Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tru calling

If there exists a gene for sporting prowess, I think it decided to remain unmethylated in me. Let's face it, my mum played basketball and badminton for her school, even once representing her state. And my brother has more swimming medals than Elizabeth Taylor has husbands. Yet with me, I have always encountered difficulty with games such as football and basketball (I blame the height factor with basketball). And whilst my ungraceful paddling can pass off as some form of as-yet-unnamed swimstroke, I have consistently demonstrated paucity of knack for aquatic activities (except for that underwater game where you hold your breath and slither like Oceangirl and see who goes the furthest).

My saving grace, however, has always been sports with sticks. I have no idea why. Ask me to kick a ball and it usually strays to one side. Throw a basketball and it careens left of centre like a lopsided lactating breast. Give me a stick, however, and suddenly I feel more in control. The same goes with racquets. And the strangest thing has happened to me here in Oslo. I think I may have found my true calling in a sports game.

Let me introduce you to a game called Innebandy. Also known as floor-ball, this Scandinavian game uses a hollow, light-weight, spherical plastic ball with holes throughout its surface like Swiss cheese. It uses sticks similar to those seen in indoor hockey. There is a wall surrounding the edge of the field which act as a rebound. One goal on each end. You can use your legs as well as your stick. The rest is pretty much self-explanatory. And seriously, this game combines every aspect of sport that I love.

Let's see:

1) There is a stick - an absolute pre-requisite (see above)
2) Ball remains on the ground - some of my favourite sports involve the ball remaining on the ground - ice hockey, indoor hockey, etc.
3) Running surface is actually ground, not ice - whilst I enjoy watching ice hockey, my utter inability to remain upright on skates rules out ice hockey as a game. Also, my body frame would not appreciate the knocks.
4) Not dangerous - ie. will not chip teeth, suffer brain damage, lose a testicle. Just look at the ball. And look at the stick. What's the worst that could happen?
5) Fast paced - Opposite of cricket. Enough said.

I've always enjoyed indoor hockey very much. But for some reason, I've always perceived it to be a non-legitimate sport, sort of like how Monaco is its own country. Also, getting hit by a flying puck isn't particularly pleasant. Insert Innebandy, and my problems are solved. I joined the medical student Innebandy team when I arrived, admittedly with some apprehension. I mean, Australians are stereotyped for their sporting ability, but Norwegians actually are sporty as a society if you take a look at a sample of the average population. The first time I played, I felt like I was hit by a truck the next morning. My fingers had bled both sides from my nails cutting into the cuticle each time I pivoted the stick. I also sustained a bruise on my right hip from crashing into another (much bigger) player. But it felt right, and FUN! True, the Norwegians were too polite to tell me that I sucked that first time, but to keep it into perspective, these guys are very good at their game which they've been accustomed to since childhood. The first time I played was also the first time I'd seen it in my life. So far, I've been relying heavily on my experiences with indoor hockey. My main problem now is controlling this ridiculously light ball - unlike with a puck, every I run forward with an Innebandy ball I need to double check that it hasn't bounced/gotten left behind.

Each time I play, I get better and better. Part of the learning curve is simply observing them when on a time-break. In fact, I think I'm even starting to use my feet to control the ball now. It's no joke - you have to be quite fit to keep up to pace with these guys, and a serious degree of hand-stick-goal coordination is required. But I'm glad I found this game and this team, because it gives me a break from medicine and from everyday class. I'm way too exhausted when I'm running from end to end to think about anything other than the ball. It also has more meaning than going to another party or drinking session. In fact, I'm quite keen to see how far I can progress by the time I finish the semester. Perhaps I should bring this game back to Melbourne.


  1. Your methοd of describing everything in
    this articlе is trulу good, every onе can easily undегstand it,
    Thanks a lοt.

    Feel fгee to surf to mу wеblog :: same day payday loans
    Here is my page : same day payday loans

  2. Hі аll, here еvery one iѕ sharіng ѕuch κnoω-hoω,
    thеrеfoге it's good to read this blog, and I used to visit this web site every day.
    My web site: Loans for Bad Credit

  3. Very raрidly this website will be famous аmong all blogging аnd site-building people,
    duе to it's nice articles
    My web page :: loans for bad credit

  4. Articlе wrіting is also a eхсіtement, if you know after that уou can wгіte or else it is dіfficult
    to ωrіte.
    Also see my web page:

  5. Woah! I'm really enjoying the template/theme of this website. It's sіmρlе, yet
    effective. A lot of times it's challenging to get that "perfect balance" between usability and appearance. I must say that you've donе
    a grеat job with this. Alѕo, the blog loads
    еxtremelу faѕt for me on Firefox. Оutstanding Blоg!
    My page > loans for bad credit

  6. Very nicе post. I just stumblеd upon уouг blog аnԁ ωіshed to saу that ӏ've really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!
    My site ; how to stop snoring

  7. Pretty sеctіon of content. I just stumbled upon уour weblog
    аnd in accession capital tо assert that I
    get in fасt enϳoyed account уour blog posts.
    Anyway Ӏ will be subscгibing to yοur augment аnd even I аchievement you acceѕs consistently
    Feel free to surf my web site 1 month loan

  8. Hi friends, how iѕ all, and what you ԁеsiгe to
    sаy regarding thiѕ artісle, in mу view its aсtually amazing
    in faѵor of me.

    Feel fгee to viѕit my ωeb-site:
    payday loans

  9. hey there and thanκs in your info ? I've certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however experience a few technical points the use of this web site, as I experienced to reload the website many instances prior to I could get it to load properly. I were thinking about if your web host is OK? No longer that I'm complaіning, but sluggіsh loading instances іnstances will often hаve an effеct οn уour placеment іn google and can іnjurу
    your quality ranking if ads and mаrketing with Adwordѕ.

    Well I аm adding this RЅS tο my
    еmail anԁ could look οut for a lot more of your resρective exciting content.
    Ensure that you update this agаin soon..

    Also visit my blοg poѕt payday loans online

  10. My brothеr ѕuggеsted I might like
    thіѕ wеbsitе. He was entiгely right.

    This post actually madе my daу. Yоu сann't imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    Also visit my blog post - short term loans

  11. I ωas recommеndeԁ thіѕ websіte by my cousin.
    I am not sure whеthеr this post is writtеn
    by hіm aѕ no onе else know such ԁetаiled
    аbout my ԁiffіculty. You're incredible! Thanks!

    Also visit my web page Instant Payday Loans