A Thursday Night Hobby

Tennis class at Court16

Last year, I was in search of a hobby, so I signed up for a beginner’s tennis class in my neighborhood. Along with five other women, I go to class for an hour on Thursday evenings, where we meet with a great coach named Nick. I had never played tennis before, but I’ve gotten really into it. At first, I didn’t even know how to hold a racquet, but after a couple months, we can now play not-terrible games. My goal is to challenge my mom to a real match this spring. We will see!

So, I’m curious: Do you have any workout wear you swear by? I’ve been into these pants, which don’t ride around as I’m running for the ball, and this top, which is perfect for layering. These sneakers are tennis friendly yet cute enough to wear anywhere. Here are some other options…

Do you play any sports, or have any new hobbies? (I also really like this mock-neck number.)

P.S. Sneaky exercise, and when exactly do you work out?

(Top photo by Christine Han for Cup of Jo, taken at Court16. This post is sponsored by Nordstrom, which has a huge selection of activewear, and where shipping and returns are always free. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. selby says...

    i cannot rave enough about the “lux” fabric from oiselle. (i saw some other people comment about oiselle, they’re great!)
    there are lux sweatpants and a lux funnel neck. i bought the sweatpants for mom (who doesn’t usually wear sweatpants) and my friend also bought a pair after hearing my reviews. it’s like wearing butter (without sounding gross). i save them for bad days so i can get home and put on my comfy sweatpants.

  2. Mcmarg says...

    But where do you store the tennis balls in these clothes? Track pants a little baggy with zip bottoms and pockets are clutch for playing tennis in winter or in warm months the tennis skirt with the underpants is key for holding the tennis balls or a pair of running shorts with underwear but they don’t work as well if the underwear is too loose.

  3. S says...

    I do hot yoga a minimum of five times per week and have started doing BBG workouts at home three days a week. I’ve tried a few different brands, but my Lululemon gear is still my favourite and I always end up going back to it. Some of my Lululemon pants I’ve had for nearly ten years and they’re only starting to wear a bit think now – I still wear them for my home workouts though.

    • Kate says...

      I’m with you on the Lululemon gear! I’ve also had mine forever and it fits so well and comfortably. I haven’t been able to find anything else that is as comfortable as of yet!

  4. Kelly Drummond says...

    You totally gave me the motivation to find a place to play tennis. I played all year long in high school, its such a fun game and a workout. Thank you!

    Also, unsure if it was mentioned, but barricade tennis shoes were always my go to! They hold up pretty well too. And if you get into it, its fun to restring, get new grips (so helpful!) and add a fun dampener to your racket! Have fun!

  5. I’ve been doing yoga for 20 years (I’m 36), teaching for 12 years (bikram method, vinyasa, buti, and more) and I dance – ecstatic dance, learning salsa and zouk. I live in my lululemon align crops and tonic brand booty shorts.

  6. Cat says...

    Joanna, where do you play tennis in the city and how did you find your group? I would love to start playing once a week!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      We play at Court16 in Brooklyn. They have adult classes at night. When I went to sign up, the classes were full so I asked them if they could add a class if we had a certain number of people. They said they needed 5-6 people so I emailed as many women as I could think of in the neighborhood (new friends, old friends, neighbors, school moms) and luckily we got a group together! :)

  7. Lilly says...

    I’ve been doing hot yoga for years! Almost all my workout gear is now girlfriend collective – I love that their fair trade, recycling plastics, packaged without plastic, and they really are wonderful quality. I still need a slightly more supportive bra for running but for most exercise-y (and lazy, tbh) things they’re all I wear! I bought a pair two and a half years ago and they’re still going strong ☺️

  8. Tricia M says...

    If you think you don’t like exercise, try Zumba! Honestly it’s the best and is such fun you don’t realise you are exercising! Not co – ordinated? Self conscious? Everyone is so busy working it out for themselves that they won’t be looking at you? What to wear? Definitely a good sports bra and trainers with light not too grippy soles ( you have to be able to slide a little); otherwise leggings and a loose top. Try it, you won’t regret it!

  9. Cherie says...

    I started going to all ages group training sessions at my local surf lifesaving club (on the beach) in order to encourage my teenage son to go. One year later, I’m the one who trains five days a week, have qualified as a surf lifesaver and now attend all sorts of sand running competitions. It’s amazing what can change in a year!

  10. Jeannie Pham says...

    I just love that line, “…we can now play non-terrible games,” hahaha that’s awesome and adorable. Glad you’re finding this hobby fun!

  11. AmyT says...

    I play tennis and do Pilates and I wear mostly Athleta tops, tennis skirts and tights. I am 5’1 and I love their extensive petite selection. I have been very happy with the quality. Also can’t beat free shipping and returns. I also love Nordstrom for this reason and I’ve been happy with the Zella tights I own.

