Imagine waking up on a Monday morning, glancing at your calendar, and noting that you have eight hours of table tennis ahead of you. At 11:00 am a retired teacher, who now works as an artist will be returning to train after being sidelined by an injury. At 1:00 a young physical therapist arrives. He plays at his church, and may be the most advanced player that I see today. Promptly at 2:00, a disc jockey from an Atlanta night club shows up for the second of three training sessions this week. Four o’clock is a high school student, and at 6:30, a player who plays at work in the morning, and trains with me once a week. That’s a lot of table tennis in one day, but nobody seems to feel sorry for me.
Not every day is that busy, and I’m not looking for any sympathy. The truth is, I am in the enviable position of being involved in table tennis, and getting paid for it. What makes this so fun is the variety of people I see. On Thursdays I hit with a retired military officer who is in his eighties. On Friday I coach my ten year old grandson. I train with Democrats and Republicans. This week I’ll be coaching five women, and sixteen men. Table tennis brings the most interesting people to my door, and makes my days far more compelling.
Life outside of table tennis is more complicated. Loved ones have health issues. Bills have to be paid. Junk food is a constant temptation. Drivers flip you off in parking lots. There is a never ending barrage of recorded phone messages, pop ups, and commercials. Table tennis can be a temporary escape from the insanity of the twenty first century. Every era had it’s challenges. The past may not have been better, but it was at least simpler. The world is truly in need of some fun, some frivolity, more exercise, more hanging out with different kinds of people, more playing, and less watching. My inclination is to live as simple a life as possible, so I might have time for the important things. On that list of important items should be time spent enjoying life. I’m blessed to have some people showing up at my door who feel the same way.