Ping Pong in Detroit

When I was little, my grandparents had the best basement to play in.  There was a big piano, these creepy facemasks, a pole to swing around on, and an assortment of other treasures waiting to be discovered.  There were also pool and ping pong tables.

My grandpa was a great ping pong player.  I remember playing an intense game against him once.  It was he against my sister, Allie, and me.  He was beating us, as usual, but this time was different because Al and I were actually staying in the game.  We were so excited!  Just as we were about to tie up the score, Grandpa stopped and said: “Alright.  Now, I am going to start playing with my right hand.”

Grandpa was right-handed.

Allie and I hadn’t noticed that he had been playing with his left hand the entire match, weakening his game and allowing us to catch up to him.  He was still doing great – better than an average player at least – but he wasn’t living up to his full ping pong potential.  He was taking it easy on us.

The game was over in minutes after that.  Grandpa dominated.

It can be easy to fall back on your heels sometimes.  If you are lucky, most people won’t notice.  You might still look like you are doing pretty great – better than the average ping pong player at least – but you’ll know.  You will know that you have the potential to try harder, to do more.  You will know that you are just taking it easy.

This morning, I opened my eyes and said to myself: “Alright.  Now, I am going to start playing with my right hand.”

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