Oh boy. I can think of multiple factors, explanations, justifications, anything to help me stomach the nasty taste of a beat down. However, there is no excuse. There never is. Age, injuries, fitness: it all means squat once you are on the court. Especially on the Toledo courts. A claustrophobic causing coffin-like mini version of the real thing that even after entering this event for the 8th time I cannot for the life of me figure out how to play on them. But it’s the same for my opponents as it is for me. No excuse.
I lost the semi final 3-0 to a 22 year old ‘child’ from Canada. No disrespect intended to Tom Brinkman – he is a fine young fellow, ranked 147 in the world, and could reach both side walls of the court when yawning. I was outplayed by a steadier opponent on the day – no excuse. I will need to work harder if I want to compete with these guys in the future. I cannot expect to be able to if I don’t. Simple reality that may sound very familiar to many of you.
The DAC had unfortunately minimal representation for this event. Peter Logan made the trip – as he does every year. In fact, flipping through their tournament magazine, I found Peter’s name in the winner’s column waaaay back in 1987 (I think) – for the C draw! Sheesh! I was a child back then… Peter’s tournament form this year has been deficient. Not from lack of playing, he just hasn’t been able to hit the clean ball when it counts. And these courts certainly are not the remedy for bad form either. Peter bowed out relatively early in both of his events.
Our other delegate was Alan Howard who played the D draw and the 60+. It was Alan’s first trip to Toledo and he was jolly glad he made the effort. Not just for the squash – where he reached the final of the 60+ but went down 3-0, but he made the most of the hospitality too. Alan was carrying an injury over the weekend but nursed his way through very respectably – again, no excuse. I’m sure the beer numbed the discomfort anyway!
The event is well known – probably more so – for the socializing. As usual, the attraction of the models that refill your beer cups on Friday night kept us all awake and not pay any attention at all to the squash going on, and the Saturday night party always seem to create some type of head-shaking, snickering, “what-were-they-thinking” moments. Names have been removed to protect the guilty, but here were some stand-outs:
- The guy who was physically attacked at a local bar on Friday, was punched and bloodied before the bouncers blamed him for the incident and roughly escorted him out of the establishment although he didn’t even throw one fist. They escorted the instigator through the back door – a girl.
- The guy who even though has a body skinnier than mine and tan whiter than an albino polar bear, decided to “dirty dance” during the Saturday night shin-dig topless for at least 10 minutes. It was caught on camera and now threatens to be released to the world. The parties are negotiating! It was not pretty, but it was hilarious.
- The guy who passed out in the bar at 2pm Saturday before his match, but still managed to win. I am not sure whether to be impressed or disgusted!
It was another weekend full of squash and fun. Pity we had only has 2 members make the trip, we’ll keep on trying to build the numbers. Just ask Alan – he certainly doesn’t regret making the effort. Nor will you!