Monday, September 22, 2008

Back to IM training

After 3 weeks in NY I am still trying to get back on track for the IM I've signed up for in November. When I signed up in January the race just seemed so far off, but now it's creeping up on my quickly and I need to get my butt in gear. It was tough to get all of my workouts in while living it up in the Hyatt in New York City with no bike, no running trails, and no swimming pool. The substitutes: stationary bike (with TV), treadmill (also with a TV), and ummm...upper body workouts. I got in a fair amount of mileage without ever moving an inch. Now the quality of those workouts is being put to the test as I continue to increase the volume of training. I logged a 19 mile run over the weekend followed by a 60 mile bike on Sunday. So far, the good news is that I am still relatively injury free (just some nagging knee pain that I hope will fade as I get back on the trail instead of concrete) and I am able to recover from one workout to the next quicker than ever. I am looking to put another long bike and run in this weekend as long as I can get all of my work done too. I have to be careful to avoid getting too rundown because I'm walking a fine line with overtraining.

Monday, September 8, 2008

US Open Ballgirl Wrap-Up

At this time last night I was waiting patiently outside Arthur Ashe Stadium waiting for the finish of the Women's US Open Finals because I was given the honor of carrying a flag for the closing ceremony. Although there was no tv easily viewed from our location we were sent frequent updates about the status of the match. And when the uproar of the crowd penetrated the large double doors we all knew that it was over, Serena had won.

Along with 18 other ballpersons, I quickly made my way to center court, carrying my American flag high and proud. The crowd was still going wild, flashes were going off in every direction, and to top it all off, I nearly bumped into Serena as I walked onto the court. Her family had been seated in the bleachers just above the doors we had entered through so she had immediately raced over there to shake their hands, just as we were walking out. I was so caught up in making sure that my flag didn't touch the ground that I barely noticed her until she was about 3 feet away. Her excitement was so palpable at that distance. It was incredible.

We then lined up behind the net, and I lowered the butt of my flagpole onto my right foot. I don't think there was a better seat in the house to watch the presentation of the trophies. I was about as close to the excitement as you could get. A couple of people even saw me on TV (CBS) standing directly behind Serena and Jelena while they received their Tiffany and Co. trophies and very nice checks. My favorite part was when the presenter announced that Serena had won $1.5 million. Jelena then asked how much she would get. The most important question of course.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Rafael Nadal at the US Open

I had the pleasure of joining the USTA Florida section in the President's Suite today for lunch and got a couple of shots of Rafael Nadal against Sammy Querrey. A little more on lunch: it was an incredible experience. Everyone was absolutely fantastic and supportive. I met David Denkins, the former mayor of New York City, Pancho Seguro, Tony Trabert, Andy Everett to name a few, and had lunch with a number of USTA members and volunteers. Another wonderful experience.

Photos from US Open

Photos from Top to Bottom
(1) Jelena Jankovic [2] - Practicing
(2) Roger Federer [2] - Practicing
(3) Roger Federer [2] - Practicing
(4) John Isner [81] - Practicing
(5) Donald Young [73] - Mixed Doubles

New York Times

So although I am doing the same thing as the other ballkids, it seems that my black carbon fiber leg catches most people's eye. The New York Times approached me last week and asked if they could do a story on the US Open from my angle. I told them of course, but would never have guessed it would make front page of the sports page. I have never had someone tell my story as well as Josh did. The article was posted on the internet Thursday and came out nationwide in the New York Times on Friday. The New York Post must have seen the Times article online because they found me on Thursday and asked to do a story on me too, which came out Friday with a number of photos and a video online. This has been both an interesting and incredible experience. Strangers walking down the streets of New York approach me now to shake my hand and congratulate me on a job well done. For me, this is just something I do. I wouldn't know how to live my life any other way. But it has been interesting to have players and chair umps approach me before a match to thank me for being there. I also learned after the fact that one of the tennis players even requested that I be one of the ballpersons on his court during his doubles match. That was pretty cool. It has been a pleasure to work for the USTA and their support has been encouraging. Thanks for everything.