Thursday, 20 May 2010

Getting squashed

Last month I joined the squash league that runs in the local sports centre. After having a read of the blurb and checking it was "for all levels from beginner upwards" I decided it was obviously suitable for me. There are eight divisions, and in each division there are up to seven players. You arrange all your own games and score best of 3. Each month two people in each division go up and down - easy. The first thing I noticed when I signed up in April was that the league was fairly male-dominated, and when I say fairly, what I mean is that it is all men. What I really mean is that it's a completely testosterone fuelled sweat-fest down there every single night. If I was interested in men it would be awesome! When you join the league you're automatically put in at the bottom, and am I ever thankful that I was! My first game I lost 9-0, 9-0, 9-0. I don't believe I actually touched the ball. Sadly the man I played wasn't very much fun at all. However, I've now made a bit of a name for myself as the bonkers girl who signed up to the league who was actually a novice! Turns out everyone in the league has in fact got a reasonable grasp of the game. This is where the fact that it is full of (mostly middle-aged) men puts me at an advantage... a lot of the very nice chaps in the top divisions are ripping it up in the squash courts most evenings and if I pop down they'll usher me onto the court and take turns in giving me a few pointers - super! A very friendly gentleman named Martyn also enlightened me regarding a very important rule. The crack is: if your opponent is in front of you and you accidentally hit them with the ball, it's your point due to the fact that they are an obstacle between you and the wall. Martyn very quickly regretted informing me of this helpful hint as it turns out I'm far more accurate with my shots when the target is a person.. Nonetheless I am yet to win a single game, I scored a grand total of 10 points in April (against mostly 100+ in my division). Perhaps that should go on my goal list, win a game of squash?! What I do enjoy is when I set a reminder on my calendar for a game. Obviously I type in that it's squash and then the name of who I'm playing so I don't lose track. So at 19:30 this evening just as I entered the sports centre, my phone chimes and flashes with the message"Squash Richard", less of a reminder really and more of a motivational mantra! One day I will squash them all. The silver lining is that tonight I played 45 minutes of very energetic squash and I felt amazing. The bronchitus is clearly losing it's grasp of my lungs and I am getting back to form. Not only that, but I scored 6 points - a new PB!

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