it gets hot there?) This is one of the biggest horse shows on the West coast and goes on for 6 weeks. It attracts the top horses and riders including Olympians.

What’s fun about this event is the casual atmosphere. The competitors outnumber the spectators about 10:1 so us hangers-on feel like we’re insiders.

Bert asked me why these horses were so much calmer than Now Voyager. The answer is that they’re professionals. They spend more time at shows than they do at home and they’re trained to buckle down and do their job. And they do it so well.

The jumping classes are judged on who get through the course the fastest and the cleanest (avoiding knocking down the rails of the jumps). The jumps are BIG (over 5 feet) and the course is complex. Still, in a class of 30 riders at least 10 will get through fast and clean.

Plop me down in a setting riddled with horses and I’m one happy camper. Thermal is March in my idea of heaven.

On the recovery front, I’m nearly pain free and have started reintroducing easy workouts into my schedule. Walking. Gentle swims. Easy stretches. There’s still a pain that tells me I’ve gone too far so I have a bit more healing to do. But all is progressing quite nicely!


  1. Very, very interesting; things I did not know!
    Glad to know you are on the mend, too!

  2. What great news to hear you are almost pain free! May you continue to progress.

  3. Yah for gentle workouts and healing – glad to hear you are on the mend! 🙂

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