  12. Kathleen says...

    Ah! We moved in May to the side of Prospect Park that the tennis courts are on and I signed my husband and I up for tennis lessons over Father’s Day weekend, only to discover Monday that I was pregnant! Taking up racquet sports is not recommended in pregnancy and so we’ll have to wait a bit longer – twins are due very soon! I’m excited to have a regular excuse to get away for a sweaty date with my guy.

    • Katie says...

      Your comment had me all excited for a split second before I realized you’re likely talking about Prosect Park in NY. I am also Kathleen, about to have a baby, and this past April moved to the tennis courts side of Prospect Park—only my (much smaller) park is in Minneapolis.

  13. My friend and her husband play tennis and they signed their two kids up for for lessons because, as she said “What – are we all gonna do cartwheels together when they’re older?”.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Haha I love that!

  14. Melissa says...

    I have been playing tennis once or twice a week. It was a gift I gave to myself after losing my job. I hadn’t played in 20+ years. I like wearing lightweight track pants with deep pockets to hold extra balls. I also have a pair of leggings with an attached tennis skirt. The pants are Alala and the skirt/leggings are Adidas. Any type of moisture wicking top works. I wear Nike Zoom Cage tennis shoes. They’re light and supportive. Enjoy your lessons!🎾🎾🎾🎾

  15. I played tennis all through high school and loved it. Now that I’m older and finding time to play seems more difficult, I really love running as both a hobby and exercise!

    Paige

    • Margie says...

      You should try Pickleball. Paddle sport which combines elements of tennis and badminton. Great game sport.

  16. Alison says...

    I started Kuk Sool Won last May and I am in it to win it now. I will *hopefully* earn my blue stripe in a few weeks and a full belt in a few months. I have so much fun kicking, punching, and joint-locking that I got my husband and our friend into it too! After I earned my yellow belt (by breaking a board with my hand!!!) I bought the official patches and lovingly sewed them by hand onto my Gi. It felt more personal and special than using my machine.

    For running I’m into Senita running shorts since they have big ol pockets for my phone.

  17. Sietske says...

    I go rowing, twice a week (wednesdays and saturdays). It rarely freezes here, so mostly year round. Its a great way get out of my head because it requires all my attention. Also, i have met so many nice people, who make me feel welcome. And the view from the water is amazing.

    • Louisa says...

      I started rowing when I lived in Seattle for graduate school. I was never good but I did love it!!

  18. liz says...

    friendly reminder that anything comfortable and washable is fine to work out in — don’t buy into this consumerist crazes that make you think you have to be in expensive and/or trendy gear to be healthy and active — that being said — I love Oiselle — great woman owned business imo! You can tell (at least by their leggings and sports bras) that they take extra care to make their products as comfortable as possible for female athletes

    • Jennifer J. says...

      Thank you for sharing about Oiselle, Liz! I’ll be telling all my friends. Hopefully they expand their sizing to be even more inclusive. :)

    • Rebecca Silber says...

      My thoughts exactly. Indoor tennis, I’m happiest in my Old Navy gym shorts and whatever t-shirt I can find. As long as I have a good sports bra and a good racket, it’s perfect.

    • Annie says...

      THANK YOU! I wear my (cheap) workout clothes forever – meanwhile, my friends who workout less than I do oooonly buy lululemon. I don’t get it.

      Oiselle sounds wonderful though!

    • celeste says...

      Important note as people work to dig out of holiday debt!

  19. EF says...

    A tip for getting pesky smells out of synthetic fabrics: soak them in cold water and white vinegar for 45 minutes to an hour, and then run through your usual wash cycle. Works like a charm!

    • Liz says...

      I use Nathan’s Sports Wash instead of normal detergent for athletic clothes!! Does the trick every time

  20. Nita says...

    As a fairly decent tennis player who prefers to wear pants instead of tennis shorts/skirts/dresses, where do you store the balls to serve for a point? Do you wear a jacket with pockets all the time? (too hot) or just put it in the waistband of your pant?
    Asking a very earnest question – I keep only 1 ball in my hand at a time and usually am told to keep two since it throws off the timing. Any suggestions are most welcome!

    • Cat says...

      Fanny pack or leggings/pants with cargo/thigh pockets!

    • katelyn says...

      Vests with pockets are great for this – you can get a lightweight one so it’s not too hot. In the winter we will also wear skirts over our leggings :)

    • Summer says...

      I’ve always done waistband – agree that it’s a pain though!

    • Caroline says...

      I have two Everlane fleeces that have THE PERFECT pockets for storing tennis balls. I also like the back of my waistband as a storage option too.

      I like to have three balls on me if I’m serving!

    • Annie says...

