indoortennisAs a child of the exercise-obsessed ’80s, however, I didn’t manage to lead an entirely sedentary lifestyle after high school. I grudgingly signed up for aerobics classes (please, God, just let this 45 minutes end soon) and even joined a health club. For me, though, physical activity retained that phys-ed taint: ’tain’t no fun, and I’d rather be doing just about anything else. I’m reminded of a friend who once told me she was celibate – on and off. I’m active – on and off I know the benefits of exercise, but it’s always been more like work than fun. Until I found tennis.

It started at the gym: to get from the locker-room to the workout area at Toronto’s Mayfair Lakeshore Racquet Club, you have to pass the indoor tennis courts. My inclination was to make a beeline for the showers, since my post-exercise look (the splotchy red face often sported by heart attack victims on TV shows about trauma centres) isn’t my most flattering. I’d just as soon avoid human contact until I’m, well, human again.

But I couldn’t help slowing down as I passed the courts. Not all of the players looked like the jocks of my sports-averse high school days. They were old and young, tall and short, thick and thin. And it just looked like …