This is 2012, the year of the Olympian and surely there’s never been a better time to enjoy sport? Well that depends on your starting point. A friend and I recently took up squash, a great way to get in shape pre beach season and post Easter binge or so we thought. Not a rock face or bungee cord in sight, but it turns out that squash is an extreme sport nonetheless. We’d barely pulled out of the driveway before we were stopped in our tracks on route to our first match by fifteen deer (we counted them) hurdling the hedges and darting like lemmings one after another across the road. “This is a bad sign.” I thought to myself as I edged the car slowly forward slightly concerned at the prospect of being killed by falling deer before we’d so much as unzipped our rackets. On arrival at the small community run club, we rushed eagerly to the door psyched up and ready to play before realising that I had left the key to the club at home. A frantic and impromptu road trip ensued as we tried to find a member of the aforementioned community that might have a spare key to hand. No such luck, so we headed back home, on high deer alert of course, to fetch the forgotten key. Almost an hour later we still hadn’t raised our rackets and our motivation was fading fast.
Finally unlocking the door of the squash club, we felt like Indiana Jones uncovering the Temple of Doom. After what seemed like an eternity, the match unfolded and we emerged unscathed, exhausted but victorious (well, my friend did, I lost.). They say exercise is good for mobility, gets you in shape and boosts your mood. Why then, dear reader, am I stiff and sore, unable to bend and put on my shoes, and frothing with rage at being defeated on the court? Squash is great fun and is recognised by the IOC, however it is sadly not yet an Olympic sport. Bad news for 8,500 squash clubs in the UK, but good news for me…. I’ve got until at least 2016 before I need to worry about going for gold with my racket.