My success in the amateur ranks has been well chronicled, so I won't bore you with the details of my many achievements. At this point in my career though, I feel like it's time to start getting paid for my talent. It's time to start signing those endorsement deals. I think I'm roughly one win away from a major shoe deal, and the word on the street is those shoes will only have a little bit of Velcro on them. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited.
This past week I became a member of the USTA (United States Tennis Association). Once all the paper work was finalized, it was revealed that I am now ranked 22,568,217th in the country. That's only a slight drop off from my #1 amateur ranking at my parents house. ( That's actually pretty impressive when you think about it. At one point in time, there were as many as 6 people and 3 cats living there. If a number one ranking with that kind of competition doesn't impress you, you need to lower your standards. You are an elitist, and nobody likes to hang out with you.) Regardless of that drop off, that means there's only 22,568,216 people in this country that are better than me. That makes me pretty much unbeatable. What are the odds that I'll run into one of those people on the court?
It's been about 8 years or so since I last played with any regularity, but I feel confident that all of my skills will return 10 fold and I will be playing in this year's US Open come September. Just to give you an idea of how serious I am, I went to my old stomping grounds (aka, my old high school tennis courts) to get in a little practice. I took not one, but TWO, brand new cans of tennis balls. That's 6, completely untouched, happy-tennis-yellow, tennis balls with which to practice. If that doesn't scream professional, I don't know what does. There were a lot of people down at the courts that day, and I dare say each and every single one of them was intimidated by my presence. When you're 5 feet, 6 ¾ inches tall like I am, that happens a lot.
I'll keep you posted on my progress, but if you watch any kind of national sports coverage, that should keep you in the loop too. Don't think for one second that this will have any effect on my softball career. That has been well established and is currently being funded by the company I work for, so I don't see that slowing down any time soon. Summer season starts next Monday.
Lastly, and as a bit of a side note, I was brought up as a bit of a skeptic, so when I'm out and about, I'm always looking for the angle. This isn't always necessary, but there are times in life when it helps. For example, when buying a car at a dealership, it helps to be a bit skeptical of all those extras they are trying to throw in. See the below picture for what I'm talking about.
Somethings I thought were just common sense, but as I recently learned, that is not always the case. Every time one of those slick-dealing car salesmen tried to slip the optional bee hive into the package, I just rolled my eyes and said, “no thank you.” First of all, the upkeep on these things is horrible and you can pretty much forget about driving your car in the winter. It never ceases to amaze me what some people will do in order to make an extra buck or two. Selling some schmuck on an optional bee hive just seems low to me.