You know, I love to win. I think it’s a basic human emotion, the need and simple joy of victory. I’m always a little suspicious of people who beat you at something and don’t demonstrate any kind of positive emotion. Those are the sneaky bastards, don’t you think? My mother only ever gets up to do a happy dance after she’s truly trounced me at cribbage – the little ones don’t seem to thrill her all that much. Me, I want to fist pump every single time I win, even if it’s beating someone else in getting my shoelaces tied. Heck, I was excited about beating a 2 year old in a foot race, and he’s 2 feet tall and pigeon-toed for the love of god.

So, I beat Vivian at squash last night. I didn’t just beat her, I obliterated her. You may remember that Vivian is the only person I beat in the winter league, and she was my first game. It wasn’t a lot prettier last night. I beat her 11-6, 11-3, 11-1. It was hotter than you can imagine in the cube and I was a sweaty beast. Sweaty. Beast. The league coordinator likes to mock my red face when she sees it, but I’ll mark my redness as a badge of honour. I worked it.

How did I win? Well, Vivian has a short shot game. She’s not the strongest of hitters, so she really focuses on the tricky shots that land close to the wall or bounce up off the ground really low. Luckily, my regular partner (Barb) plays Vivian too (Barb’s a bit of a squash ho) and I knew from her comments that Vivian has really been focusing on this aspect of her game. Luckily, I also knew that Barb hadn’t turned it around on her, because she’s pathologically unable to hit a ball with anything other than the maximum force her body will allow.

I, on the other hand, have no problem with a soft shot. She hit a short one, I’d hit another one in return. For some reason, it took Vivian all three games to realize that I was a) anticipating she’d hit a short one; and b) was not going to hit it back to her at the mid-court. In short (ha! I crack myself up), I beat her by making her do the same amount of running she was expecting me to do. You know what? It was awesome.

You know what wasn’t so awesome? I hit her in the head with my racket. Yes, a mere 24 hours after hitting the ball right into Barb’s ear, I hit Vivian with my racket. In the head. Holy christ. I made it four months without hitting anyone but myself, but in two days I hit two people. Doh.

You know what else wasn’t so awesome? I ran so hard to get one shot that when I put out my hand to stop myself from hitting the wall it didn’t work, and I plowed right into it. My poor left breast will never be the same again.

And the final not so awesome thing? I kind of felt bad for beating her in three straight games. I felt like I kicked her when I was down. Sure, I was doing a happy dance, but it wasn’t as much fun as last week when I at least had to play four games to win.

So, I guess my lesson is this: victory is fun, but not as fun when it becomes total annihilation.

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