Squash players and greyhounds have a lot in common. They both like their exercise in short, sharp bursts. I love squash for that very reason – you get on to the court, expend great amounts of energy, feel amazing and are off about your business in little more than an hour. It’s the ideal sport for busy people.
The other great thing about squash is that it can be played in the dead of winter, in driving rain and howling winds at ten o’clock at night – if that’s what takes your fancy – and you will be as warm as toast racing around, oblivious to the elements. It’s the perfect game for the Irish climate.
I am a member of two clubs – a tiny non-commercial club, where I am a “sub” on a first division team, which plays matches once a week all around Dublin. I also play in a big commercial club where there is a box league.
This is a system which gives you the chance to play with people of roughly the same standard. You move up and down the league depending on how often, how well or badly you play.
Now that I am one of the oldies, I tend to play about twice a week. No matter what kind of body clock you have, early riser or night owl, you can book a court time to suit you.
When you tell people that you play squash, a very typical reaction is, “Oh, I couldn’t do that. It’s so fast. I wouldn’t be fit enough,” but just as with any other sport, you play to your own ability. I know many people in their 70s and even some in their 80s who are still playing competitively.
While the greyhound may well retire to the sofa after a fast run, the opposite is true of most squash players who, fired up with adrenaline, are more than ready for another game.