I have GAS!

What is GAS?

This is not a question about physics. Nor is the answer intended to be what the high officials of the HKSAR Government say on a daily basis.

GAS is a new acronym I learned today. It is something that has much relevance to my life and, I believe, the lives of many. It stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

According to Jeremy Sherman, writer of the article Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS): Confessions of a Guitar Shopaholic, the term probably originates in the realm of music. Sherman said that there are millions of “weekend warriors”, himself included, who keep their dream of musical mastery alive but unfulfilled by shopping for instruments more than they practise them.

“GAS isn’t limited to musicians,” Sherman said. I only have to form a mental picture of the tennis racquets kept in a box under my bed, some of which have never been played with, to testify to this. After reading the article, I also took the trouble to check the number of pairs of tennis shoes yet to hit the tennis court. Three. Not too bad, it seems, even though that is a supply for a good three years.

I could easily defend or pardon myself with the fact that I only buy second-hand or when there is a big discount. Most of my tennis shoes, for example, all flagship models of my favourite brand, are bought at half the retail price. But that is exactly the trap that I have fallen into. I have always looked for good models, feeling that they can help improve my game, and the fact that I can get them at very reasonable, even attractive, prices seem to justify the almost impulsive shopping, and I end up spending lustily but guiltlessly.

Sherman’s confessions that his pursuit for musical mastery has always been distracted by the search for better tools and that his musical instruments are more than adequate can be turned into mine, too, with the change of one word. Fortunately, he is now enlightened enough to have “sold off a small orchestra’s-worth of musical instruments” and focus on becoming a better bassist. I guess I should also start selling my tennis team’s worth of racquets and focus on becoming a better baseliner.

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