By Annette Benedetti
Jodene Calvary is a busy woman, but that doesn’t stop her from hitting the court. She owns a small business with her husband and is a self-declared Domestic CEO who juggles work with caring for her two daughters.
Calvary wasn’t always into tennis. It was her child’s interest in the sport that led to her involvement. She says her 11 year-old wanted to learn how to play tennis around the time that Tacoma Galbraith Tennis Center opened its doors.
“I signed her up for the red ball class twice a week,” explains Calvary. “As I would watch her play, I also saw the coaching staff teaching adults of all ages how to play tennis. It made me wonder, ‘Could I learn a new sport at the age of almost 40!?’”
Calvary explains that she thought it would be helpful to know how to hit a ball back to her daughter if she wanted extra practice outside of the lessons. So, she nervously signed up for the “Tennis 101” class.
While Calvary initially experienced some nervousness around learning a new sport, her anxiety was quickly alleviated. She says, “The staff and coaches helped my nervousness subside. They were so welcoming and supportive! I was hooked from that day forward.”
Now, only six months later, Calvary’s 11-year-old daughter has moved up from red ball to orange ball and is currently in green ball twice a week. An accomplishment both mother and daughter are extremely proud of. And Calvary? Well, she hasn’t done so bad herself. She has moved on from the 101 class to the 201 class. But she didn’t stop there. She also takes the “Skills and Drills” classes on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. Additionally, she was invited to sub for the women’s flight challenge, and once again, she didn’t let her fears hold her back. She says, “I was so anxious about that! I did not want to let anyone down.”
When asked what she appreciates most about her experience with tennis, she says, “What I love most about my tennis journey so far, is that it has been an opportunity to challenge myself both mentally and physically.”
Calvary admits that trying new things and meeting new people was difficult for her. But, through her experience at Galbraith Tennis Center, she discovered that she enjoys and feels at home with the tennis playing community which includes teammates, competitors and coaches. “Everyone has been so encouraging and supportive,” she explains. “They all inspire me to want to improve my game and technique.”
Looking to the future, Calvary’s goals include improving her technique, and helping her daughter. My goals are to continue to improve my technique, playing more matches and helping her daughter play her best.
Calvary may have hesitantly started her tennis journey, but she has embraced the spirit of the sport. She’s ready to be more than just a tennis player and says, “I would love to be an example for my daughters as a “lifelong” athlete!”