Friday Night Dueling

Flynn and I have reached a point where badminton is like dueling with swords. Just like with swords, you can attack high or low, left, right, or midline, in almost infinite combination. Some shots are like thrusts, while others are ripostes. You can play a defensive game and wait for your opponent to make a mistake, or you can play offensively and try to maneuver them into position for a kill. It's an amazingly apt metaphor for actual combat.

We usually play a best of three, just like in handball. It's grueling - neither of us are in fantastic shape - and we both leave the court dripping with sweat. During a good game you must exercise your quickness, aggression, patience, politeness, honesty, strategy, trickery, and numerous other skills. You have to control your breathing, hide your fatigue, read your opponent's face and body language, try not to lose the shuttle in the lights, and be ready to run from net to back line and every corner of the court, over and over in each rally. There are towering lobs that fall on the back line from 40 feet up, tiny little hairpin drops that travel less than a foot and clear the net by two inches, and overhand jump-smashes that move too quickly to be seen.

Badminton is threatening to replace handball as my favorite game. (GASP!)

Despite the geeky swordplay comparison that makes my old SCA heart throb, the best part is the way the local Flock has taken to it. At first it was just me and Flynn - in fact, I never would have gotten addicted if Flynn hadn't agreed to come with me to that first club meeting - but now G-Fresh, Fleur, Beckers, Lil' Tattooed Girl, Indian Princess and Vanilla Fresh are all regulars for Friday night badminton. Those of you who are really old school readers of this blog will remember a time when the Flock got up early on Sundays to go throw boomerangs - we used to call it "Sunday Mass." Badminton has kind of taken the place of that form of worship; at least until it warms up a lot more.

Fleur took a bunch of pics tonight while we were playing. Maybe she'll post some on her blog...


Tor Hershman said...

Well, ye hast best not smit any sheathens.

His Sinfulness said... 'kay.

(I have no idea why this comment is here. Anybody?)

Teh Dr. said...

I had better come this friday, and see what all the hullabaloo is about.

WNG said...

I wanna' watch!
(Vicarious excercising is all teh rage in the World of G)

Flynn said...

It's true, the fury and rage that is badminton will change you. It will make you faster, stronger, and covered in slick, striped, material.

Any who would mock the sport I invite to play with us. Play with us and see if you can stand your own in a best of three with the Asian kids.

And next week the epic battle continues.

His Sinfulness said...

You are welcome to join us, Doktor Smith! I was wondering how long it would be before you gave in to the siren song of the shuttlecock...

WNG, we have debated making a video of us playing badminton, and it was agreed this past weekend that we'd try it. We tried filming handball in the past, but it was quite difficult due to the set up of our courts. There is no place for a cameraman to be but in the court with us - which is awkward at best, and frequently downright dangerous. Badminton is much more conducive - no walls!

Mayren said...

the filming idea has come back!!! YAY we asked for that forever ago.

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