Who Is Anna Chakvetadze?

Born to a Russian mother and a Georgian father, Anna Chakvetadze was a professional tennis player who retired from the sport in September 11, 2013, because of a persistent back injury. During her career high, she was ranked No. 5 in the world in the women singles.

Anna was born on March 5, 1987 in Moscow. Growing up, she was not very interested in sports. Instead, her past time used to be playing the piano. She only began playing tennis when she was eight years old after her mother introduced her to the sport. She joined a tennis club then, and four years later, won her first trophy in a city competition.

A big break came for Anna in 2001 when she won a nationwide champion in Russia, at the age of 14. But she was still hardly recognized in Europe at that time. She then started to clinch for several junior titles in Scandinavia and Baltic countries. Most of her opponents were two years older than she was and were surprised to be defeated by a girl with a long and blond braided hair. Her braid later on became a part of her image as her WTA women’s tour unfolded.

Her parents fully supported Anna in her tennis career. She traveled with her father in all of her WTA tournaments. Her dad even allowed her to take classes from Chris Evert-Lloyd, a 1970s tennis star.

In 2003, an important leap in her career happened when she made it to the Wimbledon Junior Tournament finals. In 2004, she also got a chance to join the US open where she made it to the three qualifying stages. She was able to defeat some of the biggest tennis stars during that time, including another Russian player Anastasia Myskina. According to her, the US Open gave her more confidence and strength for her future career. In 2004, she ended being on the 33th place of the World Top 100 best female tennis players.

In 2006, Anna also defeated a number of top tennis celebrities including Anna Ivanovic and Elena Jankovic. And in September of the same year, for the first time, she has won her WTA title in Guangzhou in China. She won again another WTA title after one month during the Kremlin Cup in Moscow after defeating fellow top Russian players Nadia Petrova and Elena Dementieva.

2007 marked the peak in Anna’s career. During that year, she had four WTA winnings. She won one in Australia, one in the Netherlands and two in the United States. She even made it to the quarterfinals of the 2007 Australian Open and Rolland Garros in Paris. However, her dream of playing in a grand slam finals did not come true that year. But despite that, she received her highest ranking that year for being ranked No. 5 in the top 100 WTA in the women singles.

In the spring of 2008, she won her last victory in a WTA tournament held in France. After that, her career saw a series of flops and eventually, she decided to retire in 2013.


4 Common Tennis Injuries

Tennis is perhaps one of the most popular sports in the world today. Its popularity is also propelled by heated rivalry in the court by elite male or female tennis players who have gained millions of fans worldwide.

One of the undeniable truths about the tennis is that whether you are a beginner or an elite player, you could suffer from common tennis injuries. Long-time players of this sport are able to attest to that. By knowing and understanding these common injuries, you can be prepared to take extra precautions to avoid them.

1. Sprained Ankle

Many popular tennis players such as Roger Federed, Andrew Murray and Andy Roddick have suffered from a sprained ankle in the past. This injury is normally caused by a sudden sideways movement which players normally perform while playing. This movement causes the ankle to be twisted, resulting to damage of the ligaments and other surrounding tissues. In most cases, the damage results into bleeding of the tissues, which in turn causes the ankle to swell. This type of injury can be severely painful.

To prevent a sprained ankle from occurring, some tennis players use an ankle brace. However, if you already have that, it is also important to observe the PRICE protocol, which stands for Protection, Rest, Ice (should not be applied directly on the skin), Compression and Elevation.

2. Shoulder Pain

Various tennis strokes performed by players can greatly stress the shoulders. That is why shoulder pain is also a common injury among tennis players. In particular, many players suffer from shoulder bursitis, which is an inflammation that affects a fluid sac called bursa. This condition causes extreme pain every time the arm is raised.

To prevent this kind of pain, you should give attention to strengthening your shoulder muscles and keeping them flexible. There are certain exercises that can help you achieve it. If you are suffering from this condition, your first line of treatment is to apply ice pack on the affected area to reduce inflammation.

3. Calf Strain

Calf strain is an injury affecting the calf muscle group found at the back of the lowermost part of the leg. This muscle group becomes very active when a player has to make a sudden or quick move to catch the opponent’s shot.

Increased intake of carbohydrates and fluid within the last 48 hours before your game is one way to avoid calf strain. The PRICE protocol should also be administered to people suffering from this condition.

4. Stress Fractured Back

The lumbar spine can also be fractured as a result of stress while playing tennis. This is characterized by lower back pain, which can be eased by resting and exacerbated by activities that stress the back. It normally develops when the back is stressed during serving.

To avoid having a fractured back, it is important for players to be careful not to overload the back during service. Core stability exercises can help strengthen the back and avoid this injury. A person suffering from this condition may be required to completely rest from playing tennis for at least six weeks until the fractured bone is completely healed.

