For well over a year now, I’ve been playing racquetball on Tuesdays with a former professor of mine. I can’t remember exactly what got us into playing together, but it’s been quite enjoyable. What makes it great is that we have a good time, are exercising, and while we are competitive, we’re not overly so. We can appreciate each other’s shots, congratulate each other on a great game. At the end of the hour, we’re both sweaty and well exercised.

I had played a few times before – when I went to UT I played every so often. When I was in the Air Force, I’d occasionally head over to the gym and play. When we started playing, I had the basics down – hit the ball before the second bounce, hit the front wall before the floor, serve past the second red line, try to take the middle center of the court, etc… I knew what to do, I just wasn’t good at doing it.

One evening, my partner brought a flip cam and recorded a couple of games. He shared it with me, and it was interesting to watch. I think that was about a year ago. Most of those matches were horribly one sided. He’d win easily, and we’d get 5 and sometimes 6 games in each week. I’d usually get a couple of points, but that was it. Eventually I got into the double digits, and that was a great accomplishment for me.

Last night we played again. I know I’ve gotten better, but last night really drove it home for me. It wasn’t easy for either of us. We both worked each other to the point of exhaustion. In the past, two games would take us 20 minutes tops. Last night, it was 40 minutes before we got done with the second game. And the score was close – 15-14 and 15-13. I lost, but we both played hard!

Usually we take a break at the halfway point – typically after the second game. And after that little break, I am dead. I can’t score. I can’t defend. For some reason, I just can’t play to save my life. It happens just about every time. Last night was no exception – I lost that game 15-3.

But the last game I got back into it. I didn’t score as much (15-12), but it was a hard fought game again. Both of us practically sacked out once we left the court. I know I slipped into a deep dreamless sleep and woke this morning feeling pretty good. Except for my knee. For some reason, my left knee feels like I hyper-extended it. I don’t remember doing anything to hurt it last night. Hopefully it’ll get to feeling better today.

Now I need to get back into playing more. I was playing some guys from church fairly often, but I think December rolled around and we haven’t gotten back into it. The biggest problem with that is getting out to play – scheduling. I can’t take my two youngest with me because they need supervision. But I’ll figure it out.

Now on to next week!