nothing to fear

was down at the PH the other day, and encountered this strange little phenomenon.

i was practicing my centerball hits and getting bored, so i asked one of the players there to practice.  for ease of identification, we’ll call this gent weasel.  (hard to explain, but he had this weaselly demeanor.  just seemed a touch shady.)  i’ve never played with the gent, never talked to him or had any sort of interaction.  it was a very spontaneous thing.  then came the weird part.

after i asked weasel to practice, he had this look of apprehension.  he then blurted out the words, “umm . . . you’re better than me.”

omg!  wtf?  (sorry omg!  couldn’t help it.  :P)

maybe i’m senile, but what did playing better or worse had anything to do with practicing?  i surely wasn’t asking him to gamble, because i don’t really gamble.  weasel then said, “not now, maybe later.”  at this point i got kind of turned off.  but i kept my mouth shut, and went back to my practice.  half an hour later, he asked me to play, but on his table.  i didn’t care which table, but it was the way weasel approached the whole thing that made me roll my eyes.  it seemed like he was angling for some sort of advantage.  for a practice session.  like practicing with a (supposedly) better player was something to be afraid of.  and i didn’t even know i was supposed to be a better player than weasel.

during practice, all his comments seemed to be motivated by fear.  “you’re gonna have to stroke this shot.”  “this is a tough shot.”  it sounded like the only thing weasel wasn’t afraid of was a one-foot straight-in shot, with the object ball literally hanging in the pocket.  all i could do was to shake my head on the inside.

you see, back in the day i too was afraid of shots.  i assessed the shots by their difficulties, and in the process psyched myself out before i even got down to shoot.  after years of this i finally got sick of the routine, and decided to stroke everything in sight.  i got sick of being afraid of shots.  and gee, what do you know, the shots started to drop, and i stopped being afraid of hitting the cueball.  now, i just try to figure out how to hit the shot, and i get down and do my routine.

there is this character named detective shakima “kima” greggs in my new favorite show, the wire.  during one of the episodes, detective greggs was talking to her partner about getting her a~* kicked.  she basically said that as a female cop, she was afraid of getting her a~* kicked on the street at the beginning.  but once she got her a~* kicked on patrol a few times, it ain’t so bad anymore.  and she stopped being afraid.

my thoughts exactly.