Rate the Date: Tennis
It wasn't until tenth grade of high school that Nazari first picked up a tennis racket. With just two years of experience under his belt, he became a walk on for Robert Morris University's D1 Tennis team and earned a top 4 spot! Needless to say, he is pretty decent at tennis.
I on the other hand had never played tennis outside of high school gym class and summer camp, and needless to say, was far from decent at the sport, at least in any technical regard.
We both enjoy playing sports and being active, but found we drastically differed on what that looked like in real life. I enjoyed running, basketball and soccer - all of which Nazari pretty much detests. He liked hockey, football and tennis - all of which I was pretty incapable of playing.
Because Tennis is so near and dear to Naz, we found ourselves hitting the ball back and forth on several occasions over the years of dating and early marriage. One day, a couple years into our marriage, Nazari decided that if we were going to continue to play, I was going to learn how to actually play. And so began my date night tennis lessons as he taught me everything from the proper way to swing the racket, to the importance of footwork and followthrough, and even how to serve (still am a ways away from mastering that).
Now, I was fortunate, because Nazari is a patient and gracious teacher. He would feed me balls again and again. He would sit for hours while I served and then he'd gather all the balls I hit straight into the net (or lost three courts over). I understand that patience like he possesses are not always the case (from the memories I have of the times my dad tried to help with math homework that just ended in tears). Pro Tip: Sometimes having your spouse be the one to teach you something they are much better at than you can be detrimental to the relationship and in times like these, it may be best to pay for some lessons from someone else ;)
Very quickly, we fell in love with our time together on the tennis court. It became a joint hobby we both loved and WANTED to do. It took us a few years to find a "thing", but once we had it, it became such a gift to have a hobby we were so on the same page about.
It's active and great exercise
It's FREE (as long as you have tennis balls and rackets)
Tennis is FUN
There are courts EVERYWHERE! We play all over Pittsburgh and have even played on vacations!
Rackets can be pricey
It's a technical sports and can take a while to learn (and become frustrating)
You can't play outdoors year around (You can play indoors, but it is PRICEY!)
What you need to get started + Naz's Recommendations:
Beginner Racket - Truly, whatever is cheapest!
Serious High Quality Tennis Racket - You'll be looking at at least $100, but if you are going to play consistently, there is no power bridge on these which allows you to have less shock (impact) on every shot which will cause less harm to your arm and wrist and gives you more ball control.
Tennis Balls - You can find these at any sporting goods store or on amazon
Hopper - This saves SO much time when you are practicing your serve or learning in general
Shorts, Pants, Skirts with pockets (necessary to have extra balls on hand) I found great tennis skirts on sale at Dick's, and got one as a gift.
Naz: 10 It's the second greatest sport in the world (to hockey), but when played with my wife, it's easily the first.
Lis: 10 It is challenging, amazing exercise, it gets me outside, it's great quality time with Naz, AND I get to wear a cute tennis skirt.