This week I was a little nervous to see my coach. You see, several weeks ago I told him that I didn’t think his friends (the other teachers that play with us Wednesday night) liked me. He said that wasn’t true, but they were worried about losing face. In China, “face” or mianzi, is very important. He said that I have only been practicing a few months and since they have been playing for years, if they lose to me, they lose face.
To me, the brash American, that logic is ridiculous. It’s a sport. The player with the highest ability should win, not the player who has played the longest. And even assuming I would win is hilarious. They’ve been playing for years, they are so much better. I’ll beat them one day, but I’m guessing that day is a good year away. I thought I dismissed the whole idea, but it must have apparently stuck in my mind a bit.
Because last week I finally won my first game. I was super happy I won against my teacher and showed it. There was a few gleeful high fives and a little skipping. I mean, come on, it was my first win ever on Wednesday night, and against my amazing coach of all people. And he seemed really happy for me at the time.
Then, during the week I commented on one of my coaches photo’s in wechat and he didn’t reply. He always replies. Then, I chatted with him one day but it was pretty brief and he stopped answering me first. Then, when I contacted him before class (which I do every week just to confirm class) he replied with a short “okay.” Nothing more.
“Oh my god, he hates me,” I thought. Despite our great relationship I realize I don’t have much faith in it. Or, I’m more insecure than I thought. I thought he lost face last week by losing to me and he was distancing himself. I was actually steeling myself to confront him about it if he acted cold or indifferent to me.
But then he came to practice all smiles as friendly as normal, saying how I was his best student and really improving. Turns out he was just really busy and didn’t have much time to chat. Crisis averted. Some semblance of shaky confidence restored. But I realized that I have much more insecurities than I thought…
Practice was sweaty but fine. The temperatures are really rising and I am not looking forward to summer coming. Afterwards I played a few games and got smashed in the eye with a birdie. Badminton injury! I continued playing (I won one out of three games) and when I got home I realized I had a black eye. Bad ass!
Playing with my group was also as fun as usual. We had a secret day of playing with just the top 5 people during the weekend. One of my friends found out, and asked if she could join, but she isn’t as good so I said no. I’m very protective of my badminton! I wanted to play just with the top people and if I come off as a bitch, well, so be it. (My friend played later in the day with other people, so it was okay.)
the past few weeks I have played four days of badminton, upping it from my usual three. I am actually really happy to add a day and hope that I can keep up this new schedule.