Post photo: squash court

Today I had a squash racket in my hand again for a long time. And that inevitably led me to sink deep into thought. In advance I had asked that we meet on a Heilbronn squash court for this occasion - unfortunately this is no longer possible. I even had a very specific court in mind; Times are changing very dramatically at the moment, especially in Heilbronn.

When I was young, my parents attached great importance to me being active in sports and getting to know as many sports as possible. As for tennis and horseback riding, I didn't understand them at all at the time — but I have to admit that both later served me well professionally. So, on courses in France, I was spared having to “ride” my bike next to my French comrades at competitions — and I always got the good-natured horse in the stable.

And well into the noughties, I still picked up a tennis racket from time to time, especially when the idyllic court or the sheer size of the facility with dozens of tennis courts appealed to me. The three courts of my former tennis club would certainly have tempted me to play after my return to Heilbronn, but they had to give way to a residential complex a few years ago, although I'm glad that they didn't give way to another "food court".

And so, after our return, my better half and I at least tried to keep up our swimming training. But here, too, I noticed that our sports facilities, instead of a slight smell of sweat, come up with an odor mixture of roast onions, white-sour spritzer and vomit. In the indoor pool, there are often clouds of perfume, which can be life-threatening for a swimmer - which, however, should not bother the bathers at the edge of the sports pool with cigarettes or beer in their hands.

I first picked up a squash racket in May 1992. And this only because I had met my better half a week earlier and she was playing on a Heilbronn squash team. Tennis and squash are, in my opinion, two completely different things, and so after our marriage a year later, the fact prevailed that military bases, at least until the turn of the millennium, all had tennis courts but no squash courts. Although my better half was later compensated by becoming a member of the women's golf team in Stettin in the noughties and then supporting a women's long gun team in Ulm and finally even tennis; which then led to me picking up a tennis racket again in the 2010s; I "lost" my squash racket back in 1993.

So today we drove to the next larger town, Neckarsulm, walked through a well-stocked restaurant and found a few squash courts in the back room, so to speak. Admittedly in perfect condition and also equipped with the necessary privacy, which is particularly important for those who want to devote themselves to this sport again after almost 30 years of abstinence.

Contrary to all expectations - this time I didn't have to play as a complete beginner against a well-trained member of a squash team - I really liked the game. And so the pleasant environment and the entertaining nature of the game probably mean that I will probably buy a squash racket again.

As an old resident of Heilbronn, who still thinks it's good if you sweat during sports or work and not in the sauna or while eating, I would like it even better if you could stay within your own city limits to do sports.

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