My experience at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA has been amazing. As the account executive for Vitalyte Sports Nutrition, my purpose of being at the tournament has been to provide athlete support to the numerous top ranked ATP and WTA players that use our products.
I have been an avid tennis fan since age three when my dad put an old, cut-down-to-size, wooden racquet in my hand and took me to the courts at San Marcos High School where he was the principal. Little did I know that in the next few years the quick and agile boy that was out there everyday on the court next to me with him dad, mom and brother would grow up to be the youngest ever French Open Champion.
You have probably heard of Michael Chang. I knew him as the boy whose dad talked really fast and used to give me lessons while my dad gave lessons to Michael. My dad was a former professional player, so he really wanted my sister and I to take up the sport. My sister was really talented but gravitated to team sports like soccer while me, the steady one, loved the self-directed nature of tennis. So I grew up spending most of my youth at a tennis academy. Then one day I discovered I was pretty darn good at running. I still continued to play and played in college. My love of the game has only grown over the years. I used to make the pilgrimage to this tournament every year with my mom to watch our favorite players.
Now I am sitting in the player’s lounge. I think that was Milos Raonic that just walked by. I’m actually having coffee with Janko Tipsarevic’s trainer and I just had my picture taken with thelegendary Vic Braden. Ok I am a tennis nerd I totally admit it. Because we work with so many professional players, my boss keeps telling me to keep it on the down low and be professional.
So I guess running up to Andy Roddick and asking for his shirt is totally against company protocol! Anyways, the atmosphere out at the tennis tournament is amazing if you have never had a chance to experience it. The barren brown mountains in the background are an amazing contrast to the green courts and lush grounds of the tennis gardens. Plus the weather is out of this world. Eighty five and sunny. Ok more than sunny. Try really hot. But seriously it is March and it is twenty degrees in some parts of this country. I’m not complaining. And I’m definitely not complaining that I got to see Novak Djokovic, the number one player in the world, practice this morning. Well this tennis dork is off to watch another match and bring some Vitalyte to the players. I wonder if I’d really get in trouble if I asked Nadal for a lock of hair?