Monday, September 10, 2012


Do you remember your first ever competitive squash match? I do. And it was 35 years ago. Not for the physical agony of running around a court – because I was 6 years old and getting tired isn’t an issue at that age – but for the life-long mental scarring it incurred. I remember the venue, the court, and the day of the week, and the nerves. I also remember my opponent had on a white shirt with blue trims. Funny how certain things stick in your mind in times of mortal peril. I lost that day 9-0; 9-0; 9-0. It was a junior travel league match and I was clearly out of my depth. It was also the only time I have ever been bageled three games in a row. The Squash Poet relays his experience here, although he obviously wasn’t a young child, or in peak physical condition.

Watching the pros it looks uncomplicated
But that could be because I was intoxicated
A step or two with a lunge and a swing
How hard can it be to hit that black thing?
So a friend of mine bet me over a beer
That an old man with arthritis would hand me my rear
I won’t have an issue, I’ll be quickly succeeding…
…Holy crap! Who would have thought it’s entirely misleading!

The Squash Poet

“My First Match”

It can’t be that hard
When it looks so damn easy
I’m a fat tub of lard
And running makes me queasy.

But smacking a black ball
With a racquet light and long
Seems an elementary call…
…How could I have been so wrong?!

The court appeared bigger
Standing on the inside
Do I have enough vigor
To last the whole ride?

Five minutes had passed by
I felt so fainthearted
The lack of oxygen supply
And the match hadn’t even started!

The first rally of the game
I think I ran a marathon
Apart from shattering the frame
I couldn’t possibly go on!

Ignoring all health signs
And the pain that kept increasing
I’m sure I wrecked my spine
Is that blood me pores are releasing?

I also then found out
Muscles I never thought I had
Without a shadow of a doubt
I thought I needed a body-bag.

As if it couldn’t get any worse
The pain actually started to spread
I put in a call for a hearse
I was sure I’d soon be dead.
My knees began to swell
Followed by my ankles and my hips
So this is living hell?
Crap, my shoulder joint just ripped!

I even have a pain
In a muscle in my crotch
But I have to be insane
Because I loved the game so much!

I’m ashamed – it’s no farce
But the truth must be told
My opponent handed me my ass
And he was 80 years old!

I can’t believe I’m addicted
Despite the agonizing pain
It’s a sickness self-inflicted
I’ll do it tomorrow again!

The Squash Poet

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