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reliving the hobbies of my youth…

Oh Joy youth

Oh Joy youth

Every few years, I go through an exercise rut. Either I get tired of what I have been doing or (like recently), I haven't been exercising as much as I would like to. Every single time, what brings me back to a good place is revisiting the hobbies (or in this case, the sports) of my youth. I used to play varsity tennis in high school and have played off and on throughout my adulthood until I got pregnant with Ruby five years ago. I was also a second degree black belt and have done a lot of other martial arts off and on when I can find a great place to train.

Last night I played tennis for the FIRST TIME IN FIVE YEARS. I remember the last time I played was in the spring of 2011, and I was about 8 weeks pregnant with Ruby. Since it was so early in my pregnancy and I had miscarried a couple months earlier, I was paranoid and worried I'd bounce the baby around too much if I kept playing during my pregnancy. So I opted for lighter impact exercise…and then life took over and business took over and my priority on my kids took over…and then five years went by.

But giving myself some time for myself last night, focusing on my health, and doing something that I love to do was SO, SO great. I worried I'd completely suck not having played in so long, but your body just knows what to do. I certainly wasn't my best and I was VERY out of shape. But I wasn't terrible and that felt great.

Are there hobbies or sports you've picked up again in your adulthood? Like a comfy sweater, I always feel like there are things you can keep coming back to and it will always just fit…

{Vintage photos circa 1996/1997. And yes, check out that half black/half red uniform as well as the "before" and "after" of me breaking a piece of wood with my bare feet when I used to be young and agile.}


  1. Joy so glad to hear that you picked up tennis again. It’s so easy to get stuck with other priorities and give up things that we were once passionate about. It’s been only 2 months since I had Diya and I still have not been able to resume my exercise. In my head i feel where is the time, but then i realize it’s all about prioritizing. It’s important to put myself and my health first. Only when I am fit and healthy can i best take care of those around me. A hobby that I have given up is coloring. I’d love to go back and do some coloring again!

  2. I am sorry to read that you had miscarriage. I also had a miscarriage last month and still dealing with my grief. It gives me hope by seeing that you gave birth to two sweet girls.

  3. I was a dancer all through school and just took up tap dancing again last year. I found a great little studio in the West Village in NY, and it felt so wonderful to be doing something that I loved again! My legs move a little slower, but my feet remembered everything!

  4. Sounds really good that you picked up tennis again! I tried this kind of sports only once so far – when I was a very young girl in the age of 15 but I realised immediately that I’m definitely not talented in this respect 🙂 Many fun and success!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  5. Hi Nancy,
    I am sorry to hear about your loss as well. It was obviously devastating for me at the time so I completely understand how you feel. One thing that helped me was knowing that I could get pregnant and that my body knew how. It was just a matter of it being the right, healthy baby is that meant to be. Sending you lots of baby love!

  6. omg joy!!! the tennis team!! i was on varsity high school tennis too and haven’t played in years. last time i played it all came back too but i wasn’t consistent and just needed practice. then yes, the babies and kids came and the life was over and also began. love seeing your pics! bust out that tennis underwear again. haha!

  7. Joy, you’re such a badass — breaking boards?! I used to play tennis, soccer and do capoeira (Brazilian martial arts). I would love to get back into them but it’s hard with a toddler, a baby on the way, and my own creative business to run. It’s inspiring that you’re making time for hobbies despite being so busy yourself!!

  8. OMG Joy this is wonderful!! Since you have a martial arts background and are in LA I highly highly highly recommend you go try out Krav Maga worldwide. They are amazing. I have a feeling you would love them 🙂

  9. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I have been reading a lot lately about the benefits of keeping active, especially as we get older, not only for physical fitness, but also for mental and emotional wellbeing. It is amazing what a difference exercise can make for so many people.
    I have very little experience with martial arts, but maybe I should give it a go, especially as I am living in Japan right now!

  10. In college I got into capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art–it’s attractive for both the exercise and the social-ness of the community. It’s a pretty awesome workout since there’s a lot of transitions from being up tall to down on the ground and it’s dance-like so there’s expression in the movements. I’d also say this is really great if you like being challenged and don’t mind feeling physically awkward for a few months 😛 The group I trained with in LA is in Culver City, Capoeira Brasil (
    In more recent years, I’ve transitioned to boxing (American, Sanshou, and now Muay Thai). I love martial arts for their form and discipline; sometimes it’s about finding the right group that fits where you are in this stage in life 🙂
    Also, loving Corepower Yoga (–again for the physical challenge. I realize as the more unfamiliar something is, the more I can mentally relax since my focus goes from daily worry to just physically executing something.
    You might want to try Class Pass to try a bunch of things out. I did a Parkour class a few months ago and Aerial Silks as well. Pretty awesome workouts and activities–just didn’t stick to it as I have with yoga and boxing.


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