As the host of this month’s pool synergy forum, I wanted to write about a topic that I was familiar with and was also relevant for me. Over the last two years, I’ve been laser focused on improving my pool game and I believe the prolonged intensity caught up with me this fall about a month before the preliminary round of the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championships. I was beginning to lose my desire to compete and was mentally exhausted. In October I somehow managed to pull myself together and was able to win the preliminary round of the U.S. Amateur Championships held in Northern California, but then I immediately reverted back to my mental/emotional slump and couldn’t motivate myself to do any additional training. After traveling to Florida in November and competing in the finals of the U.S. Amateur Championships, I finally admitted to myself that I was having trouble focusing and I needed to take a break from the game.
For the entire month of December and probably the first three months of 2012, I’ve decided to take a break from playing pool. I just need some time to recharge my batteries, reorganize my life, and get refocused on what my goals are in pool and life. For the time being, here’s my plan for refreshing and recharging myself:
(1) I’m totally revamping my diet. I’ve gotten rid of all of my junk food, kicked my diet coke addiction, started eating more raw vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli, etc., drastically reduced my intake of useless starchy carbs and began eating only when hungry, not when the clock tells me it’s time to eat.
(2) I’ve transitioned from being a semi-professional couch potato to adopting a new (and sustainable) exercise program which includes 3 or 4 days of running per week, plus 3 or 4 days of gym work. The exercise is making a big difference in my energy level and is also a good stress reliever and mental gunk cleanser.
(3) I’m spending a lot of time with friends and family. I’m flying back east to see my family during the holidays and also plan to take a trip to see some snow in late December. I think spending a few days at Lake Tahoe or Yosemite will do wonders for me. My main focus will be resting and relaxation, and maybe I’ll enjoy a little hot cocoa while snuggling up to a cozy fire.
My intention in making these changes is to be a healthier person both physically and mentally, allow myself to get some rest, rebalance my life, and come back to the pool world next year with a fresh new focus and attitude. So that’s about it for me. I plan to periodically provide updates to this blog on my thoughts and musings on pool, so stay tuned. After all, although I’m taking a short break from the table, I’m still an incorrigible pool player at heart.