Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thankful Thursday: 9/12/13

[Thankful Thursday is a weekly segment that began 1/10/13 - read why here.  I invite you to join me in practicing gratitude!]

I am thankful that this town has a group of teachers from the local schools who play badminton on Wednesday evenings!  I went again last night, my second time, and we played from about 17:00 - 19:30.  Then four of us went to dinner again at the same restaurant we went to last week.  Sure, it's not my sport of choice (cough ultimate cough) and I'm not passionate about badminton, but do I ever work up a sweat!  So the exercise is good for me.  My right arm/shoulder is pretty sore today, so I'm definitely getting stronger!  And I've decided that the arm strength, wrist work, and footwork can all help my ultimate game.  I think it's really great that I have the opportunity to learn a new skill/sport for free while living here, and at the same time interacting with teachers from other grades and schools.

A funny moment from last night so you can have a laugh: A Korean man (who could only stay for the beginning of practice) had been giving me pointers and showing me what to practice.  He only speaks Korean, so I mostly just watched what he was doing and imagined what he was probably telling me.  One of the exercises he told me to do was to hold the racquet parallel to the ground and continuously hit a birdie to myself.  You know, just short hits trying to keep control of the birdie and seeing how many hits in a row I could make.  Except I need to alternate sides of the racquet each hit, so you're flipping the racket with your wrist as you're doing short little hits up and down.  The man left after about a half an hour and I played a couple games with different people.  Then it was near the end of the night, there were only five of us left and four were finishing up a game together.  So I decide to pick up a birdie and practice this new drill I learned.  So I'm over a bit aways from the game, kind of near a wall, tap tap tapping.  I got up to 11!  Then 8 was the next highest I got.  So I'm tapping and flipping and following this birdie around.  I'm getting closer to the wall, but I'm keeping my eye on that birdie and trying to break my record.  Concentration, concentration.  Then whoop!  Up the birdie goes... straight out an open window, down down out of sight (the gym is up on like the third floor)!  Hahaha!  (No screens on the school windows, like in Spain).  I kind of froze, might have whispered a shit out loud, then looked around to see if anyone had seen me.  It would have been really funny had it been caught on film.  I did tell the teacher that drove me, just before he left just then, but he said don't worry about it.

Oh wow, I just thought of two more quick lines to bring you another laugh:  The teacher who drove me to practice yesterday kept shortening "shuttlecock" to "cock" when giving me pointers at badminton in English.  Ahhaha!  
And then, when he had to leave, this teacher wanted to tell me that Mr. Y would drive me home, but he said: "Mr. Y is going to ride on you"!!!  I made a face like I didn't understand, and he said the same phrase again, but finally added: "Mr. Y drive you."  I had a good laugh in my head.  Wow, couldn't have picked a worse combination of words.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
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