Monday, 1 July 2013

My greatest acheivement

Before you lies a tale of great sporting prowess and heroism. Certainly my greatest athletic moment, and quite possibly the best moment in sports history that was never recorded by an impartial witness.


The ball shot through the air. With great skill and lightening fast reflexes, I screeched and covered my face as it plopped harmlessly in the water beside me.

My serve. I seized the diabolical projectile and tapped it, with some slight force, in my opponent's general direction.

This was not a competitive game.

I was waist deep in the swimming pool, she stood on the shallow slope, roughly knee deep. We'd learned early on that there was no possible way to move quickly through the water to catch a wayward ball (jumping sideways to swipe a wide shot made it impossible to get the next and so signalled the end of the rally), so the technique was all about co-operation and building the longest rally. Being able to place the ball accurately was vital and my squash practice began to show its value.

Our highest rally so far was six. We were aiming for ten.

It is possible that our alcohol intake had dulled our respective sporting prowess, but I firmly believed that after the three days practice we'd had, our numbers were about to start rising. And I was right.

We made a score of ten, then decided to aim for twelve and this was where the magic happened.

At three shots apiece we were halfway to the golden twelve. I was in deep water - although I could jump for high shots, my reach to either side was restricted by my arm span. She returned the ball to me and.... Disaster! It was too far to the left. I knew from the extensive practice of the last few days that I would not be able to turn to get my right arm there in time.

Without thought, without calculation, with the skill only a natural athlete or prognosticator can lay claim to, I threw the racquet from my right hand to my left, reached out and tapped the perfect return. 

The game moves on! Alicia saves the day! The crowd goes wild! 

We didn't make twelve on that game, but we did shortly thereafter. At which point I retired my career at the pinnacle of the profession of Slightly Inebriated Ibiza Pool Raquetball and celebrated with a generous reapplication of sunscreen.


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