      I prefer skirts, or (I am a *little* ashamed of this) stuff the balls down the side waistband of leggings, but a few ladies I play tennis with bought leggings that have pockets made for tennis balls! Amazon has ’em, I think!

  21. Nectar says...

    started crossfit 4 months ago and absolutely love it! when i started to realize theres a gymnastic side to it, i’ve been obsessed with learning how to do those moves.

    i buy zella leggings from nordstrom

  22. Katie says...

    After two orthopedic surgeries in my late thirties, I’m finding a new athletic identity at 40! Getting back into it by just walking my dogs more (now averaging 30 miles a week!) and am gonna try weight training, rowing and Zumba too, cuz I’ll go crazy if I only do this walking thing forever. It’s been hard to ‘retire’ from court sports/running, but I’m trying to see it as a new/next phase and embrace it. Pumped to start swimming come spring/summer, too! (Anyone else love to swim, but only if outdoors? Californian for life!)

    • june says...

      A local clinic here does stem cell therapy (using only umbilical stem cells) for things like feet, knees, back, etc. Worth looking into…

    • txilibrin says...

      Try body pump!!! It looks like it might fit you!

  23. Sally says...

    Tennis is such a great sport. Glad you’re enjoying it. But, YIKES on the running shoes. I’ve always been told by instructors that running shoes are not appropriate for tennis. There’s not enough ankle support for lateral movement and you could roll your ankle. Wouldn’t want you or someone reading this to wind up on crutches!

    • Summer says...

      This is what I came to the comments to say: NO WAY my tennis instructor let us wear running shoes – even as beginners. So easy to roll an ankle!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!!! i’m going to switch them up! really appreciate it. xo

    • Jenny says...

      haha, exactly what I was going to say! don’t break an ankle. but you look super cute ;)

  24. Joana Paes says...

    i also play tennis!
    i’ve never been keen on sports and had a hard time sticking to something. i would get hyped for about 2 months and then find every excuse not to go: i think i’m getting a cold, i have a headache, it’s raining, i have too much work, anything would do! but then i remembered tennis. i used to have classes as a teenager and was fairly good at it, so i decided to give it a go 20 years later and surprise! it’s been over a year!
    there’s something about hitting a ball that really gets my blood flowing. and it’s also pretty cool, on a bad day, when you can pretend you’re throwing the ball with all your might to someone’s head (or balls, let’s be honest :).

    as for sportswear, i think i must be the most laid back (and weird) person on earth: i don’t care. as long as it allows me to run, hit the ball, sweat, i’m good.
    yesterday, for example, it was freezing cold and i brought shorts instead of pants. but since i was wearing tights, i just decided to put the shorts over the tights to be sure i’d be warm. i looked totally weird, but the class was amazing :)
    tennis rocks!

  25. Sarah says...

    Tennis is the best! I played through college and then took group classes in Bk until I got pregnant (I think at the same place from the pic). You should get tennis sneakers or if you keep it up…better for your toes. 2+ years after kiddo I need to get back into it.

  26. Kirstin says...

    Since we live in snowy Rochester, my husband and I have taken to playing nearly-nightly racquetball. It takes considerably less skill than tennis and makes us realize we need to work on our agility :)

  27. Elizabeth says...

    A friend dragged me to Burn Boot Camp earlier this year, and it’s been the best! I love that the workouts are only 45 minutes, and while I was really out of shape with injuries when I started, I could modify the workouts easily. I’m a big fan of Athleta leggings, but I keep a small wardrobe and am selective about what I buy.

  28. Jessica says...

    I love that Nordstrom carries high quality athletic gear!

    The past few years, I’ve taken up ultramarathon swimming and running as my primary hobbies. Jolyn is my go-to brand for swimsuits, and Tracksmith is the best for running clothes. Finding the perfect gear to support my goals that’s durable and makes me feel confident and comfortable is so satisfying :)

  29. Sara B says...

    I am 32 weeks pregnant and I am seeing a personal trainer twice a week. I’m glad to be getting stronger, but I wouldn’t say it’s my passion. I am planning on quitting work to stay home with my kids once my oldest starts kindergarten, so I definitely need to find something I love so I don’t lose my mind!

  30. I’ve recently gotten back into sewing (a childhood hobby I did with my mom and that I was terrible at because children aren’t actually good at things). I just graduated from grad school where I wore athleisure to class every day and now have a very professional job so I have been learning to do more detailed sewing making work dresses and blazers.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      That’s amazing that you are learning to make your own clothes!

  31. Abby says...

    I joined the YMCA when I graduated and started a full time desk job – and let me tell you – it’s such a joy! There’s such a diverse community of people, variety of classes, skills, levels, and no pressure! I loved it so much I decided to become an instructor and now I teach dance classes twice a week. It’s funny how little steps lead to long term habits :)

    • Julie says...

