Grandezza residents find grand ways to expand fitness regimens



Until recently, the major daily forms of exercise for Grandezza residents Emily Lebow and John Ferrell were swimming and biking, respectively. Now, both have expanded their fitness regimens to also encompass tennis, burnishing the sport’s reputation as a lifetime activity.
Both quickly progressed from getting initial lessons from the Estero community’s director of tennis Lanny Kalpin to being placed into women’s and men’s 2.5-level Grandezza teams that play and practice together during the week and also take on same-caliber teams representing other nearby communities including Village Walk, West Bay, Cascades, Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club, Belle Lago, The Club at Rapallo at Coconut Point and others on Fridays.
“It’s nice to work with new players,” said Kalpin, who made it a priority to give beginners “greater access and room to grow” burgeoning skills ever since he came to Grandezza from the Forest Country Club in south Fort Myers in the spring of 2010. “The teams are social and also competitive. All of the captains put people into appropriate skill levels and understand the need to keep track of the action to maintain equal competitive play.”
Lebow was so impressed with how Kalpin gave a lesson two years ago to her then 5-year-old grandson (“His attention is not easy to get and to keep; Lanny was amazing”) that the former Washington Post technology manager picked up a racket herself. After some initial private lessons last spring, Kalpin put her into a group.
“My skills were pretty raw at first,” she recalled. “The rest of the ladies were patient and friendly. It’s fun, you make new friends and you can’t beat the exercise,” which she augments by also participating in a Wednesday morning cardio tennis program that includes warm-ups, high-intensity drills and games.
Welcoming behavior and the steady stream of camps, round robin tournaments, exhibitions, lessons and more on Grandezza’s clay courts combined to revive Ferrell’s interest in the sport. “Lanny would wave at me many times when I’d ride by on my bike and I was impressed with the action I’d continually see going on there,” said Ferrell, which also helped revive happy memories of playing tennis 25 years ago with wooden rackets with family and friends in Jefferson City, Mo.
The Air Force veteran and retired accountant bought a new racket while attending the Sony Open tournament in Key Biscayne last March and vowed “to make use of the investment.” He progressed from Sunday group lessons to a summer social league to the community’s 2.5 league team last fall.
“I also enjoy golf here but tennis is a better cardio sport [another factor in his decision to pick it up again] and it’s even more social as you’re interacting with partners,” said Ferrell.
The new year brings an expansion of inter-community league play to include Mondays and both residents continue to take lessons from Kalpin, who puts in extra time observing his students to sharpen his advice. “He watches league play, sees things and then focuses on them during your lessons,” said Ferrell.
Kalpin, also an Air Force veteran, shows modesty in being a tennis catalyst. “The worst thing a pro can do is to coach too much,” said the USPTA certified Pro-1 with 35-plus years of teaching experience. “It needs to be fun regardless of age.”
Beyond the Gates: Tennis club members of Pelican Landing community in Bonita Springs donated 105 separate gifts for the Toys for Tots program. … Fall 2013 USPTA Bonita League playoff winning teams were Cascades Osprey, Men’s 2.5; Amigos Cascades, Men’s 3.0; Pelican Landing, Men’s 3.5; West Bay Wildcats, Women’s 2.5; Grande Gals, Women’s 3.0; and Grandezza, Women’s 3.5. … The Raptor Bay Golf Club, in Bonita Springs, recently launched a golf academy. It includes the TrackMan Doppler Radar ball and club data-capture analysis system, viewing lesson videos from any location, statistical tracking, access to the Get Golf Ready clinic series and personal instruction.
Courtesy of Fort Myers News Press
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