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Squash as a Metaphor for Life...

Published: 05 Jun 2004 - 18:22 by theguru

Updated: 03 Feb 2015 - 22:44

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In my long hours of reflection, contemplation, meditation and introspection, I often make a mental list of my many faults. Now this is not as boring as it sounds as the list, while always long, is never the same.

This I was reminded of whilst watching the modern cult classic, "Momento". As in the movie I am never sure if I have remembered what I have forgotten, or forgotten that I can't remember (or both simultaneously).

Coincidentally, this is why it is always true when I tell young hopefuls that I have forotten more than what they know about Squash, I am being very truthful. Curiously, I am constantly being remined about that which I have forgotten, so I now don't know what I have remembered and what I have forgotten. (If you can understand that, please email me or leave a comment, so that I can remember what I actually meant!)

But sorry, I digress...

Whilst dissembling myself as a form of therapy, I am usually reminded of the parallels of my life and my Squash game. It is said that within every adult the child remains, and so it is that Squash magnifies the characteristics of childhood, good and bad as they may be. Equally, it is true that one learns something about oneself when under extreme pressure.

Those who have just completed a challenging task such as a solo circumnavigation of the globe by boat, or a trek to the South Pole, will often say that they learnt a lot about themselves during their ordeal.

In real life, many of us attempt to do exactly the opposite - keep one's head down, stay out of trouble, not look sideways - in general, taking the path of least resistance, minimising the pressure times. People like this usually don't play competitive Squash.

My time in boxing has shown me many parallels with Squash. Two gladiators hellbent of the other's desctruction for the period of the contest. All the while, playing by the Marquis of Queensbury Rules. Of course. There is no place to hide, no where to shield oneself from the challenge being brought by the worthy opponent.

Unlike a situation where one's physical safety is at risk, the only form of real defeat is when one chooses not to produce the absolute best one can humanly muster at that moment in time. Choosing not to dig into the depths of one's very soul when staring defeat in the face is real defeat. Succumbing to superior skill or fitness of an opponent on the day is no disgrace.

And so it is in life...

I choose to give my all in everything I do, or at least try to. The results are not always as I would like, but on that day at that time it was my best. I am after all a victim of human frailties. I have my own combination of spirit, talent, confidence, skill, genetic typecasting and experience. In that, I am identical to each individual on earth. Each of us is truly unique.

This belatedly brings me to my point...

While all this is true, we do not remain the same. What makes me very happy, is that any of the things that help me improve my Squash game, also help to improve me as an individual. Learning to deal better with victory or defeat helps me deal with life's successes and inevitable failures, the discipline required to eradicate my game's weaknesses, provides me with the blueprint for doing the same in my daily existence.

Keep improving your game, keep giving your all, leave nothing off limits in discovering the truth about what stops us moving forward. We will enjoy glorious victories and suffer almost intolerable defeats, but if we treat each as the imposter it really is, we will have tasted real success.

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Replies...

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From raystrach - 03 Feb 2015 - 22:41   -   Updated: 03 Feb 2015 - 22:44

hi ghenderson

i think i have been previously outed. i write as the guru to give these articles a slightly different voice

i am the very inactive co author of the website. ( i am promising myself that this year is going to be different and we will do things - work keeps getting in the road)

best of luck with your speech. i have paraphrased  it from a famous quote by i can't remember who.

so unfortunately i cannot claim it as my own.

cheers

rs

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From Ghenderson - 03 Feb 2015 - 13:47

 An inspiring piece !

Would like to borrow the last sentence in my speech, and cite you as reference. But who are you?

 

 

Greg

 

 

 

 

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From ronniek - 11 Jun 2012 - 11:04   -   Updated: 11 Jun 2012 - 11:24

This is honestly one of the best articles I've ever read online. It is a very well written and interesting piece of work that I believe can apply to anything. We learn, we forget. Most important thing is that we try our best and enjoy whatever comes at us. Great article again. :)

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From adam_pberes - 01 Jan 2008 - 13:05

"In real life, many of us attempt to do exactly the opposite - keep one's head down, stay out of trouble, not look sideways - in general, taking the path of least resistance, minimising the pressure times. People like this usually don't play competitive Squash."


 


Ha, I can totally relate to this. All of the juniors that I've played with on tournament trips and such; All the ones that really show something 'special' are the troublemakers outside of the squash court. E.g: wherever we happen to be staying.


 


Sorry to those hotel/motel owners for the damage I and my fellow juniors have caused!

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From hamburglar - 01 Jan 2008 - 03:31

squash is a very Zen game. Hitting harder and running harder aren't always the best answers.

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From edmpnd1961 - 31 Dec 2007 - 13:14

Hi Guru,


There will be world peace n no war if everyone on earth can relate with yr thesis.


Also no more problems for the world referees.......................


Happy Holidays

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From steveywonder369 - 11 Apr 2005 - 01:25

Hey Guru summed up in a sentance! If we can treat success and failure as imposters and treat them the same then we are truly free my friend. A bit deep unlike my legnth!

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From bbob - 30 Oct 2004 - 23:03

Was that Zen or what?

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From rippa rit - 09 Jun 2004 - 18:38

Hey Guru - I realised after two paras how important REVISION is - 'cos we forget. We practice, try it out, it works, then we forget it - literally after a while.
As for the rest of the article, I have made an appointment for you with the Psych.

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From raystrach - 06 Jun 2004 - 18:03

Very deep this time, Guru. I will need to read it a few more times to figure it out.

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