      Yes! I love my local Y and appreciate that it’s accessible (financially speaking) to a range of people. I do swim classes and like the range of ages — everyone from kids to 90 year-olds letting it all hang out. :)

  32. Leah says...

    I take a workout class at my local gym called Pound! I’ve been doing it for 2 years and am not tired of it. It’s a drumming inspired cardio workout where you drum along to a song, doing hundreds of squats, lunges, and ab work (and not noticing how hard it is due to the great music and fun!).

    My teacher is awesome and will also do classes on weekends for donations that she gives to local charities.

  33. Liz Velasquez says...

    I work out 5 days a week at my local Equinox (I’m retired). I do a variety of classes, including yoga and barre. I’m partial to the Splits59 and Koral brands. Post gym, I really like Monrow and Sundry leisure wear.

  34. Cyn says...

    At age 55 I joined a women’s dragon boat team. First team sport ever-and no experience with boats. Having the time of my life!

    • Sietske says...

      It looks amazing! Keep it up.

    • Maria says...

      Wow – love that!

  35. S. says...

    I bought that Patagonia fleece you linked on a second-hand website (double win!) and although I live in a decidedly NON-athleisure-friendly city, it’s one of the piece of clothing I’ve had the most compliments on! Now I’m just waiting for when it finally becomes acceptable to wear it at work…

  36. Erin says...

    At 43, I’m just now learning how to rock climb. And I LOVE IT! It’s definitely hard but I find it to be challenging and engaging, both for my body and my mind. I did have to invest in a harness and climbing shoes but I otherwise just wear comfortable leggings/yoga pants and a loose t-shirt. Would love to hear from any other folks who have taken up rock climbing recently!

    • Lizzie says...

      Hi Erin,
      I’m really interested in taking up rock climbing, but have literally never tried it and am intimidated! Any advice?

    • Claire says...

      Hi Lizzy,
      Don’t be intimidated by climbing, the community is so so supportive! Many gyms have intro classes where you can learn the ropes and meet some potential climbing partners. Rock climbing is for everyone, I’ve gotten my 60 year old mother up there and she loved it. And there are so many climbers who are happy to teach newer folks the right skills and bring them along on outdoor adventures (if that’s your goal!)

    • Erin says...

      Hi Lizzie! I agree with Claire – it may seem intimidating but people have been super supportive and there are lots of intro classes and folks willing to help you learn. I took an intro class to start and now just go to a local gym on a pretty regular basis to keep learning and practicing new techniques. My gym also has a women’s night which is a great time to meet others and learn rock climbing practices specific to women climbers. I’d be happy to answer any questions as you get started! You can find me on Instagram at @tattooedfeministcatlady where I’ve been posting about climbing and solo hiking, something I also started doing recently. (Heads up: I also post lots of pictures of my cats) :)

    • Erin says...

      Hi Lizzie! I agree with Claire: it may seem intimidating but people are truly supportive and there are some awesome intro classes out there. I took an intro class to start and now just go a few times a week to learn and practice new techniques. My gym also offers a weekly women’s night where I can learn how to climb best from other women – I love it! I do sometimes post about rock climbing – and solo hiking, which I’ve also started recently doing – so you’re welcome to follow me on Instagram! My profile is @tattooedfeministcatlady (warning: I also post lots of cat photos). :) . Good luck!

    • Claire (a different one! :) says...

      Agreed! I’d suggest trying an introductory class at a rock climbing gym. The staff at gyms are so friendly and make things easy to understand. While I’m sure most intro classes will cover these foundations, I’d make sure to find one that talks about belaying, rope tying/safety, and some simple techniques. You could also see if a friend will come with you, too! And I love that you can wear anything that’s comfortable! :)

      My best tip: if you’re thinking about your next move or otherwise feeling tired, lean back. You’re still holding on to the wall but you’re relieving the pressure of your arm muscles from keeping you in close proximity to the wall. It’s kind of like making a sideways V shape or triangle with your body?

    • Lizzie says...

      Thanks you for the suggestions and encouragement ladies! You’ve convinced me to give it a go. Perhaps my 2019 resolution will be to learn to rock climb!

  37. Lynn says...

    I’m with Tereza (and, indirectly, Henry David Thoreau). Not every new enterprise requires new clothes.

  38. Tereza Jarnikova says...

    I climb, backcountry ski, mountaineer, cycle, and run, so I do have a need for technical gear. However, I get all my technical clothing at thrift stores or on craigslist, because I work on climate research for my day job and I don’t want my overconsumerism to contribute to the climate crisis, or to buy things made by people working under shitty working conditions. I always find there is plenty to buy second hand- we really do live in a throwaway culture. I come to cup of jo for many lovely things, and I understand you need sponsors, but I wish you wouldn’t encourage people to shop at the American big box stores that are a big part of the heart of the mess we’re in.

