I like this post from a year ago today!!!
Tuesday 26 th October 2021......
Two birthday celebrations today......Carolyn my very special friend and tennis partner of over ten years was born this day...sadly Carolyn suddenly passed away almost two years ago, she was a remarkable and kind lady...
rest in peace Texas Belle!!
Also celebrating her birthday today is Ashley who is 22 years old!!
I have know Ashley’s Grandmother and Aunt for over twenty years and I first met Ashley when she was 12 years old, blonde and adorable and already a tennis superstar.
That day in Palm Springs her Mum, Pauline, asked me if I wanted to go down to the tennis courts and hit balls with Ashley.
Of course I jumped at the opportunity .....little did I know what I had just let myself in for!!!
The first surprise I had was that we had to run about 2 miles to the tennis facility .....Ashley waited for me to puff and pant my way to the courts.....then she smiles at me and tells me she has to skip rope before she goes on the court......I said no problem how many skips do you have to do......1000 she innocently told me.
So she pulls this skipping rope out of her tennis bag and starts to skip..she reminded me of Mohamed Ali....one foot ..two foot..cross over...she was finished before I got my breath back.
Next we go onto the courts.....now I have played all my life and consider myself a decent club player and know I can hit the ball hard and true....
So let me set the scene here.......there is me on one side of the court and at the other end this awesome athlete of a twelve year old, blonde, gorgeous and so shy...
We start to hit balls back and forth and I am doing well returning the balls and even getting a couple past her......
Been playing a few minutes when we both go to the net to pick up the balls and I casually say to Ashley that it must be an advantage playing left handed on the tennis circuit because of the spin generated.
I shall never forget what happened next...Ashley looks at me...smiles, shrugs and in a way only a 12 year old girl could......she tells me......wait for it.......it is really good.......
She says I am not left handed!!!!!!!!!!!
I look at her bemused and say but you are playing left handed...but even before the words had left my mouth I knew what she meant......she was playing left handed to take it easy on me!!
The Pearson stubbornness kicked in and I say ok go back and put the racket in your right hand I can handle it!!!
I should have known better, never got another ball back she was rocking the balls right and left past me......12 years old!!!!!!
Ten years later Ashley has completed five years of Pepperdine College and ranked the number one women’s college player in the USA...received a great education and has her whole life in front of her...but more importantly to me she is an amazing, dedicated and compassionate beautiful young woman....Happy Birthday!!
Stay safe and healthy!!