One of my spring “New Things To Try” is badminton. My friends and I now play in a casual badminton league every Tuesday night and it has quickly become my favourite thing of the week. Except for those weeks when I go to Denninger’s on a Saturday morning and eat a brunch full of samples.
Badminton is the most wonderful sport because you don’t need to train or really even learn, but if you’re keen you can become really skilled at it. You can simply walk in, pick up a racquet and play. Or you can pick up a racquet, practice and be awesome. We play with lots of 50 and 60 year old men, a few 30-somethings and us. Four more months until I have to lump myself into the 30-something category. The 60 year old men are really good and playing with them makes me better. The sound the birdie makes is so satisfying and I love that it can get really intense until you’re sweating like you just played an actual sport.
Obligatory 'racket-as-guitar' shot:
A Hamilton city rec program brings out lots of characters, including my friends from Toronto who had to register as 'illegal aliens' or lie about their address. There is this one couple who clearly comes to badminton as part of their foreplay routine. There is this one French guy who speaks no English and kicks our asses every week. It has been my goal to beat him or at least make him nod in admiration at my skills. So far, I have received a smirk. There is also the guy who plays in bathing trunks and enjoys telling racist jokes during my serve.
I have found that I have a similar involuntary reaction while playing badminton that I do while rock climbing - I end up shrieking and grunting. Like I think I'm Serena Williams or something. Also, a really good rally makes me giggle - badminton totally makes me giddy.
I've gotten a lot better over the ten weeks and am totally addicted. Just try me, I'll beat you.