I don’t mean to be morbid, but I’ve recently been thinking about what I would like to be remembered for when I die. I’ve survived most of April, so perhaps I have some time to create some new memories. In table tennis circles, I suspect I’ll be remembered as a equipment junkie, a player with an odd style, and somebody who really loved table tennis. That’s definitely part of who I am, but it’s not a great legacy in and of itself.
Since I’m being so reflective; I frequently think about my days before table tennis, even before I was married, and back to a time when I was completely obsessed with the opposite sex. Let’s see; that began around the age of 12, and lasted until a age to be determined at a later date. I got married young, so my dating life was relatively short. During a chaotic senior year in high school, I did learn a few things that would influence me for the rest of my life. The relationships I had that year were sometimes brief, frequently intense, and probably ill advised. They were never purely physical. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
So, let’s get back to what I would like to be on my tombstone, and something about table tennis. I never think anything can be appreciated from a purely physical perspective. During this corona layoff I’ve had the opportunity to train in a different way. I’ve lifted weights, worked out with a medicine ball, walked, ran, practiced serves, and analyzed my approach to playing. I’ll probably come back stronger than I was a month ago. Again, it’s not just physical. The last month has been a very interesting chapter in a spiritual journey. To look at it any other way would be really depressing.
During some of my long walks I’ve had some time to really ponder my future. I live next to a cemetery, so if I go as far as two miles, I’m likely to do a lap with the departed. I have seen a variety of epitaphs during these walks. I now know a few things I definitely don’t want on my tombstone. I don’t want a ping pong paddle. I don’t think a picture works very well either. Please, no corny sayings or RIP. I don’t want to be remembered for my USATT rating, or for the few trophies I’ve won. Actually, it really doesn’t matter to me if I’m remembered at all. The important things in my life have always been between me and God. Just a small stone will do. Put my full name and a cross. It really doesn’t matter if the date is 1957 to 2020, or 1957 to 2057, because it was never just physical.