Let’s start off with some quick word association – when I say squash, what do you think of?
I’m going to go ahead and assume you thought of the delicious, yellow root vegetable, and not the country-club racket sport played in a box. For most of my life, I would have thought the same – but not anymore.
For the last four weeks, I have played squash every Friday with three of my friends in the rec-center. Now, I am by no means a squash expert or enthusiast, but in that time, I’ve become rather fond of the sport.
For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, I’ll do my best to give a quick primer. Squash is played by two players in an enclosed court – very closely resembling a large, white room with hardwood floors. The court is divided in half length wise by a red line – behind that line, the court is divided width wise into two boxes, with smaller boxes inside of those.
The players are equipped with what look like skinny tennis rackets, and silly goggles (white polos and short shorts optional, but encouraged). The server stands in the box and serves against the far wall – the ball must hit above a line drawn along the lower portion of the wall – and after that, all hell breaks loose. The players hit the ball against the wall (the ball now must hit above a line even lower down on the wall), until one player misses, hits the ball after two bounces (you’re allowed one bounce), or hits the ball out of play. The player who doesn’t mess up gets a point, and the game goes until 21.
Now that you have some context, I’d like to share some lessons that I’ve learned from my squash matches over the last few weeks.
- I am very ok at squash
- Squash is fantastic exercise
- Squash will make your butt sore unlike any workout I’ve ever experienced
- Squash is not racquetball
To emphasize the second and third points; squash is TIRING. I like to think I’m in good shape and exercise fairly often, but after one game of squash, I was on the floor, unable to get up from a pool of my own sweat. I’ve managed to get my stamina up to three or four games, but any more than that, and my legs turn into the closest thing humanly possible to jello. The real pain, however, comes the next day; after playing squash for any extended period of time, your butt will hurt – a lot. I still haven’t exactly figured out exactly why of all the muscles in the leg, the Gluteus Maximus takes the full brunt of squash, but the biomechanical process behind the pain is the last thing I’m thinking of when I’m eating lunch standing up because it hurts too much to sit.
Butt pain aside, I look find myself looking forward to my Friday squash games more and more each week. They’re a great way to hang out and be active with friends, and are also awesome stress relievers at the end of a long week. They give my friends and I a great chance to bond over something that’s truly unique to us, and in only a short time, have brought us much closer as a group.
So, if you ever find yourself looking for something to do on a Friday afternoon, do yourself a favor and grab a few friends and some squash rackets, and head to the courts.
Just make sure to stretch your butt after.