I’m sitting here at work looking down at myself and I can say that I am happy. I started playing badminton for a number of reasons: a) to see what the fuss was about b) to not be sitting at home doing nothing c) it looked kinda fun and d) maybe lose some weight?
I must say, I do see what all the fuss is about now. I really enjoy playing and even if I’m not feeling well I try to go. Indeed I am no longer sitting at home in the evenings, I am playing badminton for quite a few of them and am normally passed out with exhaustion on my days off! It is fun. It is so fun! I wouldn’t have believed it until I started playing but I love it!
Now the biggest factor, weight loss. Before I started playing badminton I weighed the most I ever have, to the point my doctor gave me a little nudge to tell me to rein it in. I’d been on a few holidays and generally just love eating so it couldn’t be helped. I didn’t look morbidly obese or anything but definitely was chubby. This was starting to affect my clothing choices. I love fashion and I love putting a good outfit together. Every morning when I get ready for work, the choice of what to wear is so exciting for me and generally I like looking good! So, the fact that I was no longer looking the way I wanted in my outfits sucked!
Cue – badminton! Since I have started playing badminton, I have lost 4kg in weight. Another kg is almost on it’s way out. Bye! This is over a period of a few months and I am still eating everything I want. In fact I am eating more because badminton makes me really hungry! My body looks quite different too. My arms look more toned. My legs look slimmer and firmer. My bum looks smaller and firmer and my stomach seems to be shrinking. Little ab like creatures have appeared on the sides of my stomach. I am astounded, is this what sport can do for your body? If I continue what will happen?!
This morning I stuck on some black pants and a white jumper and I liked what I saw in the mirror! My silhouette looked….pretty good actually. More streamlined and just generally I was carrying myself better. Such a confidence boost!
My skin is a lot clearer too. I don’t know if all the sweating is good for it but I always look like I’m glowing – or just sweaty. Not really sure which, haha!
My parents have a huge thing for noses and necks. I know that sounds odd but they like a small, defined nose and a slender neck. For them, in their culture that represents beauty. Since I have started playing badminton, my parents always comment on my nose and my neck. They make it sound like I’m turning into a swan!
All in all, I really love what badminton is doing to my face and body!
Emotionally it has been really difficult to pick up a sport at this stage in my life. I know I harp on about how much fun it is and how I’m improving which is true but what I don’t talk about is the emotional journey it has taken me on. All these lovely changes to my body have come at a cost, they have been painful. I have literally felt my muscles changing and it hurts. When it hurts, it is hard to push yourself to continue but I have. Pushing through a wall of pain in order to improve takes some strength. I am not building up these skills slowly, even though it feels like it is taking forever! I am giving my body a crash course and I am impatient with results. I am very results driven so I get very happy when my training pays off and I play well, I also take it very badly when I make mistakes and don’t play well.
The fact that almost everyone I play with has been playing for years really makes me feel like I’m on the back foot here. It isn’t easy to accept that you are completely rubbish at something- which of course I was in order to learn it. You have to mentally break yourself in order to reform as an ‘athlete’. Break old habits. In the beginning it was a struggle to break old habits of wanting to just lay in front of the TV or read a good book instead. I still enjoy those things so I still need to squeeze them in somewhere!
It’s been a hard process but very rewarding. The hard work is by no means done. I have a long way to go. I wish I could click my fingers and be brilliant at badminton but then I wouldn’t get the satisfaction of seeing myself improve!
Badminton is generally making me fitter too. I am enjoying outdoor activities so much more now as a result! I went hiking with some friends a little while back and felt like I was able to do so much more without getting tired which was great! My stamina has improved so much due to badminton and I feel my balance and stability have also improved which really helped me when hiking!
I made it to the top! Yay! Proud moment!! My point is, the benefits are endless! 🙂