I’ve practised a couple of sports in my life (mostly when I was young): judo (when I was very young), karate, badminton (quite a bit, back in the day), running (only recently), weightlifting (once in a while)… I haven’t quite practised any “organised” sport in years, though: my last stint as a competitive badminton player was in college, i.e. 13+ years ago… Needless to say I’ve changed (some might say aged) since then.
However, yesterday evening, my fiancée wanted to try her hand at a new sport, and she picked badminton. I obviously offered to accompany her, if only to play a sport together where I don’t totally suck (she still kicks my ass at running, and I suspect that’s here to stay). We’d found out there was a club nearby and went for a trial session, as you do: I got my 13+ year-old rackets and off we went biking to the gymnasium where the training took place.
We — obviously — picked the leisure section (there also was a competitive one), but still: there were perhaps 2 people there that played worse than I did — to be clear, I used to play well — and I didn’t have the chance to play with them. Instead, I got my ass kicked repeatedly by ever stronger opponents — or so I thought, although maybe I was just gradually losing steam, who knows… Meanwhile, my fiancée, who hadn’t played since high school (technically, that would be about the same length of time: she’s slightly younger than I am) played with the coach and fended pretty well for herself.
The last game I played as other players were already folding it in involved 3 of the best players in the club (I found out). At some point, I tripped on my way to miss a point: instead of moving forward, my left foot just stayed glued to the ground and the entire leg started feeling weird. Meanwhile, my hitting arm kept hurting more and more as I went along. Finally, the racket’s grip, which was also 13+ years old (duh), started dematerialising in my hand, slowly painting it black.
As we got out of the gymnasium, I could feel most of my body ache: legs (especially the left one, clearly), arms (especially the left one: I’m left handed), back (because of course), general feeling of fatigue… The whole deal.
Me: That was tough…
Fiancée: Oh yeah?
Me: Yeah… Clearly, years have gone by and I’m not as nimble as I used to be…
Fiancée: Speak for yourself, I feel fine.
Me: No ache anywhere?
Fiancée: Not really…
Me: Shall we go home by bike?
Me: I was just kidding…
We got home by bike.