What Badminton Means to Me

2013 MVALs
2013 MVALs
     I've been playing badminton for almost six years. I cannot begin to imagine how much time I have invested in this sport. There have been times when I've wanted to quit. There have been times when all I wanted to do was snap my racket in half and throw the pieces against a wall over and over until only dust remained. But for some unknown reason, I could never do it. No matter how hard it got, I would always find myself at practice again the very next day.
     And that’s when I realized that badminton had become more than just an extracurricular sport to me. Badminton exposed me to a whole new community; I have met so many amazing people and many of my best friends through badminton. I’ve traveled to Jamaica and Puerto Rico to play in international tournaments. I’ve sweat more than I thought was humanly possible. I’ve had the honor of playing against amazing people. I’ve experienced devastating losses as well as thrilling victories. I’ve travelled the world and played in tournament varying from Bay Area Open to Pan American Junior Internationals.
     I’ve been able to live a life I never thought possible through badminton.
     This year, I’m a junior at Irvington High School. I’ve been stressed with the stereotypical horrors of junior year—AP classes, SATs, and the general foggy, oblique mystery known as “my future.” I wasn’t able to train as much as I would have liked, and in order to force myself to continue playing, I decided (very reluctantly) to join the school badminton team. I had absolutely no idea that this decision would perhaps be the best decision of my high school career. Aside from the obvious physical benefits that come with exercise, I was able to meet so many amazing people, from the awesome Coach Strout to some teammates whom I cannot imagine living without. For the first time in my life, I was able to see the whole team aspect to badminton, a sport I’ve traditionally regarded as an individual one, especially since my main event is singles. There is nothing more rewarding then witnessing a teammate finally master a shot or seeing someone who has worked so hard all season win the deciding game in a school match. Four months flew by as if they were four seconds, and the season concluded on a bittersweet note with NCS this past Saturday, where my partner and close friend, Ben Gau, and I placed fourth in mixed doubles.
     I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t ask my father to sign me up for badminton lessons that one spring day when I was 11 years old. I’m 17 years old now, and I still love badminton as much as I did when I first picked up that racket.

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Nika Megino May 23, 2013 at 04:41 PM
How awesome! It's always great to find an extracurricular activity that turns out to be more. Thanks for sharing your story, Jenny!


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