WPBA Masters

I got home Sunday, Feb 5th, around 1am! My flight was scheduled to arrive by 8:40PM into San Francisco, but due to strong winds we were forced to stay in Chicago (my connection from Michigan) for another 2.5 hrs! The nice thing was that most of the time, I was thinking about getting back onto a pool table!

Being around the WPBA players, traveling, and playing great pool pumped me back up! I've been struggling with staying motivated in the past few years with career changes and other non-pool-related life events, but I walked into the WPBA Masters knowing I would come out of it one of two ways:

1. Leave it for a while to focus on getting a Master's Degree because let's face it... work, pool and school can't all exist if I want to do well with each of them.
-or-
2. Embrace it because I CAN balance it all because all of it makes me happy in its own way!

What do you think I chose???

Ok, ok... it was hard. I AM going back to school this Fall to get another degree, but who says I can't have it all? Yes, it will be hard, but I came to a realization: I refuse to give any one of those things up! Maybe I won't sleep as much and maybe I'll feel overwhelmed at times, but the time is now!

I feel like I'm shooting the best pool of my life! All the sacrifices, adjustments and time I've put in to get where I am will not be in vain. I really like what I've transformed into and it would be a shame not to keep going. 

So, the true questions are "How hard am I willing to work at it?" "How bad do I want it?"

I thought about what happened at the WPBA Masters event and realized I am not too far from some of the greatest pool players in the world. What's the key difference between me and them? They put work into it every day and I make mistakes they do not. It's time to fine tune and tighten up my game and strive to be greater! No more mediocre pool, no more settling for whatever I end up placing with. It's time to go for 1st all the time!

I can do this.

New Inspiration

I know... my blog has been quiet. I've been focusing on life outside of pool, but in the past couple weeks have realized what I've really given up. Well, maybe "given up" is kind of a strong choice of words. I made choices and put pool aside, so I could work on creating bigger things. My career has become important to me; I changed the day job about 9 months ago. Wondering if it was the best decision since it affected my relationships with family and friends and also my time spent enjoying things that just made me happy!

In any case, here I am. Trying to rekindle the pool fire that is burning inside of me. Although, it's been more of a flicker, I think I'm set on getting it to burn brighter and better than it ever has.

I've made some adjustments to my technique this past year. It was risky, since I was only playing about once a week, but I knew adjustments needed to be made so I went with it. My overall approach and technique feel more natural than ever and I think "leaving" the game like I did made me miss it more and also think about the game in my life, as opposed to just being in it.

I played in an open 9-ball tournament last weekend, which made me nervous for some reason. I spent so many years just playing women, but know that in order to get better we have to play all sorts of players- better or worse than you. I say that because no matter who you play, there is always something to learn about yourself and also the game. A new, less experienced player may do something that seems confusing, but it's also something you may have never thought of before. A more seasoned player may just remind you of why you may think twice about doing something! The variety will just add a richness to the game, besides just the exposure to the newness of every individual experience that is created. With that said, I walked in with no expectations. Was honestly just pleased with myself for even making the drive to California Billiards in Fremont and just being there. I shot without thinking and let my natural instincts take over. I was so smooth and relaxed... it was a new feeling. Very exciting! It sparked the love of the game again and I'm ready to face this year with a new attitude. I missed it. I missed how it made me feel. I grew up kinda shy and quiet, but this game brought out this confidence I never knew I had.

Moreover, I gave a lesson just this past Sunday to a gentleman who I had never met til that day. I'll call him J, to keep his identity a secret. At the end of the lesson, J told me he thought I was a great instructor. I did everything an instructor should do and it made me blush. So kind... Especially since each time I teach, I make it a point to get better. You have to be open to criticism and although sometimes it can be hard to hear, if it's coming from the right place, it has to be welcomed because people just want the best from you. For J, I was happy that he took away as much as he did when we met. To be able to teach something I love and know that my students are taking something away and enjoy it too- that is a reward in itself. It wasn't easy for me at first, to be able to communicate what I was thinking in regards to executing a shot or adjusting someone's technique, but if you really connect with who you are talking to, it all falls into place. This just confirmed why I keep teaching!

Okay, enough for now. I'm back... and it's time El got her groove back lol ;)

2014 BCAPL Championships- Results & More!

I know this post is way past the event, but I still felt a need to write about it as I have had more than enough time to process what I think happened.

I took some time to go back to school for almost two years, beginning in the Spring of 2013. I finished all of my classes in May of this year, so that finally gave me all the time I needed/wanted to try and get ready for the BCAPL Championships. Just being relieved of the weight that school put on me changed how I approached the table. Mentally, I didn't have homework assignments or exams hanging over my head. All I did was get on the table and reminded myself what I missed out on that whole time!

Don't get me wrong, I still found a bit of time to jump on a table in between classes and school work, but to be honest when I registered for school I expected my game to deteriorate, but when it was all actually happening, it beat me up. I was sad to see how much my game was suffering. It was hard, but I went back to school because it was time to focus on my career.

Never-the-less, school ended. I was liberated and excited to be able to put the time back into finding my stroke again! After just two months of practice, I went to Vegas with lower expectations. I was genuinely looking forward to a poolcation :) I had a wonderful time with my loved ones and closest friends, and you know what... I actually wasn't mad about how I played. The wins I had were good ones! The losses, well, we'll talk about those another day ;)

But you know what else? I learned this: Pool makes me happy! I write today as a re-dedicated pool player. I have been blessed to have gained a new cue sponsor and have the continued support of my family and friends as I continue to compete in this sport. As long as I love what I do, how can anyone deny me of that?

For the love of the game.

El

 

Yay New Site!

My new site is finally here! Thank you for visiting it and keeping up with me and my "pool journey." Pool/Billiards has been, and always will be, a very important part of my life.

This new site is an attempt to change the message I share with people about the sport and how I want to represent myself within it. There is a high level of professionalism that I want to hold, as well as make more prominent with others involved.

I hope that as you follow me here, you can see that pool is much more than something played to pass time or do late at night, but see it how I see it: A sport that requires skill, determination, and persistence, and also teaches discipline.

On that note, this new site will lead to new things for me. Stay tuned and ride along as I continue the journey.

Thank you,
El