Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just a little bit

Okay, so now I have not one, but two longer almost completed posts in need of editing, but no time to finish them, so just a brief recap on the APA Singles Regionals a couple weeks ago: I lost.

I made it to the finals in 8-ball and semi-finals in 9-ball undefeated, and then just ran out of gas. Most people compete in either one or the other but not both. My plan, as I had written about, was to just drop 9-ball, but the week before a friend added me to his roster without asking, so I could compete if I wanted to. (At the end of the day, I think that playing 9-ball probably hurt my chances of going all the way in 8-ball, but I have no regrets. I thought I was going to be crushed in my 9-ball bracket, and in the first few matches played so well, that I really surprised myself.)

Last October, I did about the same, but felt great--It was such a tremendous improvement over previous regional tournaments. This time I was really disappointed that I had stagnated, and that I was undone by fatigue for a second year in a row.

So, the next week, I started working a little bit of exercise into my daily schedule. And then a couple things became apparent to me:

1) I am in TERRIBLE shape! Oh my god. I had no idea I had let my general conditioning slip this much. Just a quick 20 minutes was challenging. This is bad news, except that I know last year at this same time, I was in relatively good condition. SO that means, that maybe I had progressed, and if I only could get in better shape, I might see a big difference in my ability to go the distance.

2) A little goes a long way. It really doesn't take much exercise to boost up my energy level and mood. (I'm writing this to remind myself when I'm feeling lazy and having a hard time remembering whether its worth it).

And, then I remembered that although it felt like deja vu, I have gone up a skill level since last year in both games, so all my matches were longer and more competitive, so in many ways, doing about the same probably is progress, even if its just a little bit, I'll take it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Worry less. Laugh more.

I'm working on a longer pool related post that needs some serious editing, but in the meantime, I just wanted to blog about my dear friend Jennifer. Jennifer was one of my best friends in college, who died in an accident last year. (I want to say unexpected or tragic, but isn't that just the nature of accidents?).

After college, we drifted apart, wrote the occasional birthday email (how did she always remember mine?), saw each other at weddings, and then a year or so before her accident reconnected on a more regular basis on facebook. At the time of her accident, her husband posted an update on her status that "it could be worse." I took that to mean she would be okay, and for some reason expected that if anything important happened, facebook would be sure to let me know. It was two months later that I received a voicemail from a mutual friend saying there was something I should know, and I raced home to facebook to read all the updates that hadn't made my news feed...and that Jenn had been gone for a couple of months.

Its amazing how some people become so core to who we are, even though your lives move off into entirely different directions. In the moment that I realized the truth, my knees gave way, it was so startling. I've lost friends before...but they all had a more fragile grasp on life, somehow it wasn't surprising. But Jenn was so strong and passionate about living, it just didn't/doesn't make sense.

The anniversary of her accident is coming up in a few weeks. Her family has organized a memorial jazz concert entitled "Worry less. Laugh more." which has been the theme of all the events in her memory.

As I think about the past year, I realize that I have worried more, and laughed less. The laughing part, I'm not that bad at, but the worrying gets way too much of my time. So, Jenn, this is just to let you know that I'm thinking of you, and this year I promise: Worry less, laugh more. Miss you.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Boxed in

This is the last weekend of my tournament blitz--the APA Singles Regionals. Its a 5-hour drive to the middle of nowhere, and its going to be hot, hot, hot this weekend. I swore that last October would be my last time going there (the national office has already said they would let me play in another location, if I gave them enough notice). But I do enjoy the comraderie with my leaguemates.

Anyway, its a weekend of barboxes, and I thought I post up one of my favorite series of barbox videos...Corey Deuel v. Niels Feijen, with commentary by Shawn Putnam and Troy Frank. There just doesn't seem to be much bar box 8-ball with commentary on video. I try to watch a few racks of Corey before every 8-ball tournament. Watching Corey's patterns really helps me see the table, and I also seem to pocket better. I think its a good reminder for my unconscious....the balls are supposed to go *IN* the pocket.

This is the first of 9 You Tube videos. I'll try to post all 9 later, as its kind of a pain to navigate to all of them in sequence. But here's the first for now. Enjoy! (This first rack is sick. I love the position he gets on the 1-ball)