Saturday, October 4, 2008

Face off

When I was a teenager, my dad bought a table tennis table and stationed it smack-dab in the middle of our living room, much to the angst of my mom (though she eventually made the best of it; even started using it as a dining table, serving meals on it). Whenever my dad, brothers and I felt in a competitive mood, we would move all the furniture against the walls and face each other across the table. We've spent many memorable and spirited evenings playing, and it's been especially enjoyable when we all got together or had cousins or friends visiting, so we could team up and play doubles. I tried to recreate this atmosphere when DH and I bought our first home 2 1/2 years ago.

So, one of the absolute musts for our new home was a finished basement with 20x12 feet of unobstructed space where our new TT table could take pride of place. And the very first purchase for our new home was a bright blue 168 lb, $500 Kettler table tennis table. DH, I and a friend almost broke our backs trying to move and install this humongous thing in our basement.

Though the initial enthusiasm soon died and we were left with a TT table collecting dust, we have had some vigorous rounds when friends visit. We have one friend in particular, who we really enjoy playing with. He is a pro and takes his table tennis very seriously. When he comes to visit, he is always kitted out in a lumbar back brace and brings his own match quality racquet and balls. Methinks he would bring his own superior quality Stiga table too, if he could lug it around and had a place to install it.

2 weeks ago, DH and I dusted off the table and resolved to play at least 15-20 minutes a day, 2-3 days a week. The main motivation is our impending visit to India in December. Within 2 months, we hope to provide serious competition to the superior smash of my older brother and the consistent, deadly backhand chop of my dad.

But for the time being, we leap about the table, me, awkward, with my arms and legs flailing, and DH, with his elegant kathak-like dance moves.

No comments: