So I’ve been pretty busy lately, and haven’t played Ultimate regularly in a while. My membership at the gym has lapsed, but the one thing that I have been doing more lately is playing squash.
Most Americans never get exposed to squash. It’s one of those sports like cricket or rugby which they still play at some Ivy league schools and small pockets on the East Coast, but which has either been ignored by the general populace, or repalced with racquetball (which I also play and like very much, but which is unheard of in Europe).
I first learned to play squash in Hong Kong when I was 13. When Hong Kong International School moved into its new campus one of the facilities it gained were two squash courts which were never used. I asked my mom for a racquet, and would have ladder games with my friends Kevin Fox, Derek Chan, and Alex Bennet. (I want to point out here that I usually won, but I want to do it in a way that doesn’t seem vain or arrogant. Oops. Damn.)
Well, one day while discussing ways that Lynn and I could get more exercise without having to sign up for something ridiculous like pilates classes or spinning, we hit upon squash as something we were both familiar with and could be a fun change from pushing iron around on the outdated nautilus machines of the Jack Slagman Fitness Center.
I have to say, at first the small ball and the lack of bounce discouraged me. But it didn’t take long to get back into it. Like riding a bike. Squash is such a fun, fast-paced game, with a good mix of power and tactics needed to be successful, and quite a high degree of agility and grace required. I very quickly got back to about where I was when I stopped playing (when I was 14 and moved to Princeton).
Having only played Ian and Lynn, both of whom classify as beginners, I am still looking for a challenge. I still am not fully read-up on the rules and everything, but I like squash and for the moment it’s a good way to get a nice cardio workout and feel good doing it.
So, any takers out there for a little competition? Darien? John? I know you pansies have said you play squash. Let’s see what you’re made of.