Loss Vegas

31 05 2014

Vegas Sunset

The alarm sounds. It’s 4am, and the birds aren’t even awake. After two taps of the snooze button, Big Papi, the hungry beagle who senses any opportunity for a meal, doesn’t even trot on up beside the bed. If I was in any state to think, I’d be thinking, it’s way too early to interrupt the dream I’m in the middle of, especially if Papi hasn’t unfurled himself from his sleep-ball. I get up anyway, dodge a cat waiting for a pat, and turn on the bathroom light to stun myself into stillness like a deer in the headlights.

It’s 7-7 in the first game. I don’t know how I get it back to 7-7, the ball is bouncing like we’re in the middle of the desert, so there’s no surprises there. We’ve had one day like this in Massachusetts this year that hit 90 Farenheit, and I didn’t even play that day. Come to think of it, I didn’t play the day before that either, or the day after. I’m no longer a full-time professional squash player, I’m part-time, and in the part of time where I’m supposed to be a professional squash player, I’m visualizing the game. I can count on two hands how many matches I’ve played this year, and still have fingers to spare. But, none of this is going through my mind when it’s 7-7 in the first game, because I’m so focused on enjoying the match, and maybe just too busy actually doing so. I lose a point, and remind myself that losing a point isn’t the end of the world. It’s not like I’ve lost a limb. I’ve lost a point. I quickly forget the lost point and focus on the serve return at 7-8. Read the rest of this entry »

In A Nutshell

21 03 2013
Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Old Orchard Beach, Maine

“If you listen, you hear the buzz.” That’s what the homeless man said to me in downtown Boston early on in my trip. I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, but being one that keeps small things like that stored away, I fully understand the meaning of what he said. I got caught up in that buzz. I got into this country fresh. Like an unpicked daisy I was green in the middle. I’ll try to encapsulate the following months as best I can, from an airport lounge In LA, on my way back to God’s own. Read the rest of this entry »

Shipping Off To Boston

22 10 2012

I arrived in America on 10th October, and thanks to the hospitality of the Sharplins, I had a nice family environment to stay in for the first week. Dan Sharplin super coach works in the Cross Courts club just north west of Boston, but commutes 50 minutes each way from his home in New Hampshire, where the American fall (autumn) is at its finest. He’s well known for running one of the most full on junior programmes in North America, and anyone that is half human wouldn’t have lasted a year in what he’s done for a decent amount of time now. I had the pleasure of hanging out at his club to watch him pull off quality lesson after quality lesson. He also found time to give me a lesson in how to play tactical squash, which proved the old adage, form is temporary, class is permanent. That stood me in good stead for my debut appearance in a PST tournament in Cleveland.  Read the rest of this entry »

Being Honest And Being Sick.

2 09 2012

Short posts are the way to go! That way you guys know I’m still alive, and trust me, after this week I’m only just alive! I’ve had the whole week off training. 10% of the reasoning is because I injured my glute in the Henderson Open PSA, the other 90% is because at one stage I thought I had meningitis! After getting the shakes last weekend, I woke up on Tuesday with the dreaded rash (no, not that kind of rash.. For any dirty readers out there) that goes along with the head feeling like its going to fall off. Anyway, after waiting an hour and a half with a room full of crazy people at the local A&E, I was cleared with a viral infection, and prescribed with drugs for Africa.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Old Misty Hills

21 08 2012

Phil “Rockstar” Buscke and Michael Sunderland embrace after a beautiful moment singing ‘My Heart Will Go On’

Alright, it’s time to get some posts going on here again! I’ve written a few things since my last post but then I always look over them and think they’re a bit inappropriate. The truth is there’s so much going on inside my head I’m struggling to get it on paper before more thoughts take over!  Read the rest of this entry »

Results Can’t Speak

16 06 2012

Searching for light on the Horizon

The results don’t really speak for themselves. Results can’t speak. They’re just a number or a round. Just the other night we were playing a game of Yaroslav Yannif, a card game renamed by Canadian Matt Serediak because he was having trouble grasping the name Yannif, so of course he lengthened it and gave it a Russian accent to make it easier haha. One of the girls who was playing cards with us had lost in a round she wasn’t expected to lose in at a tournament, and we were discussing an article that someone overseas had written about the result, having not seen a point with their own eyes. In my eyes it’s something that should not be done. I think people tend to do it more to create content because they need to or because they feel they have to. It’s hard enough commenting on something even if you’ve seen it. You’re not sure of what each player is going through, physically and mentally. Like in my case they could be struggling with past injury, or coming back from it. They could have a new injury. They could have all sorts of big dramas on their minds. When someone asks me what I think happened in a match, unless it’s extremely obvious, I feel uncomfortable commenting on anything other than apparent tactical or physical strengths or downfalls. People do it though, and sometimes their opinion is interesting and insightful, and sometimes it’s complete crap, because they’re on the other side of the world and didn’t see a thing🙂 I should be careful, I’ve probably done it myself a fair few times. That’s the joy of the life though I guess, we’re free to do and comment on whatever we want.. unless we’re in a school classroom. Funny that. A school is there to prepare you for the outside world of freedom, but it is too often a place where there is the least amount of freedom available, apart from prison maybe haha. Read the rest of this entry »

The Start Line

11 04 2012

I’m back playing squash. I’m really happy to say that. Like Pete in the picture above, some people probably didn’t recognise me after it has been so long. Lucky for me I was only put on the operating table and not the grill. It’s not an easy process, I suppose that fact is obvious, but I thought that when I was ready to play again I wouldn’t still have pain in my knee. Assumptions are glorious things, but often they’re wrong. Mine was wrong. You set these timelines in your head, “Yep, the surgeon says I’ll be fine to play again on this date” and you imagine yourself moving like a dream, and playing in World Series events haha. I know, I know.. delusions of grandeur! But do you get what I mean? I have 9 months of watching squash tv, and count down every day until I’ll be playing again. I guess if I do this so much then I start imagining myself playing in the tournament of champions, or the british open, because my head is always in that space, and not realising that at this time in my career, my place is court 2 at the national squash centre, with people eating subway sandwiches out the back of the court. Read the rest of this entry »