Racquetball Report #1

(Don’t let the title fool you, I won’t post EVERY SINGLE TIME I play… more like occasional progress reports.)

I really like exercising, believe it or not, but I despise working out. I just cannot summon up any enthusiasm for lifting weights, calisthenics, etc… For several years I took kickboxing classes, and they were a lot of fun, but I kinda plateaued / lost interest eventually and since then hadn’t found anything to replace it.


My good friend Steve got me interested in playing racquetball with him. I actually owned a racket and a few balls from a brief experiment many years ago, but back then I just went by myself and it got to be as boring as any other exercise. Man oh man, playing the actual game is another thing entirely. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and you pick up the absolute basics fast enough that you get the rush of improvement before the frustration of getting your butt kicked overwhelms you. Or at least, that’s how it worked for me.

Anyway, I’ve been playing for several months now and it’s come to the point where I have a gym membership that I actually use. I own gear. I even keep it in a fancy bag. Heck, I have to do special laundry just for the clothes that stink. Just last week I joined my first league; unfortunately, due to low turnout in the beginner brackets I’m playing a level higher than I ought to be (e.g. “rank beginners”) so both of my opponents have beaten me fairly easily. I’m having a good time though, and I’ve already made at least one new friendly acquaintance from playing.

The “report” for this week is that I played my new friend Dave yesterday and absolutely killed him in the first game, 15-5. For whatever reason, my serve was just what I hoped it would be – nice and low, fast, and skimming the left wall (forcing a backhand, which is the weaker shot for most players). Normally I mess these up on the 1st serve, and my 2nd-chance serve has to ease up a bit to stay fair. I ripped off 8 straight points to begin, and for once I kept him from making a sustained run of his own. I lost the next two, 15-12 and 15-8, but since I often go 0-for-3 this was a success. What’s particularly interesting is that, usually, I’m terrible in the first game as I get warmed up, then have my best game in the middle, then start to get gassed and taper off in the 3rd. I was definitely tired in the 3rd this time, too, but otherwise it was a different story.

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