Here is some stuff that is only very tangentially billiards-related.
. . . . .
A friend convinced me to join a beginner’s fitness class. The class had a wide range of people from those who had never thought about fitness before but were now interested in improving their health to those who came equipped with all sorts of shit like mats, gloves, and sweatbands from the 70s with annoying chipper attitudes to match. I was in the middle of the spectrum.
There were a lot of new things in this class I was slow to pick up because, for the last few decades of my life, all I ever did was run. (My parents were okay with me running because it was a sport that did not require them to purchase additional equipment.) But now, there were resistance bands, plates, little clippy things that always found a way to squash the tender bits of skin on your hands, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, assbells, whateverthefuckbells all ringing away and all this new technique shit I had to learn while the sun hadn’t even broken the horizon yet.
These workouts are like brushing my teeth: boring as shit but necessary to maintain health. I am motivated in pool because the rewards and results are more immediate and tangible. You win money. You get a trophy (if you give a shit about the trappings of success). People say shit like, “Damn, I didn’t know you could play at all.” This fitness class? Not so much. I don’t see it as competition. As long as I’m not the worst person there, I’m all right not being the best. I just want to show up, do what’s required, and then get the fuck out.
Today, we ran stadium stairs and interspersed our runs up and down with pushups and carrying weights back and forth. We were to do this until failure or time was up. This class emphasized weights and running was a rarity. I was a fairly good runner at one time in my life but not anymore and I was rather apprehensive about that much running. The instructor said we would all start off close together but as the workout progressed, we would space out into wherever our pace fit us best.
Even as a shitty runner, I still had all those decades behind me so I was in the front group at the beginning. I kept thinking I needed to pace myself, to not push myself too hard, to not lose dignity by having to go puke up my guts. Running down the steps I got a little off balance from all the vertigo of trying to go down steps at speed while watching them fly past you. I slowed to a walk and this lady who had always reminded me of a nosy, meddling, know-it-all mother-in-law passed me. I looked at her and she smiled smugly. Then she turned and went down the stairs sideways. Then she did a one-eighty and skipped down sideways again. She looked at me and smiled again while waggling her eyebrows. Then she was turning in circles dancing down the stairs.
I don’t mind suffering.
I understand there will always be suffering.
I only ask that you leave me to suffer quietly by myself and not be a dick about it.
My lungs were burning. My sides hurt. I was still tired from the shit we did in the previous class. I am, and always will be, not a morning person to a murderous degree. There was at least twenty more minutes of this horrid shit left to go.
And now, this fucking pair of grannypanties was moonwalking down the stadium stairs like it ain’t no thang.
If she wants to smooth criminal a thousand steps because it’s just that easy for her, that’s fine. It has nothing to do with me. She can float on as her special snowflakey self and I can plod laboriously down these stairs at my own pace, doing just enough, and then go about my life with nothing more than an eyeroll and muttered “whatever.”
Or I could, “HELL no. Bitch, you did NOT just do that.”
The race was on.
I remembered I was a runner, once, and eventually, the rest of me remembered, too. I forgot I was tired. I forgot I had shitty lungs. I ran faster and faster and watched her try to keep up until she failed. Then I forgot about her and ran after the next person, and the person after that, until there was only one person left to take down—and I wasn’t able to do it before the clock was up. And for once, I was mad in this workout because I didn’t “win”, and I felt I could have.
When we were done, grannypanties singsonged to me, “Oh, well, you’ll be tired tomorrow!”
Tomorrow? I’m fucking tired now. God, I’m so tired. I’m tired now thinking about how tired I will be tomorrow. I can’t fucking lift my arms without shaking. They shake so bad I have to hold this arm up with my other hand so that you can see the one thing that isn’t shaking and isn’t tired: my middle finger telling you to go fuck yourself.
Thanks for the motivation.