    • diana k. says...

      Woooo for fighting against blind consumerism. I do very un-technical working out so I love wearing silly 80’s graphic tees from local thrift stores. Workout clothes go through so much wear and tear it’s really silly to buy something expensive to sweat in. That being said, it’s harder to find vintage workout bottoms. I play tennis too and like to wear shorts with a layer of compression underneath to hold extra balls while I play. BUT there are lots of new companies making post-consumer waste clothing and/or have transparency around their labor sources – I like Girlfriend Collective and Elle Evans. Even Adidas, while being a huge company has committed to monitoring waste and energy consumption and rolled out some cool sneakers made out of ocean plastic.

      DO YOUR RESEARCH YALL!

    • Stephanie says...

      This is such a great point, Tereza! Thank you for sharing it. CoJ is great at inviting conversation about a range of topics, but I feel that climate change is usually absent. There are significant costs and consequences of our consumerism, our diet, our lifestyle… The more we consider and discuss this, the more effective we will be in addressing it.

    • Cait says...

      I totally get where you are coming from, but I would ask that you remember that some of us can’t just walk into a thrift store and find things that fit. I am six feet tall, and usually have to look quite hard even in regular stores for things that fit me right so I’m not constantly readjusting while working out. I do try to make sure that I invest in good things so that I don’t have a ton and they wear for a long time. I also try to help the environment by not eating meat, I recycle like a crazy person. But the “big box store” that is Nordstrom is literally one of a tiny number places I can ever find shoes to fit my size 12 feet (the others being J.Crew, TOMS, and Zappos) so in lieu of going through life barefoot, I’m going to go ahead and shop there.

    • Elizabeth says...

      This! I get 99% of my workout clothes through women’s clothing swaps – the only thing I purchase new are socks (very particular about my socks as a marathoner – one bad pair can lead to crippling, run-stopping blister) and sports bras (also don’t show up at clothing swaps that often and am picky about my make and model for comfort reasons, too!). My group of friends has lots of runners and yogis so I’ve been able to find some pretty good stuff!

    • Maria says...

      I feel this way about sleepwear, too! I go through my own casual tees, shorts and leggings that have become worn out, faded, no longer suit my needs, etc and repurpose them as pajamas. It’s one way of pushing back against consumerism and costs nothing!

  39. Jessica M says...

    Epoque Evolution has really high quality, sustainable, ethical activewear – check them out! Also a lot of their pieces transition to workwear or travel, which is so awesome.

  40. Em says...

    Love playing tennis so much! It’s one of our favorite things to do as a couple with couple friends, and I love that it’s a sport you can (hopefully) play for a lifetime – I love watching the 70- and 80-something folks on the island we go to in the summer on the courts!

  41. Sarah A says...

    Love Oiselle! The pockets on their pants and shorts are the best! All of my running pants/shorts are by them now. The only products I haven’t loved are the sports bras.

  42. Hallie Greenberg says...

    Get an Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress!!! So comfortable and cute for running errands in warmer months, too! :)

  43. Cynthia says...

    I walk around my neighborhood, taking different routes each time. I enjoy the fresh air and scenery. I have never liked going to a gym. I also read, sew and machine embroider, and do crossword puzzles. I’m newly retired, so I have more time.

  44. I’ve played competitive platform (paddle) tennis for the past ten years. I spend my week trying to win the affection of the high school students I teach and coach. When it’s match time, I’m all steely-eyed at the net, looking for absolutely anything I can pick-off to win the point. Playing competitively allows me to practice working tirelessly toward a goal while being a good sport. It provides a much welcomed balance to my week! Go get ’em, Joanna!

    • Bethany says...

      I play paddle too! I love it because it gets me outside in winter.

  45. Kate says...

    Some Athleta leggings have pockets that say are for your phone, but they are actually perfect for stashing a tennis ball or two!

  46. Beth says...

    I love this! I started playing racquetball very casually about three years ago and it’s so fun. (I always feel like I’m headed to the secret fun gym when my friends and I pass the cardio and weights sections to get to the courts in the back.) The only thing I don’t like about it is I play with male friends, and their huge arm-spans are a totally unfair advantage.
    I also have been going to dance socials for a few years. Usually, there’s a short lesson before an open dance. I’ve tried swing, waltz, blues, cross-step, and contra, and swing is probably my favorite. After I started, I realized tons of people know how to dance and it’s not half as strange as I thought it was before I started.

