34 New Things: Try Racquetball

Each year I make a list of new things I want to try. Some are easy, some are difficult, some are so ridiculously mundane. You can read about previous adventures here.

If you’d like to make a game of racquetball more interesting, here’s an idea:

1. Drop your contact down the sink.
2. Fail to find a replacement.
3. Meet your very athletic friend for your first ever game of racquetball.
4. Now attempt to play racquetball with very limited depth perception.
See? Things just got fun.
My sweet and athletic friend Ben agreed to teach me the ways of the racquet last week and I think he’s still my friend, so we’re going to count this as a successful endeavor.
If you’ve never played racquetball before, it’s a fun, fast-paced racquet-based sport in which you and a friend bash a small blue ball around a glass box. There are a bunch of rules about how many times it can bounce, which walls it can hit, and where it can bounce on the floor.
To make things more interesting, said glass box is frequently located in a highly visible part of the gym, so everyone can watch you hit yourself in the face while they do leg presses.
Ben and I spent about 15 minutes trying to play by the actual rules but after he won two games and I failed to score a single point, things degenerated the way they usually do with me and racquet-based games. Eventually it all devolves into “let’s just see how many times in a row we can hit it.”
I christened our new game “15 Double Bounce” and it is approximately a million times more fun than racquetball.
Other highlights from our game:
* That time I somehow managed to hit myself on top of the head with the ball
* The three times I cowered in fear of a fast-moving ball coming towards my face
* That one time I scored what would have been one point if we’d really been playing
* When we happily volleyed that tiny blue ball for about two minutes without stopping
* Every time I made awkward eye contact with the people who were looking into our glass cube
Really? I had a great time. I’m fairly sure I’m not destined for racquetball greatness but I will very happily play anybody who’s interested in learning ‘15 Double Bounce.’
Have you ever played racquetball? And more importantly, did you wear those cool headbands and/or wristbands whilst playing?

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  1. Maggie

    Haha, that photo is exactly how I look when I play racquetball! The first time I played, my opponent (and "teacher") was actually a squash player, which requires you to hit the ball like a million times harder. Well, he hit it right into my eye from about ten feet away. I looked good 'n tough for a few days… from there on out, I always wore safety goggles, which are way less cool than sweatbands.

  2. Bethany M

    I don't actually know how to play racquetball, but it's fun to hit a ball and have it bounce all over the walls. haha :p

  3. Sarah M

    The first picture made me laugh. My husband is Canadian, and grew up playing squash (sort of like racquetball) and I tried playing with him a few times. We actually got an audience one time and lots of people asked him how to play after we were done with the box. I hated having people watch me but I wasn't too bad. I didn't find it all that entertaining, though, and got quickly bored. I'll take my spinning over that any day.
    Sarah M

  4. Kaitlin Marie

    I love this post! One day my mom and I randomly decided to play raquetball at the local YMCA. We had NEVER ever played before, but figured we'd be fantastic at it. (Hubris.)

    Of course, we were terrible. The highlight of the day was when my mom hit the ball, it bounced off the wall, hit me right in the forehead so hard it knocked me off my feet, and then my mom burst into tears because she felt bad about hurting me.

    Raquetball is a rollercoaster of emotions.

  5. Celebrating the Day

    I use to play (horribly) all the time when I lived on campus in college. The best part is limboing through the Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory-esque tiny door.

  6. ambika

    I took a racquetball class in college of all things — I wasn't any good but loved it.

  7. cronicasdobrasil

    "Fifteen Double Bounce!" LOVE. that perfectly describes my way of playing tennis and badminton, both of which I adore and refuse to pay attention to silly things like lines and number of bounces. Got it back over the net? Good; it´s in play, then. Someone made me play by the rules once and I hated, hated it. Calvinball-style? I can play (and have) all day.

  8. Kate

    You're so brave!! I definitely tremble when I see the pros playing this game. Thanks for sharing – I would have made the same cringe in the corner!

  9. Campfire Chic

    I'm too terrified to try raquetball — I was a Kinesiology major and learned early on that if you don't wear the protective eyewear that the ball could HIT YOU IN THE EYEBALL AND SUCTION IT OUT OF YOUR FACE. No thanks, I'll keep my eyeballs in my face, thankyouverymuch.

    Also? Glass box of shame isn't my jam. Good for you for being brave 🙂

  10. Sarah

    Oooo! I actually belonged to a racquet club as a kid/teenager, and I have fond memories of the dirty looks my friends and I would get from "real" players as we whacked that little blue ball all around that glass cube! Good times!

  11. Teresa

    Totally went out to play this on Saturday for THREE HOURS just because of this post! And feeling the DOMS now because of it 🙂

  12. Broke And Beautiful

    OMG that first photo makes my heart smile. :')

  13. Eric

    Just stumbled upon your blog and am laughing my ass off! Like it and enjoy reading your post. Cheers.


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