For a little while now, Monday nights have been dedicated to badminton. Since I hadn’t played in years (13, to be exact) and I first came to practice because my fiancée did, because I was the one who suggested she switch to badminton, because she was tired of getting injured and/or violent migraines playing roller derby, because she’s got violent tendances… those past few weeks have been tough.
To be honest, the fact that I started a desk-job-type mission almost at the same time didn’t help: practice starts at 7:30PM, but the earliest I’ve arrived since I started “working” is 8:15. The worst being this week: I left work around 8:15 (best I could do, really), hopped on the subway — well, waited for 5 minutes to hop on said subway — then switched 3 stations later to the RER, Paris’ faster answer to the subway. It may be faster, but they are also further apart: I waited for 12 minutes in a train sitting underground — with no internet connection of any kind. In other words, I fell asleep.
When I finally arrived in the gym, it was 8:55 and I was not dressed — I’d forgotten my shorts in the morning, so my fiancée, who luckily had had time to drop by home, had brought them with her. I quickly got changed: she was finishing her third doubles match (we usually play doubles as there a few other guys practicing with us) and she was perfectly warmed up. I, on the other hand, was barely awake.
Fiancée: Shall we play the next game together?
Me: OK… But can we shoot a few practice shuttlecocks first?
Fiancée: If you want…
Me: I don’t want it, I need it…
We started playing and my body started aching. That’s when our coach, who’s in his late 60’s / early 70’s but has managed to maintain an incredibly high technical level, walked by:
Coach: Is it just the two of you playing?
Coach: How about we play 2 against 1, then?
Coach: Who’s the best player out of the two of you?
Fiancée: He is.
Me: Yeah, but I’m not warmed up…
Coach: That’s OK, we’ll go slow…
Fiancée: Or not…
It’s amazing how much more you have to run when there’s two of them on the other side of the net. Or maybe four, I couldn’t tell after a while.