Well it’s been a month, and I am still exercising and playing sports. Blogging—even just to myself, because I haven’t yet designed my web site—is forcing me to stay on track. And also knowing that I am going to go public puts some good pressure on me. I know that I am improving.

Yesterday I fired some arrows, lost one in the grass, missed the target lots of times…until I finally started hitting it. Later in the afternoon, I even scouted the farm I was going to hunt this morning, when the turkey season started for three weeks.

I woke up at 4:15, but it was raining pretty hard, so I went back to sleep—no fun sitting in the rain when it is 40 degrees. At 6:40 three toms (males) were gobbling in my garden 25 feet from the bedroom window! Sounded like they were laughing at my laziness and worries about a little rain—did I think I was going to melt? Didn’t that happen to one of those wicked witches in the Wizard of Oz?

Yesterday I also took another squash lesson, this time from the head coach at another prep school only 30 minutes away. It not only has modern glass courts, but also a club with about 100 members who mostly play in the fall and winter. They are on the tennis courts these days I learned. But what an opportunity. I am considering joining.

The lesson was a killer. I was gasping for air and looked pretty red when it ended after an hour. It felt great, even though later on my back was sore from all the low bending. Coach Greg taught me to practice alternating high shots with low shots, front shots with rear shots. To realize that if my opponent is up front, I should send the ball to the rear, so that he has to move away from the center. Pretty obvious, but I am not good enough to place the ball each time.

As I should have expected by now, he said some of the things I had learned from the other coach were wrong…or maybe not “wrong,” but that I should do them differently. Major things, like where to face my body on a serve return, how to angle the racket on a forehand. It is still unbelievable to me that there can be such differences of opinion on such basic moves. Nothing sophisticated here. Is all of life this complicated? Not just sports. No wonder we all have trouble mastering anything…

The good news is that he sized me up as an intermediate player, rather than a beginner. He thought my tennis experience helped me pick up the strokes pretty fast, and he could now gauge which other guys might be suitable for me to play with. There are about 12 in the club. That is encouraging, because the problem I have had in tennis is that I am not good enough to play with the younger men in their 50’s who hit a very powerful ball. And up until recently, I have not been able to outsmart and outplay the slower older guys with decades of experience who can place any ball wherever they want, which is where I don’t happen to be.

So I will probably join this squash club.