They say a journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step. Well this is not actually a travel journey, but more a journey to establish one’s limits with a hope to see that there are none.
My journey with squash started some three years ago when I played with my ex-boss for the first time, got inspired and saw that I can actually be quite good at something. Given that consistency is not a virtue I can actually pride myself on, there has been on and offs. Now being on again, the plan is to actually re-start from scratch by playing with an instructor (for me this is an indicator of taking something seriously).
After a few talks with friends, I realized they got the same feeling when as beginners they played with someone more advanced and their squash partners were actually not putting much effort into the game and more often than not were bored. People only really play when faced with a partner with the same skills. Having played a few games like that, I set a goal for three months to get a regular games to actually see if there is a difference to the limits I can reach and if my squash partners will start to take me seriously.
Today is my first meeting with instructor and this is where squash challenge week 1 starts. I cannot wait to see what she has to say after one hour and if I actually will be able to breath after it at all. First thing one does when starting playing with instructor (and not wanting to come out that basic or get embarrassed) is google it!
A few googled tips which I found most useful for a squash dummy like me:
- Squash is a fast game so unless you want to feel like dying after each set, you need to get regular fitness excersise. This is simply to ensure you do not to get heart attack before becoming “too old to die young” (ie. before turning 30). Having learned that, I dusted out the stationary bike and half way through targeted 30 minutes of pedalling this morning pathetic as it may sound I felt like I am already reaching my limits. After another 30 minutes of trying to get back to life mini goal is set, so bike will be used (safely!) every other morning, so that in a week I hope I can actually say 25 min is something normal.
- Usually underestimated and ofter not even practiced at all, warm up plays a major part in how you will perform during the game. I usually do jogging back and forth a few meters on a court and high knee pick up running, though do realise how much this is not enough. Browsing for tips I found some really good article saying that 10 minutes is a minimum amount of time player need to warm up. Well, it usually took me some 2 min on average – obviously not enough, so no wonder after each game I felt like this is the end of life of me. Today I will try heel to butt running too, as if I am going doing all others I will definitely make a fool of myself and trip over myself or something.
- Stretch as long as possible before and after the game. Good stretching helps to prevent squash injuries and to smoothly lead your body into more active state. I usually get a bit embarrassed, being too conscious of myself I imagine that I look really weird while stretching. I never know what and how to stretch, so usually start with lunge stretch and squatting leg-out adductor stretch. There is one more useful stretch that I apply every morning in my bathroom 🙂 is assisted reverse chest stretch. Some 10 to 15 sit ups in the morning has been my only excersise for last couple of weeks. Either way, whichever way you stretch and it works for you might be the best way. So long as you do not get horrible sore muscles after each game you are fine for a start. I usually feel only two days after the game whether I made any mistake by either not stretching properly or using wrong techniques during the game or going over what my body has been prepared for being because I have been so caught up by competitiveness. Taking it slowly and right this time should help to avoid extreme pains.
So off for a good start of three moths challenge.