Graceful Duck Whiffing

I am lucky to work at a place that has a ping pong table in the back. The outcome of epic games hang on one or two points that could bounce in either player's favor. Nearly every game contains a moment where the back and forth battle tips when a well-placed ball is barely returned. The loose volley is lobbed in an arc that falls pathetically onto the oponents side.

A duck.

There it is, a big juicy gift that should be easily put away.

And yet these easy shots, the simple slam is often missed. I do it more than I care to admit. Maybe I dump the ball into the net. Maybe the ball sails long. Or worst case scenario…

I whiff completely.

Instead of a moment of glory all I can do is stand there in embarassment. Since we are a lighthearted group of friends a giant whiff is usually followed by laughter and healthy ridicule. It's just a game after all.

This is a skill I want to master. No, not ping pong. I want to put myself in situations where winning is almost certain because I did all the little things to set myself up for victory. I weather the back and forth battles and refine my skills. I wait for the a moment when things will tip in my favor and I prepare for delivering a decisive blow. When it appears I will swing with confidence. If I succeed I won't gloat. And if I whiff I won't melt down. I will smile, shake off the embarrassment, and continue to play a steady game until the next duck appears.

Thanks for reading. I embarrass myself each Saturday by posting stories like this one. Follow me if you want to witness me whiffing on the next one. Stay creative.


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