Most tennis players are already aware about these common injuries, but many aspiring players are not. It is important to be aware and proactive about these injuries so that you can prevent them from happening to you.


Pimple Talk

Today I will talk about my acne problem which sort of reared its ugly head back up again. I thought I was particularly over with them as I am not anymore the teenager that I once was, and having them now, really is somewhat of an insult on my age, not to mention being particularly hard on the face and stuff. They are really going to get it from me this time, as I am now better equipped than I was back then, when I was only a nonsensical teenager who just screams when I happen to have a pimple.

I have nodular acne, the type of pimples that seem to live their life underneath the skin of the face and the only thing that makes you say that they exists, are the red swellings visible atop the skin, and the sometimes unbearable pain that they eventually bring, even to the slightest touch. What’s more, nodular acne often leads to the formation of cysts which sometimes contain pus or blood, or even both if you are unlucky enough.

Pimples, or acne for that matter, forms when there is blockage in the hair follicles that is scattered all throughout our skin. The blockage may be dead skin cells, dried up sebum, or it can also be foreign objects minute enough that they can fit themselves on the follicle opening. When the follicle is closed, the sebum which lubricates our skin and performs other bodily duties cannot express itself outside and become stuck inside the blocked opening. Bacteria may then seep inside the follicle and form an infection of sorts, and that is what we commonly refer to as a pimple.

Pimples are naturally occurring and the best way to treat it is to just leave it alone to run its course. Although several drugs and creams have been developed to combat this affliction, like the salicylic acid peel who seeps through the skin and cleans it, eventually sloughing the top layer of skin to be replaced by a new layer, all they tend to do is hasten, if not worsen, the process. The thing most recommended by doctors to do, is to just routinely wash your face with regular soap and water to remove debris that may block the pores. The creams that were created to artificially do this sometimes add to the damage and may also cause pimple formation because of their chemical content.

As with me, I think I have acne again, most probably because my hormones are raging once more as it is already that time of the month for me. Adding to it the fact that smoke from nearby wildfires tend to make the air more polluted, hence additional debris on the face which may cause these buggers to form. I also am wont to forget washing my face regularly and must start to take that into consideration one of these days.

Pimple occurrence once it starts only needs time and cleanliness to help bring it to its conclusion. Hot towels covering the face works wonders for me and is my go-to treatment process when I happen to have pimples. Plenty of fluid intakes coupled with enough rest are always good for anything, much less pimples. So the minute you get a pimple, do not immediately poke at them, even if they are urging you to. Just leave them be and they will just go away on their own.


Always Drink Water

What do kidney stones feel like? I’ve been asking myself that thing for two days already and still haven’t got my answer yet. That’s silly, I know. Asking myself a question I don’t really know the answer to is kind of weird to say the least. I think it’s time I consult someone about it, probably even surf the internet about it instead of thinking about it and plucking down answers from the wind, who is none the better for it. I am nuts sometimes.

Anyways I got this pain in my back that has been bugging me since that last practice I had with my swing coach. It was a particularly hot day when we last met and the drills were intense as it was for the improvement of my backhand shot. It was a very productive day and I learned a lot from it, I also brought this pain in my back as well.

So I did get to work yesterday to find out what this pain in my back really means. It’s generally on the left lower side of my back but sometimes it goes to the middle and on to the right side of the back. From what I know about human anatomy, the particular organ of the human body that is located in those areas is the kidneys. So maybe I had kidney stones or something, and I decided to read more about it.

Kidney stones, according to several sources I found in the internet, are sort of tiny crystals that accumulate in the kidneys, which in time then binds together and form a larger crystal, or stone for that matter, and that is when a person having them begin to exhibit problems with their health, particularly if the stone goes to a place in the kidney where it obstructs the flow of liquids there.

They said that symptoms of kidney stones include:

  • Sharp pain coming in waves on the back which usually radiates downward to the groin area
  • Inability to find a comfortable place which makes a person to tend to always shift position constantly
  • Sometimes there is nausea and vomiting
  • There is a frequent urge to urinate but little urine usually pass when you have kidney stones
  • Low grade fever with accompanying chills
  • Cloudy colored urine, sometimes with blood when it’s already in an advanced stage

Well with regards to those symptoms, I’m not yet sure if I really do have kidney stones as I am just experiencing the pain in my back. I did read also of several home remedies for kidney stones and I’m planning to do some to somehow be safe from ever developing such.

Included in the remedies are partaking in less salt in the diet, drinking of water diluted apple cider vinegar, lemon and olive oil concoctions, dandelion root extract, baking soda, Uva Ursi herb amongst other things. But the main point that these websites have in common, is that they espouse the drinking of water regularly to those who are suffering from kidney stones. They say that drinking lots of water may induce the breaking down of the stones and also facilitate their eventual flushing from the kidneys.

