I finally broke out the old tennis racket and hit some balls against the backboard close to my house. It was actually quite fun and my stroke is about where it used to be. I only hit balls for about 15 minutes, but I was surprised to be a little sore the next day. It is amazing how unfamiliar movements can tax the body significantly.
Interestingly the day after hitting balls, I was talking with a colleague and he and I may decide to hit together. This is exactly the kind of behavior change I was looking for. While we would both be considered beginner players, it may provide the opportunity to get a workout in and have a conversation at the same time.
One message I gleaned from “The Tennis Partner” was the importance of building male friendships. While the memoir focused on trust and betrayal under the guise of addiction and recovery, tennis was a backdrop where people of dissimilar situation could share a common bond.