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Saturday, April 03, 2004

Chicken Pox and Squash

Firstly, must say? DVLA isn?t so bad after all!! I got my passport back 1 week after I sent it off, and I received my UK photocard licence the next day, which expires in 2051, which is like when I am 70 years old. =P Paid a large amount for the licence though, which I?m thankful to say that it?s only a one-off thingy.

On another note, I got my chicken pox vaccine. Well, at least the first dose of it, and I?m supposed to go back for the second dose in a month?s time. Managed to do it between lectures on Wed. Well, wasn?t really looking forward to it, coz it involves needles. Don?t get me wrong: I?m not scared of needles. Let?s just say that I would rather be on the giving end, than on the receiving end. Thankfully, the needle used was a small 23G orange one, so it was barely a scratch. =) Now, all I have to do is wait and hope that I don?t break out in spots or rashes in the next 2-3 weeks, which is how long the incubation is for the chicken pox virus, esp when the vaccine used is a LIVE attenuated one.

Nothing eventful happened this week, and I suspect, for the next few weeks as well, as my exams are around the corner, and although I?ve mentally told myself to start doing work, I haven?t gotten down to actually going a timetable, having a strict regime of knowing what to do next. Oh well, let?s hope that for the next 3 weeks, and esp weekends, it will be a fruitful result. On a brighter note, I?m proud to say that a little of my memory hasn?t failed me yet, as yesterday when we had a tutorial with the stroke consultant, I could remember the nerve roots which innervated the various muscle groups of the arms and legs, thus saving the group from a lecture. =) So, being a clinical skills tutor isn?t so bad after all!

The highlight of the week would be the squash game yesterday. All this week, don?t know why, I have HAD to sleep the afternoon away. Even though I made it a point to go into the library and try to do some work, I just nod off at the table, in broad daylight! Thrice some more! I had the itch to do something active, other than hitting the books, but just don?t know what. You know the feeling when you want to do something, anything, but just don?t feel like moving at all? Oh well?

Now, on to my weekly squash session with Fu on a Friday evening. This is the fourth session that I?ve had with him. It?s amazing how patient one can be. During yesterday?s session, he drilled in several points into my head with examples of a couple of balls, and after each ball, he?ll drill in his point. We started off with warm ups of hitting the balls to our side of the courts, then we proceeded to line balls (down the line of the court, next to the wall) using the full court.

Point 1: Always try to take the centre, no matter what, and therefore, try to make the person run as much as possible by hitting line balls.

Point 2: Always be prepared for a drop shot comeback, esp since I do pretty nice drop shots. =P Be prepared to run forward!

Point 3: After a drop shot, smash it, so that the ball goes all the way to the back. Therefore the other person has to run from one end of the court to the other.

** most impt point** Point 4: Every ball is INTENTIONAL, therefore no sorries allowed. =P

Also learnt to do an overhead serve, which is very similar to the proper tennis serve, but need to practice and angle it in such a way that it would end up at the back of the court, therefore giving the opponent little chance to return it back.

During the game, I actually had a few ?perfect? balls which Fu complimented. He said that I should know when I executed a perfect ball. Also, he mentioned that he was amazed at how much my progress has been over just 4 sessions. Guess that is as good a motivation as any! =D I?ve realised that squash is not only a game of returning the balls, but it?s also a game of STRATEGY. Over the practice, I?ve had many balls which had the good idea to mke him run, but it just didn?t work out, and when I commented on that, he said that it is better to have the idea first, and the strokes will come later.

We played for 2 solid hours, with absolutely NO break in between, not for water or picking up balls. It was just continuous, and I just lost track of the time. So far, it?s been the most exhilarating session, yet tiring, breathless yet not too strenous that I had to stop at any point. We just kept on going. It was a great time, to say the least. The good thing is that hopefully, this will become a regular ?protected time?. This time, he was the one who confirmed the next session being next Friday, same time. All the previous times, I?ve been doing the asking, me being on a low confidence level, and wondering if he, being such a pro, would want to play with an amateur. However, it has proven to be very beneficial! For me, I can say that I have run more than I ever have in 1 session, and I can actually FEEL the improvements there.

Okay, enough rattling on about squash. You would think I?m going bonkers over squash, which in actual fact, I think I am! =D So far, it has proven to be a great game, not to mention, with great partners in Nhish and Fu! Okay, now back to the books, hopefully. =P