Jorge F., 56, is from New York, but emigrated from Peru when he was a youngster. He began playing tennis when his 3 daughters were in school.
I was absolutely amazed at Jorge`s fitness level. I`ve coached players half his age who`ve played college level tennis that literally could not keep up with him.
Here`s a short, but very interesting insight into what makes Jorge incredibly fit.
Why did you choose to take up tennis?
I was in my late 20`s, and couldn`t play Soccer anymore. I just got "hooked" as soon as I started playing. It gave me the workout that soccer did, but I was in control at least 50% of the time, which I really liked!
Did you take a lot of lessons?
No, my daughters played at Port Washington Academy, in Long Island, and I observed. I began to see how much fun it was when I saw my daughters playing, and knew that I might need a few lessons. One of the coaches mentioned to me that I was unorthodox, but effective.
That`s an understatement! You are obviously competitive. What drives you to run down EVERY ball!
I just hate losing. For me, my biggest hurdle is me, and if I can show my opponent that I can run down EVERY ball, it will eventually take a toll on him mentally.
What has tennis done for you?
Many wonderful things. First, I`ve got a group of guys that I play with, so instead of the drudgery of the gym, I get to have fun with my friends, get a great workout, and get the competitive juices flowing. Second, and most importantly, it`s a passion for me. There are many things I can do recreationally, like fishing, but if someone tells me that we`re going to play tennis, there`s no question about my excitement and commitment. I love this game!
You mentioned to me that you played soccer as a child growing up in Peru. Tell me about that.
Well, when I was a kid, we didn`t have the money for a ball, and the field was any open space. We made the soccer ball out of old socks and underwear, and kicked it until there was nothing left! I would play for literally 8 hours on non-school days, with a pocketful of cooked corn for sustenance. I didn`t want to stop!
Now I`m beginning to understand why you are so incredibly mobile! What about your diet? Does that play into it?
Yes. I drink lots of fresh water each day, and load up on fruits and vegetables. I stay away from red meat, and eat fresh fish and chicken. I don`t eat processed foods, or fast food. But, since I play tennis hard for two hours 3-4 times each week, my heart is very strong. My doctor is amazed--my heart rate is that of a 25-30 year old man, and I credit that with soccer and now, tennis.
Any words of advice for seniors who aspire to get serious about tennis?
Commit to it whole-heartedly. Make sure that you speak to your doctor about what you need to do to prepare to play, and then take it one step at a time. Know your limits, but don`t be afraid to push yourself...it takes just a few weeks to see the benefits. When you start getting fit, you`ll feel better, eat better, and sleep better. It`s a natural medicine!
I hope that this inspires all of you to the next level in your tennis game!
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