Fulfilling a Boyhood Dream

Duke Snider
When I was a boy, like many others, I dreamt of being a full-time athlete; and now in my old age, dreams are almost coming true.

Growing up in Brooklyn in the middle of the last century, my idols were PeeWee Reese, Duke Snider, Carl Furillo, and the rest of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Now, my idols are tennis players like Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and David Ferrer – all who worked very hard on and off the court to get where they are.

In my “almost-full-retirement,” I have the time to devote to doing what I love … getting and being “in shape.” For those of you who know me personally, you know my ideal week is playing six days and includes three singles and three doubles matches (Sunday being my day of tennis rest).

But in addition to that, there is the daily stretching routine; throwing in Pilates every other day; and weight training about three times a week.

When you throw in food preparation for a “healthy diet,” that consumes a lot of hours in the day. Yes, it can be viewed as an obsession; but I think a “healthy obsession” that may help me get to another one of my life goals: being nationally ranked in the 90s age division!

And on that note, Alex Swetka passed away yesterday morning from complications of bladder

Sally and Alex
cancer at the age of 94. Alex Swetka not only won 73 national tennis titles and started Swetka’s Tennis Shop over 43 years ago, but according to Jimmy Miller ( who works in the shop and is #1 on our Newk team), “He was a terrific friend, mentor, and inspiration to a lot of us here on the West Coast, and will be greatly missed.”

6 thoughts on “Fulfilling a Boyhood Dream

  1. George, Good luck in your goal but please make sure you invite me to your first
    90’s match!!

    Kenny – It’s a deal! Bring your camera. george

  2. Good goal! Maybe go for #1 in the 90’s!
    I work pretty hard, but it pales in comparison.
    I play a lot of tournaments (12-15 per year) – the scheduling & travel arrangements take a good deal of time. I do a strengthening and stretching routine daily but play 2-3 times a week, due to my perception that I need to limit myself due to a right patella that gets somewhat inflamed and sore after hard play.
    Practice time and aerobic fitness are 2 areas I need to increase/work on.

    Nick – Your commitment to tournaments AROUND THE WORLD is amazing! george.

  3. George,

    You’re an inspiration!

    Please let me know when you’ll be in the Hartford area and we’ll organize some tennis and libations!

    Keep up the good work!


  4. George,
    Sounds like you are right on with your commitment to good health. That is a balance of good nutrition, regular and diverse exercise (that includes cardio/strength/flexibility) and enjoying life. Congrats and keep up the good work. You make all us old farts proud!

  5. George: Another Brooklyn boy writing in. Your heroes and mine were the same and I grew up in Flatbush taking the trolley to Ebbets Field from Nostrand and. Flatbush Ave.interchange. Great times and one of my neighbors was Gil Hodges. Some day we’ll have to compare notes and review the line-ups who we all adored including Pete Rieser, etc. Maybe I’ll see you at Williamstown this weekend? Gene

    Gene – I was a die-hard fan and heart broken when they skipped town for the west coast. Bob Wilike/B. Manning and i are playing the tournament in New London, NH this weekend. george

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