Goal number One: Be the obvious best girl in my current group
Done, done and done. This happened a few months ago. (Technically there is one girl that comes sometimes and plays with us who is better than me. But she plays so rarely, once every few months, that she’s not a regular group member. Although truth is, these days I go so rarely to my original group that maybe I shouldn’t consider myself a group member either. But as for the people that were playing with the group one year ago, when I made this goal, I am the top girl out of all of them.)
Goal Number Two: Be good enough to join a club
Super done! I play with my coaches group almost every night and I’m also a member of a few other clubs which I kinda play with. I’m also a member of a team! Though we haven’t done much practicing yet.
Goal Number Three: Play in a competition
Twice done! My birthday competition accomplished the letter of this goal, but not the intent. The intent was to play in a “real”one organized by other people. But last week’s tournament fits the letter and the intent of this goal. Boo-yah.
Goal Number Four: Find a doubles partner
This one I said I accomplished six months ago with my friend Dennis. But time moves on and now Jiang Jian Bing has been my regular partner. And Azhi. And Xiao Xiong. And…you get the idea. I have a few male partners that I now play with and train regularly. Sports echos life and one man ain’t enough for me, hahah.
Improve my Chinese
I know this goal isn’t quantifiable, but I did spend the summer studying Chinese and with my daily playing, and only speaking Chinese, I know I improved.
Done, done and done. (Have I used the word done enough in this entry?) I set these goals when I played 2 times a week for two hours a time. Now I play 6 times a week (in five days) an average of 4 hours a day with a group of amazing people. My goals were good for before, but too small for how I play now. So I don’t have a huge feeling of accomplishment achieving them.
In fact, I set a few other goal a few months ago that I’ve been working towards. Just two. But to reach these goals it will take a huge leap in improvement.
Beat Azhi in singles in February
Azhi was my partner in the recent competition and is the best player in my original group. As *rah-rah* girl power woman that I am, the truth is guys just play better than girls. They can use brute strength instead of skill to power through a game.
A guy at my same skill level can beat me because they have added strength and speed. And Azhi is above me in skill level. So to beat him I not only have to get to his level, but surpass him. It’s gonna be hard as hell to accomplish this, especially in the short time frame I gave myself. We played several games of singles a few weeks ago and I was consistently at the 11-12 point range to his 21.
I’m gonna need a lot of work to beat him.
Beat Xiao He six months after Azhi
Xiao He has always been important to my badminton journey. We went to the pro game together, he introduced me to my coach, and he even won the first Becky Cup. He’s miles above Azhi in skill (though miles below my coach). He’s at the lower expert level and has been seriously playing for years.
Basically, I think I can’t beat him ever. He trains singles, it’s his specialty (I train for doubles) and with his youth (about 5 years younger) and experience I’m not sure a victory is reasonable.
But I want to give him a run for his money. I want to make him work for his victory over me, and I want to lose by only a few points. Like 16-21 would make me happy.
But twist shocker! Xiao He snapped his Achilles at a tournament recently, had surgery and is now in his hometown unable to walk, much less play, for months. He probably won’t be back playing for a year. Snapping an Achilles is serious, but very common in badminton. He can come back from it no problem as long as he does the proper physical therapy. In fact, he can come back stronger if he gets the right physical therapist.
So maybe we can play when he is beginning his comeback and still working towards his former glory. Is that cheating? Maybe. But I need all the advantages I can get. Bwahaha.