I wouldn’t recommend taking medical advise from a table tennis blogger. In the hierarchy of writers we fall just below sitcom writers, and just above Chinese to English translators. If you are expecting me to tell you that ping pong is the best medicine, you are only partly correct. Table tennis has lots of health benefits, but I don’t need to tell you that. No, I’m looking at a little bit bigger picture. I haven’t been able to play as much lately. I’m ready to get back to coaching and playing as soon as possible. While it’s been pretty hard to play while in isolation, the current situation has not been without some side benefits. I’m writing this on March 29th. If you are reading this on April 9th and discover I died of complications from a bout with the corona virus, you can assume any side benefits were not enough to save me.
For the moment, I’m feeling really good. Since I can’t play table tennis, I’ve been taking long walks and running a few miles. I’m not doing it as a defense against illness. I’m doing it for my mental health as much as anything. I wouldn’t say that table tennis is the best medicine, but movement is a great drug. I’m trying to imagine what some of the athletes I’ve known would be like if they had never taken up their sport, whatever it is. I think some of them would have died years ago. Our bodies were meant to move, and will rust if they aren’t used.
I don’t understand why the medical world doesn’t embrace this more. As much faith as some of us put in medical doctors, it would be great if they started prescribing walking, dancing, swimming, or ping pong as readily as they prescribe antidepressants and narcotics. My wife is a registered nurse. I’m always impressed with the dedication of her and her peers. I’ve come to the conclusion that the medical community is at it’s best when patients are the sickest. The measures taken to keep people well, seem far less effective. Someday, when the corona virus is just a bad memory, everyone will need to decide how they want to live going forward. Hopefully lots of people will decide to begin moving forward. There’s no vaccine for inertia.