May 22, 2019

Get Fit for Tennis


Caren Penso stepped on the tennis court for the first time at her local tennis and swim club in New Rochelle, NY at age 13. Little did she know that she would make countless appearances on the tennis courts thereafter. For 41 years, Caren has been playing tennis and does not intend to stop anytime soon. Tennis has become a staple in Caren’s life and she has been playing USTA Mid-Atlantic Adult Leagues for nine years.


Her tennis journey began at the local tennis and swim club watching with admiration as adults played tennis. Caren was so determined to get on the court that she saved up her earnings and bought her first racquet for $3; her brother also bought a racquet and they began playing together. With the guidance of their father, who played tennis recreationally in the Navy, these two shared a court as often as they could. ADVERTISEMENT The whole experience turned into a family affair, with their father coaching them on the game.


“We weren’t very good, but we loved playing,” Caren notes.


At college, Caren continued playing tennis and was even able to practice with the tennis team where she honed her game. Fast forward to 1981, Caren moved to Virginia and joined the Arlington YMCA tennis club. There she made lasting friendships that transferred to the tennis court. “We played together every week for many years and even attended a tennis camp in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts,” Caren said. “That is where I learned the slice serve that I still use effectively today,” she adds.


Today, tennis continues to play an important role in Caren’s life. She prides herself on staying fit and healthy so she can enjoy her time on the court. “My goal for the last 10 years has been to get fit for tennis. In 2019, if my knees hold up, I’d like to play tennis four times a week,” Caren said. “I would like to help one of my league teams make it to Regionals or Sectionals again,” she adds.


Over the years Caren notes many fond memories of her time playing. The most notable milestone she shares is going to USTA Nationals in 2015 and winning two matches there.


She fell in love with tennis because it is timeless and shares that sentiment with anyone she meets, “If you’re looking for a sport you can play no matter how old you are or your playing level, tennis is the game!”


If you have thought about getting out on the tennis court but haven’t tried, it is never too late. Now is the best time to pick up a racquet and start hitting with friends and family. And pretty soon you’ll want to join a USTA Mid-Atlantic Adult League too.


May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month and USTA Mid-Atlantic will continue to share stories of local players that live healthy, fun and active lives through tennis and encourage you to get out on the court and get active! If you missed it, read the inspirational story of local D.C. player Sylvia Okala!

To follow along, check out our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more inspiring stories and an opportunity to win some prizes too. You can also show how tennis helps you get active by downloading and using this fun Physical Fitness Month Facebook filter!


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