I immediately remember not drinking water during my training session, even when I was already drenched with sweat, on a very hot summer afternoon. Maybe that was what really caused this pain that I am feeling right now. Okay water get ready for me as I’ll be coming to get you as soon as I finish with this post. I’ll also make sure to set an appointment with our GP just to be sure. Hope water eventually takes care of it.


Nervous Wreck

Have you ever been so much worried by something in your life that it really seem that the world is closing itself on you and you really can’t do anything about it? Kind of like you are drowning in a sea of Jell-O and no matter how much you try to reach the surface, you instead fall deeper into it. Well I had experienced that feeling a couple of days ago that was brought about by an event that I wouldn’t want to happen again anytime soon if I can help it.

One of my twins began crying uncontrollably and kept pointing at his tummy. It started late afternoon so we really couldn’t go to the doctor anymore and the hospital, never mind the hospital as it seems to be light years away from our place, although we did consider going there when it escalated later that night. Yep, our family doctor did entertain our call but it wasn’t any much help either as he really needed to see my son personally to know what he is suffering from. He just told us relatively basic things to do to somehow alleviate the pain among other things.

An anxious mommy is probably the tamest thing you could describe me during those moments as I was a mess, both physically and emotionally. I didn’t know what to do. Those suffering from anxieties like phobias, PTSD’s, OCD’s or relationship anxiety didn’t have anything on me when I’m like this as I was already panicking. Imagine your son in great pain and you can’t do anything to help, that could prove to be the death of me. Maybe I should really take supplements for anxiety as it is beginning to get the better of me. I can’t think straight, I can’t plan on what I should do in those situations. All I do is immediately go into emergency mode and panic myself to exhaustion.

Anyways, later that evening when all hope seems lost and we were all getting ready for the long drive to the hospital, my son passed gas. Yep he farted alright, and smiled after that, can you believe that? Turns out he was constipated after eating too much mashed potato earlier that day, which was his favorite by the way. So all that fuss was about nothing at all and there I was sitting in a corner, totally spent like an almost burned up candle, albeit a little bit happy and relieved to know that my son was going to be alright after all.

I’ve really got to remedy this anxiety thing of mine as I don’t really want to die young because of it. I heard of several natural things like echinea, holy basil (ooh holy, might work on me), lemon balm, kava root, ginkgo, rhodiola, beer and wine among other things, the two latter ones seem a bit familiar and I wouldn’t mind taking them as medicine, better them than some over the counter drugs, which may make me a worse mess than I already am now.


Summer Time Skin Care

My twins and I frequent malls lately because I often forget to buy some things in the grocery. I have the habit of listing them but I always lose them due to different reasons. I bumped into Krista, an old friend of mine back in grade school. Time really flies as we both have careers and families now. She’s working as a dermatologist downtown. I told her I’d like to have coffee with her but I have my twins with me so we just exchanged numbers. We had coffee a week later and chatted about our lives then and now. It was fun reminiscing the old days with her. We started to have a serious chat when we talked about her work. She shared that the sun’s rays now are stronger than when we were kids. I was shocked with all her stories about the cases she dealt with like removal of stretch marks on breasts. She even offered me a free consultation and discount for treatments.

One thing that really stuck on my mind was her patient who had second degree sunburn. I didn’t know that it can be that serious. I need to take care of my skin better.   Second degree burns occur when you have a long and repeated exposure to UV rays which can result in the destruction of elastic fibers in the skin, which causes it to sag and wrinkle and damages blood vessels. It has blistering and swelling effect to the body which is really painful. Burned area appear wet, shiny and may sometimes appear as white and discolored in an irregular pattern. Compared to the first degree that only lasts for a while, the second degree may have a lasting damage which is more fatal to our skin and overall health.

When dealing with newly burnt skins, rinse the burnt skin 20 to 30 minutes with cool water to stop the burning. Refrain from applying toothpaste as it will further aggravate the wound. Instead, gently apply an anti-biotic ointment and then put fresh clean bandages. Application of antibiotic ointments should be twice a day until the wound heals. Wound dressing should also be changed twice or thrice a day depending on the gravity of the burn. Daily cleaning of wound is also encouraged to remove dead skin cells to accelerate the healing process. Never pop the blisters so as not to have the possibility of secondary infection because blisters gradually come down as it heals.

Prevention is always better than cure, it’s better to take a bit longer to apply a sunblock rather than enduring so much pain when you get burnt. I’d rather buy some sunblock instead of buying gauzes and burn ointments. Get a good brand of high SPF grade sunblock and apply an hour before you go out. You can reapply the lotion every hour or once you observe that the lotion is thinning because of perspiration. You can also use Zinc Oxide on areas that have been repeatedly burnt. Remember to stay away from the sun’s rays between 10am until 3pm when the sun’s rays are extremely hot.