On the tennis court, Mary Hutchinson is described by her teammates as mentally and physically tough.
Makes sense, considering her hobbies.
Hutchinson, an avid tennis player from just outside of Allentown, Pa., spent part of last summer in a group of three, riding bikes across the U.S. over a 12-week span.
Day by day, Hutchinson, her husband and her friend set a goal of total miles. When the day ended, they stay in a hotel, in a camper or wherever else they’re able to find. The trip wrapped up on the shore of San Diego. It began on the east coast of Florida.
Sounds awesome, right? Crazy? A little bit of both?
It actually gets better.
In mid-September, Hutchinson took two days off from biking and flew back to her home state of Pennsylvania to compete in USTA League Tennis 55 and Over Section Championships with her team. Adding a couple thousands miles through the air didn’t feel like much, although it wasn’t exactly a break on her legs.
After several matches in the 80-degree heat, Hutchinson boarded a plane and flew back to Texas, where she continued her bike trip.
It turns out biking every day can help someone’s tennis game.
“I do feel a lot better on the court now,” she said with a smile. “My legs are definitely stronger. The biking helps.”
Hutchinson, a Penn State professor who competes on numerous USTA League teams, picked up tennis in her 40s and now plays as frequently as she can. She’s even team captain for a mixed doubles team.
She said tennis sparks the competitive side in her, and also allows her unique time with a great group of friends.
She chronicled her bike ride on her blog.