Have spent the whole of the summer season playing various club team matches for the mens team, mixed team, singles leagues, and travelling around the place for regional singles tournaments. Only rarely have I felt that I've had a 'nice' or genuinely enjoyable game of tennis. Most of the time, its an incredible grind, dealing with ultra competitive opponents, points on the line, and all the gamemanship that that entails. Throw in dispiriting losses - a losing run of 4 consecutive singles matches all on tie breaks - ('I really need to give up competitive play'), mixed with grinding wins, and the occasional genuinely uplifting win ('Wow, I'm an amazing tennis player'), and it all plays yo-yo with your emotions. And unless you're playing someone who's alot worse than you which is really quite rare, you never end up playing the relaxed, free flowing tennis that you might do within a more familiar, home club environment. Regional tournaments toughen you up like nothing else, but now with the winter closing in, I just feel completely shattered, mentally and physically. My whole body feels, variously stiff, or like chopped meat, with all sorts of niggly aches and strains which are difficult to shake. Pounding those hard courts and stretching every nerve and sinew really does take it out of you, and only very rarely do you occasionally play on a more body friendly surface (played on grass for the first time in 20 years in the season just gone -lovely surace but for the divots). Throw in a demanding job and its hard to keep up genuine competitive play without it feeling the wear. Kudos and immense respect to all those who have battled through the ranks and the TonLars of this world, but trying to play the same all action style of tennis in my late 30s as I did in my early 20s is hard, hard, hard on the mind and the body. Can't say I'm really looking forward to the winter season. I think I'd rather have a yoga retreat with hot stone massages, nice weather and being one with nature again!