Tuesday started off tired as usual. I have class in the morning, and we don’t start playing until 8pm, and I take the bus for an hour to get there, so I’m usually pretty wiped by the time we start. But once we started I perked right up and by the end I felt happy and bouncy. I got a few shots that not only surprised me, but others as well. “You weren’t supposed to be able to hit that shot,” said my friend at one point, which made me beam.
But then another American friend came for the first time. She hasn’t played since she was a kid and she was annoyingly adept. She doesn’t play badminton, but she plays just about every other sport imaginable (rugby, frisbee, volleyball etc) and it just made me realize how I have no natural sports ability. Sports people just have a basic understanding of how the body works and how objects move around them. I have none of that. I’m not being modest or shy, I really have no natural feel for how to play sports. Made me a bit depressed. Why am I trying to learn a sport again? It’s not my world.
But the next day my mood turned around again. My teacher taught me some new footwork and we drilled it again and again and again. It’s a bit repetitive and annoying but I am the biggest dunce. Thank god I never wanted to be a dancer because I cannot get my feet to do even simple moves. It’s so frustrating, but luckily my teacher is hella patient and kept yelling out “no, no no!” while coming over and showing me the move yet again.
After our class we teamed up and played doubles against two other guys. They were obviously super good and I sucked, but I did better than I did before and they were nice to me. They said I had improved a lot (cause everyone kinda keeps an eye on the foreigner) and I know they were just being nice, but truth is, I could tell I did. Last time I played doubles I basically just stood in the middle shaking like a leaf, the birdie whizzing around me. This time I returned lots more shots and even scored a few times. yeah, they were being nice, but they did a few tricky shots on me (which I missed, as intended) so I know it wasn’t all pity.
And my leg! While I basically was in a constant right foot forward lunge, as per usual in my class, it barely hurt afterwards! My hamstring was a little tight, but none of the major soreness and leg shaking of the weeks past. I’m getting stronger and more fit in very obvious ways. Also, my teacher and I have a greater rapport. We’ve always gotten along well, but now the language is less and less of a problem and we kinda have fun. I try to sneak shots off him (I do sometimes) and he’s begun to use trick shots on me too. After class he said that I was a hardworking student and I 吃苦 (eat bitter). He regularly asks me if I’m tired (its obvious I am) but I tell him to continue so I think he respects that. Anyway, I’m a me me me generation American so praise totally works with me. I walked out of there with my usual Tuesday high, feeling downright perky. First time that has ever happened on a Wednesday.
The mood was ruined Thursday though. My group almost cancelled badminton due to lack of people, but at the least minute we scraped up five people. One court, and 4 people to play. Which means each person only got a break every 4th game or so.
With that kind of stamina and constant game play I got tired quick and basically gave up. Sure, I went through the motions, but they were pretty weak. My last game was me and another girl against just one guy. Yep, two versus one and we still lost. And I didn’t care at all. Tired, tired, tired.