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October 12, 2008

Tennis, tentatively... and internet discount please?

October 11. Day 103.

I've never been particularly athletic. Every few weeks or so, I go through waves of feeling invigorated or quite bored by the wholesome concept of "fitness." Most recently I've been really trying to learn tennis, since there are courts everywhere in San Diego and I'm starting to sense how fun it could be if I actually returned the ball at 100 mph.

Today I tried on my very first pair of real tennis shoes at Ray's Tennis. They were comfortable -- super comfy -- and in about three minutes I knew I wanted them. That's a major first. Usually, Roxy and shoe stores don't part ways so easily.

It occurred to me to try to get the price down, but I quickly decided not to. Lowering their profits would have been a disservice to them and myself. This is a small store with personalized service. The kind of place that I want to thrive. The old man I chatted with was knowledgeable and helpful, and gave me advice as I embark on this new sport: Stay low, bend your knees. Thanks!

Thirty minutes into my tennis session with Mr. A, who's been teaching me for the past year or so, I started wondering if I might have some sort of rare, degenerative, neurological disorder. Why else had I swung wildly at the last three balls and missed? Why were my serves ending up in the net? Why else was I so dramatically out of breath, having hallucinations of Papa John's spinach alfredo pizza?

I asked him if he thought I might be ill.

"It's called laziness," he replied.

Hmm. Really? Well, that's a relief.

I confessed I was staaaarving and that I wanted to order a pizza from Papa John's and pick it up in an hour. That would give us enough time to play (or in my case, technically, flail pathetically as I pretend to run after the ball), and some hope for immediate nourshment after our workout.

When I placed the order, I asked what promotions they had.

"Nothing if you order on the phone."

"What about all your internet discounts and the coupons you mail out? You really can't apply a discount, just because I'm calling?" If I was getting their junkmail, at least once it should pay off.

"Hold on... let me look aroud the store and see if I find a coupon... Ok, I found one that will save you $3.50."


As for the rest of my time on the court: I think ordering the pizza was a turnaround moment, since I actually played decently after that. Focus, focus, focus.

Gained: $3.50.
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