My One Year Celebration (WU #)

My one year badminton birthday started off more with a whimper than a bang. On the bus I had a five minute coughing fit. It happens when I am on the mend from a cold and actually signals that I will be better soon, but it always happens at the worst time. I’ll get a little throat tickle and even with water I won’t be able to stop my coughing.

So there I was, on the incredibly crowded bus with people on all sides pressed around me and I was non-stop coughing. I averted my eyes but I couldn’t help but feel the burning hatred of the 100+ people on the bus. Sorry y’all. Hope I didn’t get you sick but I probably did.

Walking around I felt horrible. I was tired, dinner didn’t help, and I almost went home. Except that it was my badminton birthday and I had gotten a snack to share with everyone. So I decided to go, play one game, and then leave.

Well, wouldn’t ya know it…badminton heals! I got all my energy back and by the end I felt great. Not totally healthy or anything, but way better than I did going in. Badminton is the new penicillin.

badminton birthday

I got goodies for my group because I realized I have them to thank for pretty much everything. When I started badminton a year ago I didn’t love it right away. I felt quite neutral about it for the first several months. It was fun, but if it stopped being fun, or people weren’t really nice to me or anything then I would have just stopped. It would have been no loss to me. But the people were fun, and they were nice and I kept going. Then eventually I fell in love with it. So I have them to thank slowly realizing my love of the sport.

China badminton

China badminton

My class Wednesday was marred by my cold, but my teacher made me work hard as usual. We focused on hitting a birdie that is to the side of me. Optimally you should get behind the birdie to hit it, that’s where you get the most power, but practically speaking you can’t always do that.

So he taught me how to hit when the birdie is to the side of my body. We practiced using our own special vocabulary. My grip was “fan” style (like I was fanning myself) and I had to move my hand from “white” to “black.” White is when my wrist is facing up, handle of the racket facing the net, and black is when my wrist is down, handle facing the back of the court. Because of the language barrier we come up with some interesting key words. (He also started calling my pinkie, ring and middle finger as “do, re, mi.” If he says “do, re, mi,” then it means a tight grip.)

He also made me play with people not after practice, but actually part of our class now. He’s pegged the fact that when I play with new people I get nervous and I guess he’s gonna help me change that. He got a young girl, on the university badminton team, to hit against me. I was exhausted and moving slow, and she just murdered me. My teacher watching every point, giving me grimaces and “jai you’s” when I kept missing easy shots.

“Just get one point,” my teacher said after awhile. It took an embarrassingly long time for me to get that one point, but even the girl was excited for me when I did. After class I shot with a woman who was so-so, but I was so tired I couldn’t do much. I finally hit the birdie off into the stands (accidentally I swear) and she suggest we take a break. I agreed.

Then I just sat down for about an hour and watched my teacher and others play. I was so tired I didn’t even want to get up and walk home. I eventually did go home around 8 and ended up leaving my racket behind. I blame my cold.

Thursday game play was fine. We had a quiet night, only 6 of us showed up so we only had one court, but it was fun. The only event of note was during the warm-up we played two against one (the one was me) and I held my own just fine which made up for the terrible job I did with the girl the night before.

Luckily this week didn’t have much drama.


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