In high school I played badminton for 4 years. I liked the sport, but did not love it.
When I went to UC Berkeley, I join the badminton club and we trained and competed against other colleges. We would travel both days on weekends, come back as a team, have dinner together and laugh about the tournaments. I played singles, doubles and mixed doubles. My feet would often have blisters and when my parents were shocked to see how much pain I was in, I told them I barely feel them during the games.
I truely loved the game. I setup practice nets in the garage and practiced serving hundreds of birdies a night.
The sport was the one ‘class’ that I truly look forward to.
After college, I dreamed about badminton, but because of work, having my child, and being depressed, I was not able to play for 10 years.
When the wave of badminton gyms open up in 2006, I signed up with 3 coaches and they taught me and trained me for 4 hours each week. I biked to my sessions in Menlo Park, I would take public transportation for 3 hours to get to my sessions. I played tournaments. I was truly happy.
Today, I am able to spare time to play badminton at least once a week. When I am playing, I feel like the luckiest person. I have a sport I truely love, I am very good at it. Mostly importantly, I can walk to any gym in any country and talk badminton and build small relationships with my fellow badminton players. When I visited Bangalore, Malaysia, Seattle, China and Taiwan, I often walk up to people and just play pick up games.
I hope my daughter also is so lucky to have a sport she truly loves, and is good at. No matter how hard other parts of life get, she will know she has something she loves to fallback on.