If you're anything like me, you hate getting worse. And you hate losing to people you know you're better than. It's natural. Competitiveness and a desire to improve is what used to keep me going. It motivated me to do service practice over and over again on my own, and to traipse across London in the freezing cold to attend a match.
Last Sunday, I played in my fourth ever racketlon tournament. If you've got no idea what racketlon is, in short, racketlon is "the ironman of racket sports". To have any chance of winning, you need to be at least half-decent at table tennis, badminton, squash, and tennis - and ideally very good at one or two of them.
I keep missing the ball. I will be in full flow, effortlessly whipping a forehand topspin across the table, looking like Ma Long on a compilation video, and then, suddenly, the ball disappears. Worse still, it reappears behind me, causing me to run after it sheepishly while whoever I'm playing looks on with bemusement.
On Saturday, I played in my first ever official table tennis competition in the US - the 2017 Sacramento Fall Open. It was a big deal for me. The event was located in the gym at Sacramento's Inderkum High School. There were 167 players in total, split into several different events organized by ratings.
On Saturday, I'm playing in my first ever official USATT tournament - the Sacramento Fall Open in California. It's a big deal for me! Competing in sanctioned USATT tournaments was one of my goals when I started taking my table tennis more seriously back in April. I'm very happy that it's finally happening.