Pool School

I suppose there’s a metaphor for life lurking in every sport.  How else do we explain so many sports movies? I mean after Rudy and Raging Bull the sports movie machine coulda stopped yes?  But then there was A League of there Own, Cinderella Man…I could go on but I digress.

I swam competitively for a number a years but never did I make as many ah-ha moment connections in all those years of starting blocks, bi-lateral breathing and flip turns as I did in my 45 minutes of pool playing. Felt table, cue balls, triangle thingy. Playing pool.  Maybe it’s just that I’m playing pool with a grown woman’s perspective and frame of reference whereas I was swimming pools as a youngun and a teen.

I’m no expert pool player by far–about a thousand 100 meter pool lengths away from being an expert.  But I’ll say this.  I have the makings of being not half bad.  I didn’t play competitively, just did a couple of rounds of clearing  the table.  Each time it took me about 5 minutes less.

Now, the following aren’t Eckhart Tolle-Oprah-scream-worthy ah-ha moments, (if you’re into that sorta thing) but they did occur to me during shooting:

Focus:  When you intensely zero in on your shot/goal and put your energy into making it happen–more often than not it happens.

Put in the work:  Sometimes there were shots that required stretching and bending and I soo didn’t feel like contorting.  But, you guessed it, when I got on tip toes, stretched across the table and went after a shot in less obvious ways, it usually paid off.

Stick-to-it: Stay with the shot.  The times that I had the perfect shot lined up but was too hasty and over confident in my approach, I didn’t sink the ball.  The times that I focused, put that focused energy into the shot and followed all the way through? Sink city baby.

Be resourceful:  That square chalk thingy that the cool pool guys/gals in the movie rub on the end of the stick –its actually very useful.  When I just felt like no matter what I did the stick wasn’t hitting the ball squarely I grabbed the chalk and (probably more vigorously and theatrically than necessary) I got to rubbing.  Next shot? Sunk.

Pray: Some of the shots looked impossible.  But I focused, put in the work, stuck with the shot, used the right resource, whispered a prayer and…missed. Big. But I made the next one 😀