What is it with the weather on the last day of the month lately? February ended with the legendary Leap Day blizzard of 2012, then March, though snow-free, closed with a tremendous letdown. Fifty degrees is right in line with the average high for this time of year, but when the forecast calls for 70° and sunny and the weather ends up 20° cooler, windy, and dreary, it's more than a little disappointing.
I'll admit that March spoiled me--a lot. Last weekend, I heard that the average high temperatures over the past two weeks were the normal average highs for late May, and the meteorologist renamed the month "May-arch." Then, on the news last night, I saw a rundown of all the weather records broken in March. Most days above 70° (eight), earliest date that Minneapolis reached 80° (March 17th), and the average temperature for the month was just over 48°, breaking the 112-year old record by more than three degrees.
But April Fool's Day snuck up early and made a complete fool out of the meteorologist. His forecast missed the mark by 20°--not in the good direction--and he was literally apologizing on the air. His blunder couldn't have come on a worse day--I'd been looking forward to sun and warmth all week, and my mixed doubles team had planned the first outdoor practice session of the year. When afternoon arrived and it was a breezy 49°, we decided we'd try again this morning. So I was stuck indoors watching mediocre women's tennis on TV. It hardly made me feel better to see that the weather was flawless at the Sony Erickson Open in Miami:
When I woke up this morning, I feared that today's rescheduled outdoor tennis might be a repeat of Saturday afternoon. The meteorologist's confidence was clearly shattered, and he was very non-committal when delivering today's forecast on the news last night. Apparently it was either going to be sunny and 70° or cloudy and 50°--it all depended on whether the clouds broke. I like certainty in my forecasts, and he certainly wasn't offering any.
As I drove toward the courts, my fears were confirmed. It was cold...and was I really supposed to believe that temperatures were going to skyrocket by thirty degrees? To borrow a line from George W. Bush, "there's an old saying...that says, fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me...you can't get fooled again."
Today's practice gave me flashbacks of those early-spring tennis matches in high school when we often had to play in gloves and stocking caps. I can barely type this blog post because my fingers are still so numb--I have that weird feeling going on where I can only open and close my fists in slow motion because of the cold. Needless to say, the tennis wasn't pretty today--nor particularly fun.
If you Google the word "ugly," you're likely to find pictures of that guy from The Bachelor, along with a video recap of today's match. I don't think I've ever felt less motivated on a tennis court--all morning, I felt like I was wearing cinder blocks for shoes and hitting the ball uphill into a cold wind with a piece of old aluminum siding. I've seen people in wheelchairs with better footwork...
Strangely enough, no one else in the area seemed to share my motivation issues--every single court was taken! After a cool (normal-for-March), cloudy week, I guess it's a clear sign that people want less regular March and a lot more May-arch:
My first outdoor hitting session of the year is behind me--and none too soon. The last time I hit outside was more than four months ago at USTA Nationals. If I got anything out of today's debacle, it was firm confirmation that I'll take Tucson in November over Minneapolis in early April. I couldn't feel much worse about my tennis game at this point. Returning home and watching more Sony Erickson Open coverage on TV certainly didn't help--witnessing near-perfect tennis in flawless Miami weather is not what I needed at that particular moment.
If today was any sign of my skill level, it looks like I need to spend plenty of hours on the practice court before outdoor tennis season officially kicks off. April, you better not let me down--yesterday aside, May-arch set the bar extremely high. I'm willing to forgo the May flowers if it means we can skip the April showers. I'll take 90° and humid, please.