Thursday, July 06, 2006

What a Racquet

In which M2 finds a new game—and works up a sweat

For a while now, friend and co-religionist, Chensvold, has been trying to get me to come out and try my racquet at his badminton club. Last night he finally got me out to McCambridge Park, the impressive community recreation facility near Beautiful Downtown Burbank. Chensvold had been telling me what a fantastic workout badminton is, how the shuttlecock can reach speeds of more than 200 mph, how it’s supposed to be four times the aerobic workout of tennis, how it helped him get his waist down to a youthful 31 inches, and so forth. Now, Chensie’s an inveterate sportsman who quickly becomes a fanatic about whatever sport he’s into. So while I certainly knew he wasn’t having me on, I also maintained a bit of raised eye-brow skepticism about some of his more out-there claims for the game.

I’m not likely to be skeptical again. We started out with Chensvold showing me some basics: how to swing the racquet in short jerks, how to keep an eye glued to the shuttlecock, how move about the court so as not to get off-balance, etc. Then we started warming up. Twenty minutes later I had already worked up a mean sweat and was nearly panting for breath.

My friend went on to play with the more advanced players while I continued to thwack the shuttlecock around for another 3/4 hour or so with fellow beginner. By the time we were done my shirt was soaked through, my thighs were a-screaming, and I had a wicked ache in my extensor carpi ulnaris which continues today. (But it's a good kind of pain--the kind you experience when you've learned something new and have excersized muscles you didn't know you had.)

I didn’t play a proper doubles game last night--at my current skill level, that would be a joke and a frustration for my fellow players. But I loved it. It really is an amazing workout, and the best exercise is playing a fast-paced game you enjoy. I am definitely going back next week.

Here are a few badminton resources in Southern California and beyond:

Burbank Badminton Club
SoCal Badminton Association
Badminton Central


Blogger the boy genius said...

i play badminton too!! Its a good game and you should keep it up!

10:41 AM  

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