Last night, I went to pool hall, like usual and instead of playing barbox 8-ball, I decided to play on the big tables since I hadn’t played at all since last Wednesday for reasons I’ll leave out of this entry. I started off just hitting some balls, playing a very loose version of 10-ball. Then my team captain came in and asked what I’d need from him to get a game going. He didn’t want to play rotation, so one-pocket was the game. I thought about it a while and came up with 12-7. So, we tried that. I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s not a cake-walk for either of us. He’s capable of running 5-7 balls given the opportunity, but not 12. Just as I’m capable of running 3-5, but not 7. (depending on the layout) I won the flip and away we went. I played more conservatively than usual, but also took risks when I felt they outweighed the safe. After about 3 hours, we ended up dead even. He was never up more than 2 games, but I was never ahead either. I never really expected to be ahead. When we started, I set my goal of not being down more than 2 games by the end of the night. It’s a reasonable goal, given my abilities compared to his and one I felt I was capable of achieving.
The first few games, I was over-cutting most of my shots and it was really driving me nuts. But after each mistake, I just laughed or made a goofy noise. I *had* to shrug it off. So, shortly after I noticed the beginnings of a frustrating night, I made it a mental note to laugh at each and every mistake. Even though my first reaction wasn’t always laughing, I eventually did laugh at it by the time I got back to the chair. I really think this is what allowed me to come back so many times.
This accomplishment is a direct result from my readings from Pleasures of Small Motions. I’m finding this book to be excellent – and I will have to read it several times to get everything out of it. Each time I progress to a new level of my game, I find new meanings in its words. I really can’t say enough good things about this book.