Wednesday, August 22, 2007

When the student is ready.....

Fast Mikie, a San Diego based pool-blogger (and Level 7 APA Player) recently quoted the Buddhist saying "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

I think its been apparent from some of my other posts that I've been longing for a teacher. As I've mentioned before, one of my mentors on my team moved away, and I have really felt the void. I do have a couple of instructors that I can go to periodically for lessons, but that's not quite what I'm looking for. Information is only a part of what I'm craving. Really, its the relationship that you have with a coach/teacher or master (as used in the original Buddhist saying).

Its having someone else who cares about your success and failures and is willing to care about the whys and why nots and what to do about it. Someone else who will take satisfaction and will appreciate your hard work (win or lose). Basically, someone else to witness the journey with a little more invovlement and compassion than say the Greek Chorus commentary of some pool teams.

I think having the witness and being able to have an ongoing dialogue and the relationship with a mentor helps you learn faster. I'm sure of it.

Maybe that's a lot to ask. Maybe that's more than what I need. I'm no great shakes as a pool player. But I 'm a good student and I work hard. When it comes right down to it, I'd just love to have someone who is better than me to shoot pool with on a regular basis who can give me pointers without being obnoxious and would enjoy talking over what went right and what went wrong in my game.

So, I'm throwing this out there, into cyberspace. Is this unreasonable to ask for? Am I looking for the wrong thing? Or am I just not ready and when I am the teacher will appear?

The Lonliest, Least-Appreciated Pool Player in the World (Sniff, sniff)

Monday, August 20, 2007


Wow, its been a month almost since I posted. I have a few drafts that never made it out of the gate, but I guess my blog is a reflection of where I'm at with pool and the trouble I've had defining and articulating where I'm at. After months of navel staring, sleepless nights and unnecessary picking of fights with friends and family, I have finally pinned it down. I am.....bored.

My losing streak had a brief reprieve for one league night, and in fact, I think I shot some of my best pool ever in a league situation. But then shortly thereafter, I went back into the slump, losing several more league matches and then a tournament match this weekend.

I'm not sure what's at the root here-- am I losing because I'm bored or bored because I am losing? Well, sometimes, I'm losing because I just get beat even if I'm playing well. What disturbs me more, is despite my post about redefining my "losing streak" as "learning streak" (which by the way for one shining week seemed to be true), I have walked away from my losses without any new knowledge or anything to say about my match).

I've got a lot of things that aren't going quite right, not just pool. My job sucks and takes way too much energy to feel that I have much of a life, and I feel like I'm not doing it very well. I just moved to a new apartment and its filled with problems that were not identified at the time of rental (just waiting for the day when I have both a toilet and an stove functioning at the same time.) I feel tired, run down, and a little hopeless that despite all my efforts, I've been spinning my wheels without moving my life in the direction I want to go. I have a pretty significant birthday coming up (30 minus one), so I guess its not too surprising that I'm taking stock and maybe its time to jettison things that aren't giving me what I need to free up time for things that will.

The thing that puzzles (and saddens me) is that a year ago, pool was the very thing that was consistently bringing joy into my life. It was my oasis. The world is always changing, and its not reasonable to expect that something will be fun forever, but still I'd like to know what's going on so maybe I could salvage something. I suspect that it has something to do with the lack of a team bond or a real mentor (which I had but he moved away).

I will have to write more later. But in the meantime, I have to shake things up. I've decided to quit all teams for now. I'd be tempted to keep Thursday night as a back up. But unfortunately, Friday is one of my heaviest days in terms of workload, and playing on Thursday's is causing a real problem. So, in a moment of true adult what's-really-best-for-me decision making, I've got to let it go.

On the horizon as new adventures....sailing, dancing, exercise, yoga, writing & job hunt.