The Boeing 737-800 is a great plane for most travelers, enabling you to get from city to city in a reasonably economic and expedient fashion. I’m currently sitting in a 737, traveling from San Francisco to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico via Newark, New Jersey. Total flight time: twelve hours. Although the flight crew is courteous and the food surprisingly good (bagels and butter and beer, oh my!), there is one major drawback to the 737: No pool table! Not only that, but in this post-911 world, I’m not even allowed to travel with my cue stick! Sure, I could have stuffed it into my checked luggage and waited at baggage claim to see if it would ever show up, but who in their right mind would ever allow a cue stick to be tossed around by an airline baggage handler, much less trust that it wouldn’t just sprout legs and run off, never to be seen again? Not me.
As the miles tick by and I sit in my cramped seat hacking away at this keyboard, I think about the enormity of the task that lies ahead of me. I’ve just publicly announced that I’m going to become a professional pool player in two years. I have no idea how long or arduous the journey will be, as I do not personally know anyone who has completed this journey. Sure, I’ve met and spoken to several professionals, but I did not have the opportunity to witness them transform themselves from beginner to professional. I must admit, I can hear a subtle seductive voice whispering softly in my ear, “You’re nuts! You’re going to fail! As soon as this plane lands, you need to log onto your WordPress account and delete the previous post. At this point, it’s unlikely that anyone has read it. Don’t risk the embarrassment associated with setting a goal and failing. Just delete the post as soon as you land, and no one will ever know.”
Hummmm….I certainly understand that logic. Why put myself out there and risk falling flat on my face? Why not just quietly toil away in some dark nondescript pool hall until I think I’m ready for the big time? I keep asking myself, “Should I just delete the post, and return to my cocoon of warmth and safety?”
Consider this. After Lance Armstrong won his battle against testicular cancer, did he roll his bike up to the starting line of the Tour de France and mumble sheepishly to himself, “Well, I hope I can do good and not embarrass myself.” NO! He boldly took his place at the starting line and barked to everyone within earshot, “I work harder than anybody else here! This is my race and nobody’s gonna to take it from me!” When Babe Ruth stepped up to the plate in game three of the 1932 World Series, did he let out a sigh and quietly whisper to himself, “Well gee, I hope I don’t strike out.” HELL NO! He stepped to the plate, raised his bat and pointed to the spectators sitting in the center field bleachers, then promptly ripped a curveball 490 feet directly over their heads, exactly to where he had just pointed. What chutzpah!
So…do you think I’m going to delete my post from yesterday? HELL NO! Damn the torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead!