Friday, August 11, 2006

No pain, no gain

Whoa!! I forgot how much it hurts after the first day!

I’m talking about going to the gym of course. The last time I worked out (and when I say work out, I mean not just running on the treadmill) was almost a year ago. I decided to start doing weights again, mainly coz I still have that goal of building up my upper body. And of course hitting the gym makes for a much healthier lifestyle.

I switched gyms though, mainly due to location. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a personal trainer in my new gym is about 25% cheaper than in Gold’s. Helps me save up a bit. =) Since my tennis lessons had to stop due to some construction going in the courts where I play, I figured that now was as good a time as any to start training again.

So I had my first session last Monday. It felt really good at the time; the burn in my muscles, as anyone else who has done weights will know, felt great. But see that was while I was working out. I knew from previous experience that the “real” pain would come the next day. My trainer also made sure I was aware of this, warning me that I shouldn’t be surprised if my body hurt like hell when I got up the next morning.

And so I wake up on Tuesday and true enough, I was horribly sore. The main source of pain were my left triceps (I guess being right handed and playing all that tennis, badminton, and bowling made sure that my right arm was a LOT more developed than my left). And the unfortunate thing here is that when I had my second work-out session on Wednesday, the pain wasn’t completely gone, making it a whole lot more difficult. My upper body hurts a helluva lot more today than it did the other day. I just hope it gets better soon.

Hopefully I can keep this going regularly. I’m targeting to lose about 5-10 lbs and maintain that weight for myself. Of course, getting a six-pack would be awesome, too. =)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Steffi Graf vs Martina Hingis

One of Steffi's best Grand Slam wins was her last one, the 1999 French Open, where she defeated Martina Hingis in three hard fought sets. When I was watching the match at the time, I couldn't focus on how high the quality of tennis from both players was. But after Graf finally won, I was able to watch it again (I got a taped copy), this time a lot more calmly, and I realized that this definitely was a superbly high-quality match, and was fitting for the final.

One of the best rallies in the match was one that involved 32 shots (for those of you who aren't tennis fans, 32 shots in one rally is a LOT - try watching any match and see how many of the rallies actually last more than 10 or even 15 shots). Graf won the point with a cross-court topspin backhand passing shot, and I believe this shot gave her the confidence to keep fighting back (Hingis was up 6-4, 5-4 and serving for the match) and eventually take contro. Steffi proceeded to win the game, as well as next five after that to give her what turned out to be an insurmountable lead. Hingis could not come back after that. This gave Graf her 22nd Grand slam title (second only behind Margaret Court) and her 6th French Open (2nd only behind Chris Evert).

It's quite amazing really. The shot-making precision of both players as well as their ability to keep getting balls back even at full stretch made for such a great match. This final was actually voted by tennis fans as the best women's match of all time. The journalists choice was the Monica Seles-Steffi Graf French Open final of 1992. That Seles-Graf nailbiter that ended 10-8 in the 3rd set would probably get my vote too except for the fact that Steffi lost, and I don't really want the best match of all time to have my favorite player on the losing end. =)