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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I can't wait until tomorrow...

Because I get better at this game every day!

I'm taking a break from practice right now,
but about half an hour ago, when I was shooting,
it kept occurring to me that my skill level
is so much better than it was a year ago.
I am hitting the ball with much more authority.
I have so much more confidence.
My position play is so much more accurate.
Strategy is at a much higher level.

Imagine how much better I'll be next year,
and the year after, and the year after that!

All of this is just a preface to the real story
I have been trying for a week to put into words...

El Maestro came by Mikie's Fun House last Friday,
his day off from work, and the first chance to
check out my game since I returned from my Road Trip,
to see if there was any improvement in my game.

We shot a couple of sets of 9-ball, races to 7.
He won the first, I took the second.
We took a break for some coffee,
and it was then that he said that he was done with me,
that I had learned all he could teach me,
and now it was up to me to execute.

We both knew it was coming for some time,
and we had several times talked about it coming,
but now that the end of an era has come to pass,
it will have a major positive effect on my game.

I feel a lot like I did when I was learning to fly,
and after many lessons on the ground and in the air,
on one fine day of take-offs and landings,
my flight instructor had me pull over
to the side of the taxiway, then he jumped out and said:
"Ok, you're ready to solo!"

It's a very liberating feeling,
and at the same time a little bit scary,
to be up there all alone for the first time.
(The consequences for screwing up are a lot greater
in the air than they are when you miss the 9-ball!)
Although a pilot's first solo is a major milestone event,
it certainly doesn't mean you have all the answers,
because that will never happen, not in this life.
It simply means that you know enough to solo,
and you can now spend the rest of your aviation life
continuing the endless pursuit of the aviator.

In the immortal words of Lao Tsu:
"The greater the island of knowledge,
the greater the shoreline of wondering."

And so it is with pool.
El Maestro has set me free,
given me my solo wings,
but more than anything has given me the
insight into how to think about pool
from the perspective of a great player.
He has taught me how to learn,
how to continue my search for perfect control,
and the confidence that I am on the Path.

It has been a most memorable two and a half years,
during which El Maestro has come every Saturday
to teach me secrets he has never told any other person.

I don't know how I got so lucky to be his student.
What could he have seen in me that would make him
change from his long standing refusal
to take on any student?
I guess it doesn't matter, the reasons why.
It happened. He taught. I learned. It is over.
Life goes on.

It was a great privilege, Tony.
Thank you.


(blog top)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The privilege was mine,There is no kinder soul,no unconditional generous spirit and a greater human being than you are Don Miguel,I`ll stop right there,I don`t want to ruin your tough pool player image,thanks for all the help and the knwledge but most important,I thank you for your time.

Saturday, September 16, 2006 12:42:00 PM  

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