Isabel Pauley is always on the move. Whether it's the distinctive hop and shuffle she uses to ready herself for an opponent's serve or the ambitious training regimen she sets for herself, the W.T. Woodson senior doesn't slow down.
One day last month after Pauley had routinely beaten an opponent en route to winning the Northern district singles title, won her doubles match with younger sister Mary-Margaret, and played singles and doubles in the team competition, she went to the Linden Hill Racquet Club in Bethesda to work out with former professional Nancy Ornstein.
In the state tournament, competing in both singles and doubles in the individual and team competitions, Isabel played eight matches in two days en route to winning her second consecutive Virginia state AAA singles title, finishing second in state doubles, and leading the Cavaliers to the final round of the state championships, in which they lost to Douglas Freeman.
Any thoughts that competing in four events might undo Pauley?
"Not Isabel, she's in such great shape," said Barbara Rogers, the Woodson girls coach, said before the state tournament. Pauley runs and skips rope in addition to the hours she spends on the court every day.
Any thoughts that such a rigorous tennis schedule might interfere with the things that usually occupy a high school senior?
"Sometimes I think about that," Pauley said. "I'm so used to it (the tennis schedule). When I was younger I always wanted to be busy. As far as missing out on things -- when I get older I'll have time to do other things."
For the time being, Pauley will keep playing tennis. Pauley was ranked 129 last year in the 16-and-unders and thinks she might be as high as 80 in the 18-and-unders when the rankings are next published. She qualified for the nationals when she finished fifth in the fall Mid-Atlantic Tennis Association in Annapolis.
But there is balance in Pauley's schedule.
"It's not just all tennis," she said. "I'm doing what I want to do.
"My parents are so funny. They're constantly saying 'Why don't you go to a party instead?' My Mom is a high school counselor and she says how important balance is. My parents influence me to try and keep balance in my life."
And much of Pauley's time is consumed by the same endeavors and thoughts as her peers -- doing school work, applying to colleges, choosing a career and having fun.
"Now that the season is over, I'll have a lot more time as far as school goes," she said.
Pauley, who maintains a 3.8 average at Woodson, is considering attending Harvard, Duke, Virginia, Clemson or Brown. Pauley plans to finish college before she entertains thoughts of trying the pro circuit.
In fact, her primary career aspirations aren't in tennis.
"For a long time I wanted to go into some branch of pediatrics," Pauley said. "But now I'm interested in a career in radio or TV journalism."
Being interviewed on camera after winning the state singles title recently, a situation that often makes others wince and become tongue-tied, Pauley was glib and ebullient.
Ask her if she has a favorite news personality, and Pauley smiles. "Well," she said, "I like Jane Pauley."