I've mentioned before how important I think exercise is for healing. And while I try to walk as often as possible, I've really missed competitive sports. I've been an athlete since I was a child. I've played tennis since the age of four. And while I quit for years at a time, it's like riding a bike: you never forget how.
While I haven't felt like playing tennis, I recently decided I wanted to learn how to play badminton, and signed up for it at my local community college.
My first class was on Monday, but it was more of an introductory class. Yesterday we actually played, and it was truly wonderful. Many of the classes I've recently taken have been new to me, which is part of their allure. I had determined that at this stage in my life, it's fun to take courses in which I have no background; it's exciting to learn something that's either new or which I've always wanted to know, but somehow don't.
But badminton is another story. The skills I've got from tennis apply. Instinctively I know where to be on the court. While hitting a shuttlecock is quite different than hitting a tennis ball, it's so much fun I can't stop smiling.
A few days ago I started feeling a bit blue because of the change in the weather. And, for some reason, I didn't feel like increasing the time I spend walking. I have been slightly concerned, but since I continued to go to class, I knew it wasn't a huge problem. Still, I do know how important aerobic activity is for decreasing depression.
Well, yesterday after playing 90 minutes of badminton, I felt great. I loved being in a college gym again, I loved the fast play, and I loved the fact that I beat another student who is 40 years younger than I am.
Who knows? Maybe I'll do a study on competition as a method of beating depression!
P.S. The graphic isn't me. I need to lose a bit of weight before I'm willing to post a picture of myself wearing shorts!