By Mary Lynn Garger, Tennis Pro

With stay-at-home orders loosening throughout the country, thoughts have naturally turned to what lies ahead: Re-entry. Anxiety is high as the rules and regulations in place to guide our next course of action are gray at best. There is simply nothing concrete about this coronavirus situation. Nothing!

The anxiety surrounding re-entry reminds me of the Apollo 13 mission that occurred 50 years ago. After astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert had to abort a moon landing due to an oxygen tank explosion in the service module, the new mission became getting the astronauts home alive. Uncertainty was rampant and morale was down as the lives of the astronauts were seemingly in peril.

the crew of apollo 13 spacecraft wearing their space suits
Image from

NASA Flight Director, Gene Kranz, was recorded saying, “We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch. Failure is not an option!” It was this determination, leadership and positivity that spurred on the NASA team to unprecedented ingenuity. After repeated trial and error, a plan was finally designed to bring the men home.

On April 17, 1970, the astronauts were set for re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.  As Mission Control, and almost everyone in the country tuned into their televisions and radios, the time for the astronauts’ expected re-entry came and went. So did hope. And then, nearly 90 seconds after expected, the capsule carrying the three men miraculously re-entered the atmosphere, radio connection was re-established and Jim Lovell’s voice could be heard confirming the astronauts were alive and well.

Club Greenwood, we are like the flight crew of Apollo 13. We are trusting our management team to ensure our safe re-entry to the Club and we anxiously await the design for this to happen. Let me assure you that the attitude of our management team is like that of Gene Kranz. They are adamant that failure is not an option and they are working feverishly to design ways to provide for our safety upon re-entry. Hope is not lost. Our country saw a successful re-entry in 1970.  Club Greenwood will see the same in 2020.

Mary Lynn Garger club greenwood tennis proMary Lynn Garger

Tennis Pro

Mary Lynn Garger, a Denver native, comes to Greenwood with over 20 years of coaching experience at various clubs in the Denver area. As a junior Mary Lynn held state, sectional and national rankings. She played #1 singles at Cherry Creek High School all 4 years and returned as Head Coach of her alma mater for the 1993 and 1994 seasons. Mary Lynn attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas on a tennis scholarship, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Mary Lynn loves teaching players of all ages and abilities.

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