I sprained my hammy. That was the only thought running through my head after over 3 plus hours of ping-pong this past Saturday night. Your only thought probably is how did I end up playing ping-pong for that long. On a Saturday night no less. Well it’s a story that started way back in high school.
High school was at times somewhat awkward for me and my friends. We were a group of immigrants, about 8 guys deep, one of the largest identifiable groups of colour that hung out at my high school by far. We all shared a passion for sports, with specifically soccer being number one, spending virtually our entire 4 years playing indoor soccer in the gym during lunch. Fun times and great memories for sure. However, there was another sport during this time that also had a grasp on me, ping-pong.
Ping-pong in my basement was less of a group affair that indoor soccer was and more of an intense 1 on 1 battle between me and my close friend. We would play a number of games after school, on days where he wanted to delay the dreaded long walk home.
The attractiveness of ping-pong, was simlar to soccer. Both are easy sports to get into. This allowed the competitive juices to flow quite quickly, and soon ping-pong became just as competitve as soccer, as we tried to hit a small plastic ball back and forth at each other, usually with it hitting each others groin or head area. Ouch. But it was fun. Throw in those teenage conversations about girls, the next dance, and the family and ping-pong days became great times to waste a few hours after school.
Now this past weekend, wasn’t like those days. It was way more intense. My friend and I had certainly improved. We both consistently could add spin to our shots, there was more trash talking, and we were even much more competitive than before. No one likes to lose, especially when egged on by a friend who celebrates every winner as the best shot they had ever hit. It was a battle of epic proportions. Even our gallery, consisting of two girls and one referee, were amused with the intensity and focus of our struggle.
After 20 games, with the winner having to reach 21, I surrended. Sore hammy and all I had won 5 of 20 games. A sound beating. However, you had to be there to witness how close the games really were. As well, you would see how my friend, had consumed much less beer than I had, to remain focussed to the task at hand. Nevertheless, a passion in ping-pong was reborn. Maybe the table that’s in the basement needs to be unleashed again, along with training sessions, so that victory will be within my grasp next time?