To say this has been a big year for me would be an understatement. Last year I competed in only one badminton tournament. This year? 11! Almost one every month.
Last year I had seen one professional game which I watched from afar. This year? Not only did I see a BWF Superseries game, but I met Lee Chong Wei and Viktor Axelson replied to me on Facebook. So two superstars know I exist! Amazing.
I also had only gotten one 5th place win before but this year I managed a second place and a third place win! While that’s an improvement both of those games I felt like I played quite poorly so I wasn’t super proud of the wins. I was also crazy nervous and really messed up the bigger tournaments. But as the year went on, and as I played more games with my club, I started getting less nervous and ended up FINALLY playing my “normal” game during a competition. (Previously I had been too nervous to play as good as normal.)
My next step is to not just play my normal game, but to find the confidence to play my best games during a competition. That’s something I’ll work on this year.
I was also chosen to be captain on the team…TWO times! My first time I already wrote about, but my second time happened right at New Years so I’ll write about it soon. When they ask me to be captain I’m all shocked and honored (I am both a foreigner and a relative newcomer) but when I’m not asked to be team captain I’m all grumpy. Ah, vanity…
And of course, I was featured on NPR which was not only awesome but an item off my bucket list I never really believed would happen (and certainly never for badminton.) Just goes to show you never know what’s gonna happen in the future.
I honestly could have never guessed what would happen to me this year. I new I was going to dedicate myself to badminton, I just didn’t know all the side things that would happen. It’s really amazing and I am so thankful for such a good year.
So what’s next for Badminton Becky going into the new year?
Well, badminton obviously. Last year I was still very new to all this an everything was exciting. This year I double downed, played 6 days a week for most of the year, and things became routine. Getting my bag together every night became a hassle, planning my classes and badminton was trouble (for months I had to fold my class list into a tiny square to squeeze it into my badminton bag) and I got really tired of all the damn laundry I needed to do.
But I never got tired of badminton, and I knew that no matter how tired, cranky or lazy I felt I would be reinvigorated on the court. I hope I continue to keep that feeling throughout 2018.
The biggest thing I want to remember going into the new year is to remember that I am a learner. I’m afraid that with my increasing level, and increasing authority as a “badminton player” I will start believing that I actually know something. “Knowing something” is the antithesis to a learner, to a searcher and the more you feel like an authority, the less willing you are to look like an idiot. But the less likely you are to look like an idiot, the less likely you can improve and master any skill.
So as I enter 2018 I hope I can continue to be the idiot, not the expert, who doesn’t have the answers and is always asking questions.
And of course I want to thank you dear reader. Happy New Year to you and yours and thank you so much for reading my blog and leaving great comments and encouragement. It means a lot to me.