Sunday, February 13, 2011

Badminton Intramurals

Back in December, a friend of mine asked me if I would like to sign up for our school's newly introduced badminton intramurals. He explained that we would play for mixed doubles and that he simply needed a partner.

My first reaction was: "Dude, I'm so bad at badminton, we're going to lose for sure." Considering that he was actually a good player, it would have been completely reasonable for him to withdraw the offer. To my surprise, my bitter response did not seem to bother him at all."I don't care" was the reply. I then repeated my argument, emphasizing the duration of time in which I had not touched the racket, the rustiness of my skill and so on.

None, absolutely none of my claims were convincing to this firm friend of mine. In turn, he cajoled me into agreeing in the end with many encouragements: "It's okay if we lose, you'll improve. I'll teach you someday. It'll be fun and you'll get to exercise at the same time!" Somewhere along those lines I gave in, thinking that track and field is still 2 months away and meanwhile, I had to do something to stay active. So that's how it all began...

It was only until last week that we heard some updates on the competition. Our first match was to be played last Tuesday, against two very solid players from our grade. As a strong-willed competitor myself (I've a semi-professional chess player for many years), I always strive to do well in every competition. However, this time I knew that skill was going to be the dominate factor in determining the winner and undoubtedly, the majority of the people who signed up were at least somewhat confident in their skills.

We played the match and the results turned out to be exactly what we expected. No surprise here. It was a few days later that I had finally realized that this was a knock-out tournament, meaning that only winners get to proceed onto the next round. Well, I had certainly wished that a Swiss system was used instead so that by the end of the intramurals, I would have learned not to hit the birdie with the edge of my racket, to swing the racket at a better angle, etc. Yeah, if those were the things that I was learning, then you can surely imagine how bad I really was, hehe.

In the end, I just wanted to thank my partner for being always being so encouraging and understanding. Although this was my first and probably last badminton match, I certainly enjoyed the process. Sometimes great things in life begin when you take a risk, even though the chance of succeeding might be as minimal as 1/1000. This time it didn't work out but next time, you never know...