IT seemed like a good idea at the time, although we were all old enough to know better.
Six or seven years down the track, we have torn virtually every muscle in our long-suffering bodies, stained floorboards with blood, sweat and tears, overloaded heart-rate monitors with alarming readings, worn bruises as badges of honour and soldiered on after head knocks that would surely have forced NRL players off the field for concussion tests.
On more than one occasion, an ambulance has been called for an emergency dash to John Hunter Hospital.
But on Monday night, we'll be back in there, like addicts craving a fix, in the white box of war. Or what you may know as a squash court.
If cricket is a gentleman's game, and soccer the beautiful game, and rugby union the game they play in heaven, and rugby league the greatest game of all, then squash is the game of sado-masochists.
It started, as these things are wont to do, with two mates chewing the fat, lamenting the lack of sporting competition in our middle-aged lives.
I'd played a bit of cricket back in the day. My mate was a former Knights junior rep and Newcastle Rugby League first-grader, who had a crack at lower-grade rugby union in his later years.
But it had reached the point where nine holes of golf, a couple of times a year, was our only competitive outlet.
For no particular reason, I tossed up: "What about squash?"
Eyebrows were raised. Heads nodded in agreement.
Within a week we were on the court for the first time since the days of wooden racquets and Dunlop Volleys. Soon two players became three, then recently, three became four.
Before long, it was our weekly ritual. A sacred time when we could take out all our frustrations on a harmless back ball and push our bodies far beyond the boundaries of common sense.
This was not a case of leisurely exercise, or hit and giggle. From early in the piece, it was quite clear we were all evenly matched, ruthlessly combative and playing for sheep stations.
Skill and technique might be in short supply, but there is no lack of do-or-die intensity. Sledging and dummy-spits are standard operating procedure.
Each week it seems, the stakes are raised. Turn up slightly below par, and you'll be unmercifully thrashed.
In the back of our minds is the ultimately indignity - the traditional pants-down loser's salute for a player who fails to win a game.
At some point I christened our weekly hit-out the war in a white box. A place where brave men risk life and limb and become hooked on the adrenaline rush.
All of which, over the years, has left me pondering two perplexing and possibly intertwined questions: why is squash not an Olympic sport, and why has it dwindled in prominence over the past few decades?
It's got me baffled how a game played in almost 200 countries around the world, and with a lucrative professional circuit, isn't regarded as worthy of an invitation to the world's greatest sporting show.
Squash, after all, is played by millions of people around the globe. There have been male and female world champions from every continent.
Its absence from the Olympics is especially mind-boggling when you consider that two of the newcomers for Tokyo 2024 will be skateboarding and rock climbing.
There was a further blow for the world's best squash players earlier this year when Olympic organisers excluded their code from the preliminary list of proposed events for Paris 2024, at the expense of breakdancing.
That's right. Breakdancing. Believe it or not.
More recently, there has been a push for the so-called e-sports to be included. Video games at the Olympics - that'll do me. Computer nerds marching at the opening ceremony alongside real athletes. What's the world coming to?
Like the chicken-and-the-egg debate, which came first - the lack of interest in squash as an Olympic event, or the sport's decline in the general community?
Back in the 1980s, it seemed there were squash courts in every suburb.
There was the International Sports Centre complex. There were some at Georgetown, Waratah, Broadmeadow, Charlestown, Kotara, and even in Darby Street.
These days, they're almost an endangered species. Other than Cardiff, our usual venue, and at the university, I'm not aware of any others in Newcastle.
And that, in a few hundred words, brings me to the whole point of this column.
Saturday (October 12) is World Squash Day and, to celebrate, Cardiff Squash Centre are providing 10 free courts from 12 noon until 4pm, including several designated for kids.
There'll be a free barbecue, raffles and lucky door prizes.
It's a chance for beginners to try something new, and for former players to reconnect with a sport they may not have played for years, or decades.
The courts are easy to find, on the intersection of Macquarie Road and Ada Street in Cardiff, and best of all play always proceeds no matter how heavily it rains.
Why not give it a go? Maybe you too have the makings of a white-box warrior.