Stan's Tuesday Walks

A Weekly Feature
by Stan Evans,
President, Santa Fe Always Online

May 14, 2002

Today I’d like to tell you about my most recent trip to Sin City, a short while ago. Sin City is my pet name for Las Vegas, Nevada, where my daughter Kylene now lives. My wife and I miss her, so every now and then Linda and I have to go out there to get a daughter fix. On this trip my mother came along, too—she needed a granddaughter fix.

We decided to stay at the Las Vegas Hilton. They take pretty good care of us, and we also like the tennis pro who works there. His name is Marty Hennessy, and he is one of those few pros who really give you your money’s worth of instruction. My tennis skills had fallen into pretty bad shape, so I really needed a Marty fix. And I do mean “fix.”

Marty had some openings in his busy schedule, and Linda and I had our first lesson on the Monday morning after our Saturday-night arrival. Even before the lesson was over I could hardly wait to get back to Santa Fe to take on my regular tennis buddies. Four of us frequently play doubles on Wednesday afternoons. It's a round-robin affair, and yet no matter who my partner has been, I have lost most of my matches.

Since we weren't returning to Santa Fe until Wednesday evening, I knew I would not be able to show off my newfound skills until a full week later. The thought that I might forget all that Marty had taught me sent me back for a second lesson on Tuesday.

I decided to skip my usual morning walk beforehand, because I did not want to have tired legs for my lesson. Over the years, I have learned that my legs always feel like rubber when Marty is finished with me. Linda, on the other hand, is in such good shape that she could probably take lessons all day long, and then run a marathon afterward.

At 9 a.m. Marty met us on the tennis court with his usual pleasant smile. He is 52 and in better shape than 98 percent of the 18-year-olds. Well, in comparison with both him and my wife, I really look bad on the tennis court, not only in skill, but also in appearance. But hey, I am what I am—and my reason for being there that morning was only to get better.

We started out with some stretches. Then Marty got on one side of the court, with a big basket of balls, and Linda and I got on the other side. Marty hit balls at us in turn, and pointed out things that we each needed to correct. In my case it seemed that almost everything could use some help. But just before frustration reared its ugly head, Marty as usual provided solutions to my problems. By the end of the lesson, I felt invincible.

Tired but happy, I went back to our room with Linda. I asked what she thought of the lesson, and she said it had helped her a lot. Feeling cocky, I did not want to wait more than a week to show off my new skills, so I challenged Linda to play the next morning. She agreed, and I was glad. Like my other tennis buddies she had not been treating me very well on the court lately, and this would be my chance for revenge.

But pride goeth before a fall—and this time was no exception. We hit the courts at 9 o’clock, with me frothing at the mouth in anticipation of my coming victory. “Let the games begin!” I thought. Dragging myself off after they ended, I was back in my place. I had forgotten to consider that all the time my own skills were getting better under Marty’s tutelage, so were Linda’s. And she was better than I before we took the lessons.

Yes, Linda is pretty darn good, no doubt about it. Yet I’m still eager to take on my Wednesday buddies. Surely I can now beat them!

Have a great day.


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