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I played my first game of squash ever on the weekend. In my teenage years I have played very social games of racquet-ball which is similar but or so different.
Upon signing in at the gym the receptionist told me and my equally experienced playing partner that squash is a fun game and very safe, specifically how unlikely it is to get injured.
She did not factor in just how novice we were. At various time both of us crashed into the walls in our desperate attempts to make a shot. Finding myself woefully out of position I managed to get hit in the chin by the ball. My playing partner/opponent ended the game with an unexplained scratch on his right bicep. A scratch for which I accept no blame or responsibility.
The innocence of the receptionist also did not give due consideration to the muscle soreness that would follow an hour of chasing a ball of rubber around a court. I keep fit walking, cycling, kayaking and going to the gym but by bed time I ached from head to toe. Muscles ached, joints throbbed and my head felt like it was being slowly squeezed like Oberyn Martell in the hands of Gregor Clegane.
Muscles that had previously been enjoying years of early retirement were rudely called up for active service and they were not happy.
We did not play an actual game or best of 5 match. We did not even score. To be honest the World Squash Federation: World Squash Singles Rules 2014 were only loosely adhered to.
Our lack of scoring proved to be a lucky thing as the agreed playing condition was for the looser to perform some sort of tribal dance in the reception are clad only in 80’s aerobics-style spandex leggings. Lucky for my partner/opposition as I am sure I would have won – despite my inability to bend down far enough to reach the low ball and my repeated misses based on the expectation that the head of my racquet was bigger than it actually was.
I think pub-styled dares should be included into professional sports. Professional squash the loser dances in the reception area. Billiards and 8-ball even the professionals should have to run around the table three times sans pants if they fail to pot a ball. Cricket, out for a golden duck have to sit with the jockstrap and protective cup on the outside of their pants for the remainder of the innings.
Nothing would need to change for professional football codes in Australia as players are repeatedly in the news for humiliating themselves win, lose or draw. Even in the off-season