My favorite singer of all-time is Bjork. To me she is pure energy and magic and taps into something deep and ancient in our reptilian minds. She has been my favorite singer for the majority of my life now.
So when my friend and part-time coach Yang Ping told me to “go hunting” at the front of the net (encouraging me to meet birdies as they are going over the net and killing them) I instantly had a new theme song.
I’ve always like Bjork’s song Hunter because I like everything she has ever done, but also because to me it has been about traveling.
If travel is searching
And home what’s been found
I’m not stopping
I’m going hunting
I’m the hunter
To me I’ve been the hunter, and traveling and new places has been my “prey.”
But now on the court, I’m the hunter. The birdie is my prey. With this new mindset, when I’m at the front, I feel like a shark, gliding along the shoreline knowing some seal is gonna get a little reckless and come a little too close.
It does more than just makes me hum this song (which I now do almost everyday). It also puts me in a more “active” mindset than “passive.” Since mine and my coaches vocabulary lesson a few weeks ago, we have been focusing never being passive. Active and passive isn’t the same as offense and defense. Active is changing every situation to your advantage. Like, even if you are returning a smash, you can return it passively (such as a lift, which opens up another smash opportunity) or you can return it in a manner your opponent might not expect (say, hitting it cross court) which should catch them off their guard.
Of course it’s not for every situation but my coach is drilling in me to always look for the “active” answer to a shot, and don’t react passively.
“That’s how the gaoshou’s think,” he tells me again and again. If that’s the gaoshou (expert) method then I want in.
In other news, our anniversary went well. I made a big deal on the chat group about it (which gave him face because of course everyone else chimed in about what a great coach he was) and at night I brought my coach cookies and his gift. He seemed really touched by it and even awkwardly patted me on the shoulder. (While we touch all the time in training–he jerks my hand into proper position, or kicks my legs out to lunge further–we aren’t affectionate to each other and don’t give hugs or anything like that.)
We also gushed about each other on wechat.
Next week is National Holiday/Mid-Autumn Festival, one of China’s “Golden Week” in which a billion plus people have a full week of no school or work. Of course badminton plays a part in that, which I’ll write about next time, but as for actually playing badminton I’ll be taking a full 5 days off. I’ll be traveling to Taiwan for a little break. While I’m quite tempted to pack my racket and shoes with me, I’m going to resist and instead spend my time visiting sights and eating all the amazing Taiwanese food.
So I’m taking a few days off. ‘Cause I’m the hunter. I’m going hunting.
My new semester schedule is below.I know nobody cares, but I care, so I’m just gonna tack it down to the end of this post so I can remember what it was in the future.
Monday- A.M. Training with my coach
Tuesday: Nights with the girl group
Wednesday: Play with my club (and the pro)
Thursday: Nights and a little training with Yang Ping
Friday: Day off
Saturday/Sunday: Playing with my club