  47. Alexandra says...

    Glad you are having fun! It’s so important to have something that is “yours” and does not relate to kids, work, or even your spouse. I am just getting back into swimming after a 3 month break, and after I signed up for an awesome new pool in my neighborhood. I noticed that I have to like where I go to work out, then it’s not a problem. My previous pool was old, and the showers were always a big hairy mess in the evenings. Then it raised its monthly fees, and I decided to check out the new (more expensive gym): clean everything, perfect water temperature, towel service included – what else could I ask for. It’s worth the extra fee ….
    Workout clothes (swimsuit): always a drama, as I am six foot tall, so I am pretty much stuck with the boring navy blue long torso speedo version or something as “fashionable” as LL Bean. Oh well, could be worse.

    • Lynn says...

      Hahaha at 5’10” with a long torso I know just the navy blue long torso speedo you are talking about!

  48. Regina says...

    Fabletics by Kate Hudson has work out clothes that are great quality and they’re really cute! I buy from them all the time. I’m a big gym goer, and I almost always get compliments when I wear them.

  49. Alina says...

    My Thursday night hobby is a folk dance group- I love it so much, and it’s the best (and sneakiest) way to get a workout in with friends.

  50. Oiselle! women owned workout apparel (running based but great for all sports!!) super high quality and sooo lovely!

  51. Jacquie says...

    I learned tennis as an adult also and love it. I play 2-3 times a week. I have met some great people because of tennis. Now I’m in a tennis league, take a lesson from someone who dog sits for us on the side and play in a local, weekly, “drop in” game with all men. The sport has really increased my confidence in many aspects of my life. I consider myself a late bloomer and feel that tennis played a big part in me coming out of my shell. It’s amazing to think of just one hobby making such a difference in my life.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s awesome, jacquie!!! you sound amazing. congrats on all you’ve learned/done. xoxo

  52. Cat says...

    Hi Joanna,

    Can I offer some unsolicited advice and recommend that if you’re going to be playing a lot of tennis (and taking on your mom!), you get some court shoes? They have harder soles and reinforced toes for all the pivoting and hard stopping. Your feet will thank you in the long term!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!! this is great advice.

    • I second this! Definitely get the correct footwear for the sport/exercise.

      That said, I LOVE tennis. My partner played a lot as a kid and had the patience to teach me and slog through a good year’s worth of me playing quite poorly. Now after a few summers, I am not too shabby but would like to take lessons from a tennis pro. We only play in the nice weather (Buffalo area and not much chance to play indoors, very expensive!), but I always look forward to a new season. Also, he and I are both “big”, i.e. fat, and still manage to do OK, at least against each other. Not sure how I would hold up against someone with better fitness at this point, but it works for us!

    • Natasha says...

      Yes, I was scrolling through the comments to see if this advice had been offered. One of my first tennis instructors wouldn’t let me on the court until I had proper tennis shoes, which offer lateral support that running don’t usually have.

  53. Jen says...

    Hi Jo! I don’t live in Brooklyn but everyone in Baltimore wears cute tennis skirts?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds so cute!! maybe i will upgrade to those once i officially know how to play :)

    • Yes! Tennis skirts all the way. You can stuff the balls up the leg of the little pants underneath. At least — that is what I do! LOL!

      (Learned to play in my mid-40s, btw!)

  54. Christina says...

    Where are you going for tennis lessons? I just moved to Brooklyn and I love (and miss) playing tennis!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      court16! it’s friendly and great.

  55. NN says...

    I want to ask this problem I have with polyester leggings:
    They smell…I don’t like how sweaty and icky and full of static they feel. I am always on the lookout for cotton blended sweatpants which are so comfortable (I use two pairs I snapped up at Gap) but always looking out for more. Can the lovely ladies of CoJ help me?
    Outdoor voice has a mesh pant which has some cotton and is comfortable. Does no one else have this issue with polyester? Just me? Sigh*

    • I prefer cotton too–both for the comfort and the environment. If there are any good options out there, I’d love to know! I used to get yoga pants that were mostly cotton at Target (and Gap), but they too have gone the way of polyester. Those cotton ones lasted me years!

    • Mjay says...

      Check out Rocking Green (https://rockingreen.com) detergent. It’s a game changer for getting rid of funky workout smells that get trapped in clothes.

    • Emily says...

      Do you use fabric softener? Sometimes that can trap smells in polyester. Perhaps a wool blend?

    • Maria says...

      I have this issue too (and also find them super itchy). I’m a big fan of the cotton workout leggings by Spalding. I get them on amazon (in Canada). Not only are they well priced, but super comfy too).

    • Anna says...

      I find this too, particularly with synthetic sports bras. Ick. I really love Manduka eko leggings. They are mostly cotton with a little bit of synthetic for stretch (and it’s recycled poly which makes me feel better about using it!). I have used them intensely (hot yoga, running etc) and they’re holding up so well.

    • liz says...

