This Saturday we met a bunch of friends for a game of badminton. Since we seem to be the only Romanian expats crazy enough to actually live in Central London, it was about an hour drive to Harlow Leisurezone, the place they’d picked for the badminton adventure, which meant I had to wake up at 10 AM. A good three hours earlier than my Saturday morning pattern, so you can imagine I was less than a little bit on the grumpy side.
Now, I think it’s about time I mentioned a little something about myself.
I am not a sports person.
Yes, I grew up doing gymnastics from first grade into my early teens (very Romanian of me, I know), I regularly rode a bike and had a couple of pairs of roller blades, but as an adult, apart from the once in a blue moon snowboarding session and the occasional morning jog, I am pretty much a numb limbed, no sense of balance to speak of, couch potato.
V., on the other hand, plays tennis on Wednesdays and Saturdays, badminton on Thursdays, and works out every day during his lunch hour. In what little free time he’s got left, he’s of course trying to mold me into this exercising obsessed, super toned goddess, pushing me towards new, muscle defining activities. It’s a sad situation.
You’d think that after our last attempt at tennis, when he made me run off the court crying (Yup. Tears.), he’d have given up on his mission to sportify me, but guess what he got me for Valentine’s? Flowers? Candy? Theatre tickets? Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. My Valentine’s gift this year was a badminton racket.
Of course, in the spirit of the Holiday of Love, I would have forgiven him this romantic faux pas, had he not also gone behind my back and set up an actual, official, terrifying badminton session with our friends for this weekend, assuming, of course, I’d be too embarrassed to cry my way off the court when there are other people present. I was obviously fuming when I found out, and almost dumped him a couple of times last week. Petrified as I was, I only managed to make it to Saturday in one piece by convincing myself it was at least an opportunity to show off my curves in my new, super sexy gym outfit I’d bought months before and, not surprisingly, hadn’t worn once.
So there I was on Saturday morning, sexy as hell and completely defeated, a badminton racket in my sweaty hand for the first time ever.
There were five of us and the plan was to play double matches, so every match someone got to sit out and make fun of the four of us on the court, as loudly and wickedly as possible. Of course, they never let me sit out a match, not one, claiming, sneaky expert grins on their faces, that I had to fully use the opportunity to learn the game. So for an hour and a half, I tried my best not to get hit in the eye with that feathered thing (still can’t remember what it’s called, guess I could Google it but that would be cheating) and waved my racket around randomly in what I can only assume looked like a very deranged form of amateur ballet. All they could say about it at the end was that I definitely tried, which I of course take as confirmation of my super duper, newly found badminton talents.
I must say, and thank God V. isn’t reading this blog or he’d never shut up about how he’s always right and I’m such a loser, badminton was a lot of fun. I never felt like crying once, which is something, and I’m actually considering giving it another try, that is, as soon as the muscles I didn’t know I had stop aching like I’ve just been stamped on by a herd of obese elephants.
After the infamous tournament, we went out for a late lunch at a nearby pub surrounded by patches of snowdrops and crocuses, and it finally felt like spring. There’s still talk of storms and terrible flooding, but this weekend the skies were blue, really blue for the first time in weeks, and it smelled like damp earth drying in the sun, and you just felt like walking and walking and filling your lungs with it all. Of course now it’s Monday, and everything’s grey again, it even rained a little earlier, just enough to mess up my freshly straightened hair. Oh well, at least I’m a badminton guru, if a permanently frizzy one.
Wishing you all a great week!