After playing badminton for over 15 years, for the last 2 years, I have become a daily tennis player. Join me at https://sf-tennis.org!
Well, I have some time on my hands so I decided to create a sleeve for my badminton birdie tubes. Right now it’s paper, but I am hoping to print them on elastic fabric so they can be reused.
2nd iteration with color!
I had seen a wonderful life coach, Amy K and she worked with me to help me understand what I believe are life values.
From those conversations, she had told me that our life is like a wheel. There are 4 sections to that wheel. Health, Family, Work, Money. All of these 4 sections of our lives need to be in balance and taken care of.
She focused on having me define my personal values, and from there I wrote down my long term life goals for each of the 4 sections of my life.
I use Trello to manage roughly 50 kanban boards. Each board would normally have these columns: doing, backlog, done, wait.
This week I have been contemplating putting down a new life goal of playing in the senior badminton league. This would fall into my health goal. It would align well with my lifetime love of playing badminton 🏸.
My backlog for my kanban board currently consist of
- signing up for one tournament in the general population to start competing again, since I am still 5 years away from the 50+ league
- talking with Henry Y. who has played and won tournaments in the senior league
- start a new training regiment for badminton with my current Saturday badminton group
- play at least one singles game a week in order to start enjoying the gruesome singles game of endurance
I have played badminton for half my life. Four years in high school, four years for the UC Berkeley club, then I picked it up again very seriously trained and competed for 3 years and now I play for fun with my co-worker and near my house.
I love playing of course because of the game itself and also because I am really good at it. I no longer make beginner mistakes playing a competitive sport. The game itself then rises to another level, not just keeping the shuttlecock in play, but strategy comes into play. I can turn the racket certain angles to make subtle last minute adjustments. I can wait to hit the shuttlecock when I want to hit it, not because it’s just there. These are very deliberate choices I can make on the court because I am no longer chasing after my target, but I’m at the target earlier.
I played today with a team and they were not at the same skill level. So I told my partner to go easier and don’t smash and just practice our drops and high shots. It was still fun without being too lopsided.
Then we played against another team where they were good singles players, highly skilled and strong smashing. We lost the first game, and I switched tactics to attack more, do drop shots more to spread out the defense, relax my nerves and focus on defense. We readily beat this team in the second game. Physically, nothing changed but my playing improved drastically because of my mine and mental shift.
I can now relate to athletes who talk about having to work on the mental focus to get to the next level.
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.
It was a fun day where employees from 2 companies met up to play our favorite game.
I played in 3 events: Men’s Singles A, Men’s Doubles A, Mixed Doubles A and lost all 3 and went into consolation rounds and won the Mixed Doubles A consolation. It was fantastic to organize it and meet so many people at Yahoo! and Google who all play badminton. Several of the matches were very close and I enjoyed toying with my opponents to put my training to practice.
The most memorable game was when I was down 10 to 3 and I started to get serious and dragged him out to a 17 to 16 lost. He was horrified that I was able to catch up. I was barely tired.
What I learned
- I am super competitive and could be very loud on the courts
- I love love tournaments, will need to play in more. This is the first one in 15 years
- I can’t be too relaxed in the beginning and give my opponents too much of a lead
- I need to finish a game to the end and take the win.
Here are the pics
I have this fantasy of playing badminton with C. as a mixed doubles team. The C.+Tony dynamic duo! She is 12 years old, flying at the birdie in front of the net. Father Tony jumping and smashing from the back. We are both enjoying executing what we’ve been training to do during our weekly badminton training sessions. Father and daughter filling in the gaps for each other as any good doubles team should be doing.
Now back to reality. C. is 6 1/2 years old and we are hanging out at the local badminton club :-)
This morning is the first step to that fantasy as I bring C. to the GGBC badminton club this Sunday morning. She refused to play for the first 2 hours, citing that she would rather play in the basketball courts close to my apartment. I spend the first 2 hours practicing serving 100 birdies into a bucket across the court. Then when her battery ran out for her MacBook, she came over and said she was bored.
She brought over her racket and I started to practice with her, by throwing birdies over the net and she was hitting them nicely across the net as I clown around bouncing the birdies on my head and my foot. She was loving it!!!
There was a badminton class that was going to start in 15 minutes but the coach was late. So I substituted for the coach and I helped coached 3 other kids along with C.. The other kids were 10-12 years old and I had C. return drop shots from the kids as I trained the older ones and made them run, swing the racket and sweat… Kate had a wonderful time and when we got home, she asked for more badminton training..
I think my fantasy will become reality one day. C. was coming up with our team name already. C&T badminton team
Tonight I was playing badminton for 1 hour before I had to work late night. When I was doing a pretty simple jump smash, I felt this twist on my foot.. So I thought it was a simple ankle twist.. I was rubbing it and something seem weird. This tendon, behind my ankle was gone.. I was comparing it to my right foot, my left foot is missing a tendon!
I walked over to the hospital in Chinatown and was told that I needed surgery to reconnect the achilles tendon rupture.. I’ll be out for 3 months. The odd thing was that I was not shocked, I was just reading my Chinese book and accepted it as part of a learning experience.
Now I am forced to build up some upper body strength, finally slowing down and stop running around. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. I might even move back with my parents to be pampered for a few days a week :-)
I had an unusual physical education history in high school. Other people did basketball, football, volleyball in high school. I did gymnastics and badminton. Back in Lowell High, we were free to pick classes and teachers, so I always picked this one gym teacher and she always teaches gymnastics and badminton. In college I again joined the gymnastics class and the badminton club.
Recently I’ve been having dreams of doing gymnastics again.. at 34 years old, I don’t know if my body can handle the twisting, the flipping, the intense stomach muscle pains :-)
Just thinking of doing this simple kip would probably take my stomach muscles one month to get strong enough.. If I don’t break some bones, I think it could be fun again :-)
I like the other sports like basketball, golf, tennis, ping pong, running (love running), but I never dream about doing any of those.