      I use nathan’s sports wash (instead of normal detergent) when washing my athletic clothes — just takes a little and does the trick.

  56. Alexia says...

    Can anyone on here recommend a comfy, not too tight sports bra for a woman with a larger bust (34E). I’m fairly young so I don’t need a ton of support (hence the not too tight) just something comfy but that still does the job! I’m still wearing the same old (like really old, I stole them from my mum) ones and always run out of them before laundry!

    • Christina says...

      Hi Alexia! I’m a 34E too, and I have similar issues with too-much-support, too-tight. I have had decent luck at Target with JoyLab sports bras (but I always try on, either there or at home, because it’s been really hit or miss). I also really like some of the Gap sports/lounge bras that are mid-weight. I bought 2 sports bras based on my bra size recently at Victorias Secret, got them home, tried them on, and they felt AWFUL and went back immediately. Specifically from Target, I just bought this one over the weekend in Large and really like it a lot. https://www.target.com/p/women-s-performance-strappy-back-sports-bra-joylab-153/-/A-53742352?preselect=53698004#lnk=sametab
      I have an older version of this in Medium and like it:
      https://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=335778022&cid=94344&pcid=83221
      and my absolute favorite (also in Medium) is this for yoga or weight lifting where I’m not bouncing around:
      https://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=200053472&cid=94342&pcid=83221

    • Heather says...

      Hi! 32G here, and my favorite sports bra that comes in a small band size but larger cups (and the only one that works for running or other “bouncy” activities) is the Fiona, by Brooks (and/or Moving Comfort – looks like it’s the same bra but under two different brands). It’s a hook closure in the back and has adjustable straps. You can find it at Nordstrom, REI, Amazon, etc. Otherwise, I wear a Target one for yoga, though I find a higher-neck one is better for upside-down poses (to prevent the gals popping out the top). Good luck!

    • Naomi says...

      I am a 32E and I swear by the Sweaty Betty Ultra Run Bra. It’s by cup and band size and THE ONLY bra that will hold you in for a real workout. I would not skimp on this – once I spent the extra $$ for a really good bra, I actually started working out properly. It drives me crazy that even Nike and other real sports companies don’t have good-fitting bras for women with small rib cages and bigger chest. We are not an abnormal shape. Sweaty Betty has super awesome workout clothes. I swear by their zero gravity bum sculpting pants – awesome patterns and a fantastic fit. OK – off to the gym now! (really)

    • Devon McLaughlin says...

      I really ones from Freya and Elomi. They are prices, but can often be caught on sale at Nordstorm’s and last ages and offer wonderful support!

    • Alexia says...

      Thank you so much for all the recommendations guys! I will be sure to look into all of these ❤️❤️

    • Lauren says...

      Alexia, I feel you! I’m the same size and I’ve found luck online at Athleta. It’s definitely more of an investment than picking something off the rack at Marshall’s, but I’ve found that especially for running, I’m so much more comfortable and the bras have held up over a long period of time. Good luck!

    • Elizabeth says...

      I get Champion ones from Amazon. Panache also sells a great one!

    • MS says...

      I second the Brooks Moving Comfort bra – I’m a DDD and it’s the only bra that I can wear for boot camp. For all the Canadians here – you can find them at MEC.

  57. EL says...

    I’ve starting playing hockey at age 40! 😀

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg that is AWESOME!

    • Jen says...

      YES!!!

  58. That’s great! I’m glad you found something you enjoy. It’s so important to have a little time just for yourself. I’ve always been a runner and I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve worn the same clothes for years, random tops and bottoms from old navy or wherever was having a sale. One day I hope to upgrade to fancier pieces. My fave sneaks are Brooks but I’m not sure if they make a sneaker that’s tennis-specific. Enjoy your new hobby!

    • diana k. says...

      Love Brooks for running shoes!

  59. Claire says...

    I just bought the same shoes (but in burgundy) and love them. I saw them on a beautiful Scottish woman maybe 5 years ago and had been dreaming of a pair ever since! Sadly, I tried the outdoor voices leggings in a couple sizes and didn’t understand the hype. They were so tight and sheer, I could barely get my regular size past my knees (and I’ve never had that problem). I wholeheartedly recommend Zella leggings from Nordstrom, however, which are soft and comfortable, not at all see through, and have withstood weekly washing for 4+ years.

    In terms of hobbies, I’m trying to read more consistently. I often feel too tired to get started, but if I tell myself it’s just for 20 minutes, the time flies by. I also would like to print out some photos I’ve taken over the years while traveling so I can enjoy them in my daily life. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds great about zella! i have one of their hoodies and it’s really soft and comfy.

