Retirement has its Advantages

Retirement for many offers the time for activities that may not always have been feasible during the hustle and bustle of a full time career. For retired Speech Pathologist, Joyce Parker, tennis was just the activity she was looking for.

Like many sports fans, Joyce started after seeing her now favorite player, Serena Williams, play on television. “She (Serena) got me thinking, ‘maybe I can do this too,’ Joyce recalls as she motions hitting her “Serena like” forehand.

Retirement offered Joyce the time to get involved with new activities that she had never done as a child growing up in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Joyce would return to the Bronx, where she worked for over 25 years in several local schools. “My favorite group to work with was the younger elementary school children,” commented Joyce. “They take you as you are.”

Joyce started at Yonkers Tennis Center as many people do, by driving by and looking for a new form of exercise. “One day, I decided to come in and found the staff was very accommodating. Each of the pros has their own personalities and styles,” commented Parker.

Joyce found that the social component to be one of her favorite parts about starting to play tennis. “Tomasina, Sharlotte, Maureen and I have been playing together for over five years,” commented Joyce. “We have become good friends because of tennis. We do barbeques in the summer and get together outside of our clinics throughout the year. Joyce also loves the fashion of being a tennis player. “I love the tennis attire and dressing the part makes your feel like you’re a player.”

While the social component and fashion are still some of her favorite parts of tennis, Joyce is always looking to improve her game. “Another great part about tennis is that you can never improve enough.” Joyce proclaimed. “When I first started with Simon, I had to work on just getting to the ball and basic hand eye coordination,” Joyce commented as she thought back to her starting days. “Now, my clinics with Nigel are focusing on improving my backhand and overheads. I love that each time that I hit the court, I can get better at something.”

When not on the hitting forehands, Joyce enjoys the other benefits of being retired such as traveling, photography, and scrapbooking. “I love to go on cruises and have traveled to places like Alaska, the Caribbean, and Tahiti. Recently, I started scrapbooking and can’t believe how much fun it is.”

Joyce is currently planning her next big adventure to a tennis resort, but until then she can be found on the courts with her friends.

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