While Jslow goes back to school, I’m going back to camp.
What are we, twelve?
But yes, in early December, I’m going to Tennis Camp and I don’t have a thing to wear.
Our move to the Golden Gate Heights “suburbs” of San Francisco placed me within two blocks of two courts that are miles away form each other in vibe: Golden Gate Heights Park, pock-marked and paved with pine needles, battered nets fog-logged and saggy; and JP Murphy, re-surfaced, freshly painted and smooth, like the society ladies who lob and volley in their sharp skirts before retiring to their fancy manses in neighboring Forest Hill.
I am not JP Murphy material. And besides, you can’t swear on those courts, lest you get served an evil eye with Jimmy Connors speed.
So I’ve relegated myself to Golden Gate Heights Park with Leslie, my dear friend and neighbor, after a thirty-five year tennis hiatus.That’s a Millennial plus a tween, a few lifetimes of no activity, which gives you an idea of my skill level. My self-administered “NTRP” rating is about a 2.5.
Leslie and I talk. We swear. We laugh. We hit balls over the fence. We hit balls into the net. We sometimes drink G&Ts. Our fun rating is a 6.0 for sure.
My dad loved tennis: he coached a high school girls game and played almost every day. He also smoked and drank beer between sets. “Shit” and “crap” shared as much air time as “Out” and “Ad-In.” Dad, assuming you are up there, can you please help my shaky balls stay in?
Anyway, my beloved ripped leggings, Chuck Taylors and fur coat that suit me so well in the cold and isolation of my home court won’t fly in Puerto Nuevo, home of said camp. I’m going to be playing for 4 hours a day in pretty extreme heat and I need proper attire.
I don’t own any “proper” workout attire of any sort. This is deliberate. But sometimes, and this is one of those times, the right attire will be critical to my performance and comfort.
Problem is, tennis garb freaks me out. It’s so preppy and conservative and white and short. On me at my age, this uniform makes me feel like a broken-down cheerleader.
But screw it. I’m going to camp. In Mexico. Only a handful of people there will know me. I’m going for it.
Thankfully, a fashion-forward friend tipped me off to Boast USA, a retro-inspired, irreverent company founded by “Bill” in 1973. From their site: “The 1970s were a time of Individuality And rebellion: CBGB, Basquiat, Dennis Hopper, and Lou Reed. Bill understood that Boast didn’t exist in a vacuum, and that sport was an integral part of culture. McEnroe taught the artist Eric Fiscal tennis in exchange for painting lessons. Andy Warhol attended the US Open with Jackie O.” Read more about this coloful history here.
I. Love. This. Everything about this makes my soul smile.
So excuse me while I shop. I’m not sure if my Boast attire will boost my NTRP rating to a 3. But at least my style rating will be at least a 5. And in the world of tennis, that is almost as high as it gets. If I may be so boastful. xo