I’m baaaaackk. Did’ja miss me? Well, I certainly missed badminton.
But it was nice to take a break and eat amazing food, do some writing and see some cool thing. And for the first week I thought of badminton rarely. Then I started checking the badminton courts from time to time (I have the security cameras that feed to my phone so I can see what is going on any time), then I started watching some pro games and compilations on youtube and finally, I started watching videos of me, my coach and club mates that I have saved on my phone. So I knew I was slowly missing it.
One time I passed by a three story sports store, and knowing that badminton was a bit bigger in France than America, I decided to see what they had. I found a store directory painted on the wall that said “racket sports” was in the basement. I went but didn’t see anything but coats and clothes. But in the back corner I found an Axelson racket ad and I knew that some time previous they had badminton stuff, but no longer (I found tennis on the third floor but no badminton.)
I had a long and exhausting trip back (Paris to India, India to Hong Kong, bus to the border, subway to Shenzhen train station, 4.5 hour train back to Xiamen) but within 24 hours I was back to the court. I only JUST caught my coach before he left for a 6-day provincial tournament in a city a few hours away (He’ll be gone 6 days…good luck coach!)
Being back was tough! I went from cool and crisp northern summer (aka not humid) to hot southern, sulty summer. With all the traveling, time changes and sudden exercise and humidity my body could barely handle it. After playing my first two games I took a little break and after 5 minutes my heart rate was still 127. That’s usually my mid-game heart rate! Not my 5-minutes after a game heart rate which is usually below 100. I think my poor body was just trying to deal with it all.
But my game play was great. There weren’t many people around but I whined until the stringer (a college guy) came out to play with me. We just hit it while we waited for others to be ready, and I told him I hadn’t played for 3 weeks, so don’t expect much.
“It’s weird, cause you’ve actually improved!” he said after a few minutes. Later when I played with my coach, he was also laughing. “What happened?!”
It used to be that when I traveled I forgot everything and slid back a bit. But now it;s the opposite. This is the second holiday in a row where I was better after my break than before it. I guess that means that finally my muscle memory has kicked in, and badminton is becoming more inherent. And with a rested body, it can react quicker than a worn out one.
But one thing I lost was fitness. My thighs were burning and now, the day after, my arm is sore. Also the heat got to me and I just couldn’t play more than two hours. (I might have if there were more people but there was only 7 of us, and everyone left at the same time so I had no one to play with–but I think it was better to take it slow on my first day back.)
So I’m back and about to work on my plans and goals for the upcoming semester. Give me a few days to mull them over and I’ll let you know what I hope to accomplish this year. Are you working on any plans for badminton? What are you hoping to accomplish for the last part of the year? Let me know in the comments!