  60. My husband and I recently started working out together. We just to work out on our own but after having our son we were both struggling at getting back to working out. Once I told him I was going to start back up he decided to join me. It gives us something to look forward to each night. Once we put our son to bed we get ready to workout. Someone mentioned getting new workout clothes helps kept you motivated because you can’t wait to wear them. Having our boutique is helping me stay motivated because there are things I want to wear but I don’t love how they fit my body just yet. Love reading your blog, it encourages me to try new things.

  61. Caite says...

    Athleta leggings because they are one of the few brands that offer petite sizing (as well as regular, tall, and plus!). Very inclusive, but all chic, soft, and durable.

  62. I miss tennis! Now I want to find a class too. This would be the perfect way for me to workout because the gym is my nemesis. Good on you Jo!

    xx,
    Leslie

  63. I love how these workout clothes are all in fun colors.

  64. Ro says...

    PACT
    They are taking over my staples wordeobe.
    Organic, eco friendly and GOT certified.

    • Danielle says...

      I want to love Pact, because of the environmental responsibility piece, but I’ve been disappointed in the quality of the things I’ve purchased- threads that snap along the underwear waistbands or seams that unravel. Is this usual? I swear I’m not hard on my clothes- most of my wardrobe is over ten years old!

    • Samantha says...

      Danielle, I’ve had the same issue with some things from Pact. Pretty much all of my underwear is from them, but the lace edges start to fray pretty early on, the seam has ripped on one pair, the inseam on a pair of leggings ripped…. luckily I repaired the leggings, but still disappointing!
      I DO have their long sleep tee and LOVE IT. Everything is so super soft.

    • CB says...

      Danielle, I bought some thongs from Pact that started unraveling after the first wash!

  65. Charlotte says...

    I love this! My partner and I have recently got into Kickboxing! Its so much fun, a great workout and I feel so badass doing it – even though I’m just a beginner! One of the best discoveries of my young adulthood has been that I can get so much out of having a go at new things, even if I’m not necessarily going to be the best at it. What an important lesson, ha!

  66. Mel says...

    I got into yoga last Spring and it has been one of the biggest changes in my life (personally). I do youtube videos (BohoBeautiful) about 3 times a day. They range from 8-35 minutes per video so when I need a break from work I just go do one. I mostly wear leggings and cheap bralettes from American Eagle if you can believe it, then layer with a cute cropped T and whatever giant sweater I’m wearing that day if it’s an ‘easy’ class

    • Robin says...

      I work from home so I can break my yoga into parts and keeping moving throughout the day. This may be a game changer!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love the idea of doing it in parts!

  67. Grace says...

    Love Outdoor Voices which you linked and also girlfriend collective! Their workout wear is all recycled plastic and amazingly buttery smooth. They don’t use plastic packaging. I believe they are also working on a solution to microfiber shedding in the wash this year so they are very eco-conscious.

    • michaela says...

      My Girlfriend Collective leggings are the best I’ve ever owned! I took a chance on their pre-sale offer of a “free” pair (with $20 shipping) because I figured for $20, it was worth it even if I just ended up with a pair of lounge/sleeping leggings. But since I got them about three years ago, I’ve worn these on nearly every hike I’ve gone on in every kind of weather, and they’ve held up beautifully. They’re nicely compressive but totally stretchy and allow for a wide range of motion, the material is thick but wicks moisture well and dries quickly, and they’re actually fairly warm as well. And the super high waist is great. Definitely going to be buying more pairs of these when mine show signs of wear, which they haven’t so far!

  68. I have been taking Barre3 classes since August and I really like it! The only workout I really don’t feel like skipping.

    I’m a big fan of Girlfriend Collective activewear! If I’m going to pay a premium cost for gear, I’d like to support an environmental cause as well!

    • Sarah says...

      I took my first barre3 class last night! I’m feeling every muscle today and am (weirdly) excited to go back soon.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow! i just looked them up and i love how it’s a mix of small movements and cardio. crossing my fingers tightly that they come to brooklyn.

    • S says...

      I am such a barre3 fan girl. I went to my first workout last January. Was so out of shape. I can honestly say that it’s the best workout I’ve ever done and kept up with consistently. Going strong after a year! AND it turned me from someone who hates running into someone who actually likes to jog/run.

    • Eileen says...

      Joanna, try Bar Method, I think it’s similar, and they have locations in Brooklyn. It’s one of the few fitness classes I look forward to, partly because the space is beautiful (at least it is at the N. 10th st. location).

    • Meredith says...

      Another vote for barre3! I’ve done only their online version, not studio, and I LOVE it. They’re doing an awesome January challenge that will combine mindfulness (using Headspace!) and movement, if anybody wants to give it a try! I haven’t been able to run lately, and this has been a great way to stay active; I find it super fun, energizing, and empowering.

  69. Stevie says...

    Luluemon all the way!

    With love from Canada.