Fun Times, Tennis and Fitness Inspiration

Fun times were had this past weekend at the Western & Southern Open. Men and Women’s tennis at its best. I have been away from the blog because I was there, but if you are a tennis fan, or just like sports in general, you may appreciate this post. I have been to this tournament in Ohio many times and it gets better every year. It has always been just the men playing but last year it was combined with the women.  This year things have expanded, a little more crowded, but overall the tourney was great.

I flew into Ohio on Thursday with no delays. I also got to see the new additions to the ATL airport. Things went very smooth with no long line on the runway for takeoff. Question; when boarding began, the gate-keeper asks all the skymile,  first class, etc. people to board and then directed them to the left side of the rope to enter the gate. When all of us regular flyers were asked to board, we were asked to go to the right side of the rope. It is all the same little space, maybe a foot difference. Is that what they pay extra for and is that the perk for being a skymile member? Does it really matter which side of the rope we enter on? It is kind of funny really when you think about it because no one cares at security if you’re a special skymiler or first classer. We are all herded through like cattle at a cattle factory farm. No special treatment there unless you just like getting the pat down. Another question and then I will be off of the airport thing. Is first class really that great? I get it, maybe on an international flight, but for a short 1 and 1/2 hour?  I have never flown first class so maybe there is something I do not know. I do see it, I waddle through it to get to my little seat. Yes, they look a little wider and they all have their drinks early but other than that not too much of a difference. That little curtain never gets pulled, so it is not private either. Hmmm.  Anyway, enough of airports. Oh, I always feel dirty when I have been there.

The weekend started great with this fantastic meal from the Northstar Cafe. This is the Northstar burger which is vegetarian made with beets. It was sided with their simple salad. I must say this is one of the best vege burgers I have ever had. The flavors were mouth watering. I had a treat and topped it off with Jenis Splendid Ice Cream which was next door. I have had Jeni’s before. A special person had it shipped to us around the holidays. Sounds crazy but the sweet potato ice cream was my favorite:)

Friday was a great day. It started with a healthy breakfast from First Watch, another of my Ohio favorites. I had the Tri Athlete Omelette. It makes me feel strong just ordering it. I wish I had a picture of it. It was egg whites filled with mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, green chilies served with salsa and a side of fresh fruit and an English muffin. Breakfast is my most important meal of the day. And of course, no morning is complete without a Starbucks pick me up.

So we made it to the tourney for day 1 (the quarterfinals). It was glorious. Good parking, 70 degrees and sunny. First stop, clean clean clean restrooms. Yay! Then off to the practice courts. You can always catch a big name player warming up on a side court about 2 hours before their match. Lucky me,  I found Venus Williams:) I have never seen her play live so this was a treat. She is tall and slender. I just don’t know how she practices with her hair down. She ties it up during a match like I do when I teach (high and tight).

What could be better than seeing a Williams sister? Another one I have never seen live. It’s Serena! This is where the fitness inspiration starts. When I see the matches and the practices of all these athletes, it really gets me motivated because I can see how hard they have worked to get to where they are. It makes me want to workout more. As you can see, Serena is all muscle. I wondered if she was hot practicing in sleeves? Anyway, Serena lost that day but Venus moved on to the semifinal against Na Li.

Well, at this point I am lunchy. Lots of vendors to choose from. This is Aladdins. This became my place for lunch and dinner because of the healthier options. I had several wraps. This is the grilled chicken wrap with Aladdins sauce. So delicious. Their hummus was awesome and I did sneak a baklava (I am on vacay anyway).

Look who I ran into. My favorite player, Rafael Nadal. He was so kind to shake my hand. I guess he was shaking everyone’s hand that would stop. This was a fun wall of players where you could stop and get a cool photo. I missed Rafa playing. He is injured. I have seen him play live several times and it is always a treat. He is full of energy and such a great sport. He also loves his fans. I am not sure if he will be playing in the U.S. Open.

We finished up seeing lots of matches that day. We also saw doubles matches too. We went back to the hotel, so tired, watched a little of The Karate Kid and went to sleep to rest up for day 2.

Day 2 was full of fun. Semifinal action. Watched Djokovic, Federer, Del Potro, Wawrinka, Li and Venus practice and play. Saw more doubles matches. Ate lunch and dinner at Aladdins which was still my favorite. Finished the day with a treat. I wanted coffee and a cookie but both vendors had closed. So lucky us, our hotel was next to Graeter’s Ice Cream , which I have never had. It was around 10:30ish and there was a long line. It moved quick and I got what I wanted. Not a cookie, but coffee ice cream. It was dreamy:)

Day 3 is the Final. Started off with sleeping in because the gates did not open until 11:00am. Of course I had another chicken wrap from Aladdins. Also, we did try the Baba. It was like hummus but made with eggplant. So spicy and so delish. Excited seeing Federer and The Joker play in the final since they are #1 and #2 in the world right now. I was glad to see Federer win. I am a fan.

As we were strolling around waiting on the women’s final to start, look who we saw. This is what it is like when a top player comes out of the players area before and after matches. I can’t see a thing. It is loud and people push.

This is what it looks like when you are patient and are in the right spot at the right time. Funny, it looks like we are just hanging out with Roger:)

Well, the tourney ended and we had to exit, boo:( but time to go home. Our dinner was so good on Thursday (beet burger from Northstar) we had to get it again, minus the ice cream. I slept and then off to the airport Monday morning. Smooth flying again. I was lucky but still felt dirty after the airport visit. Home at last!

I had a great trip and fun times, but I sure missed The Husband and The Supermodel. There is no place like home. Like I said, I am inspired by all of the athletes with their passion and determination for what they do. Now I am going to workout hard. Maybe I will start with a Tabata session tonight.

Who or what inspires you to workout with more passion and determination? Have you flown recently and if so, have you noticed what I was talking about?

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About nthefitzone

Hi, my name is Allyson. I am a 40 something yoga and Pilates teacher. This blog documents my passion for yoga, Pilates, running, strength training, nutrition, and healthy cooking. I hope to inspire others to find their inner athlete, to get strong and healthy, to set goals and reach them. Age doesn't matter. Anything is possible with hard work, determination, drive, commitment and passion. Follow along for some healthy fun and find your inner athlete. It's in there, just waiting to shine :)

Posted on August 21, 2012, in Motivation and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It was a fun trip! I can’t wait until 2013!

  2. Yes, great weather, no rain delays, better food, clean restrooms. Good times!

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