Last week we competed in a pool tournament that was held at the Wynham hotel in Orlando. There were over 800 people playing on the different events that were being offered. We got there on Wednesday and almost immediately the fun began; we were playing on all the events; there is 9 ball singles, 8 ball singles and also team event; There are people from all over Florida and I believe Georgia for the most part that play in what is called the West Coast Challenge. It is a five day of nothing but pool; my husband and I shared the same passion for this game. It is an incredible deal to see people in wheelchairs and with other handicaps, playing and winning; they do not let their problems hold them back. It truly makes you realize that our problems, as big as we think they are, are minute compared to others.
We watch people from all walks of life joining the ranks of pool players and maximizing their efforts. The hotel has a grand ball room that is used for this; around 80 tables are set up on the main room and 8 in two other smaller rooms; in one of those rooms a company the streams the matches is set up. They have four tables set up with cameras all over, and folks from all over the world can watch the matches being played on those tables. The competition is fierce; imagine 150 people fighting for first place; that is the amount more or less of players that join the singles events. They practice day in and day out, getting ready to compete. There is a men’s event and a Ladies event. It is fun to watch and participate, you can see the determination on the players eyes as they battle against each other for the premium prices. No one knows who will win as everyone that attends has the capacity to reach the finals and win. It seems to me that Ladies are the ones that truly show that fighting spirit, they rise up to the challenge.
The reason am writing about this is just to let people know, this is way to get away from our mundane and repetitious lives that we lead; something different that we can enjoy with family and friends. It is also nice to see people that were there the year before, and that we probably played against them. The mere fact of being away from the house, the city, your normal surroundings, give us a chance to forget about the issues that we may be facing and just relax and enjoy the moment. When you are competing against an opponent, the only thought in your mind is what needs to be done to defeat this person; Any other problems are left at the door. It is extremely relaxing to be able to get away, but at the same time it’s exciting to compete against others on a sport that many love. It does not have to be pool, whatever sport you enjoy with your family will make do; My Grandkids are competing on softball, their parents get to take them to different cities and personally get involved in all aspects of the game. The message here is that it is mentally healthy to get away at least once a year. I am not referring to a vacation, even though it may be consider one; I am talking about going there with a winning attitude, and ready to fight.
I just want to say that the event was wonderful; extremely well run, the folks running it are courteous and professional. Their goal is to make everyone feel welcome and to provide the players with a great experinece. We played till Saturday, that is when our teams got knocked out of the game; It was sad to lose but we knew we gave it our best effort. So we go back home to our regular lives but we brought back fond memories that will be discussed in the future. We had the chance to get away for a few days and to forget everything else and just concentrate on competing. This is one of the treats of life, to be able to create those great memories and enjoy ourselves as we do it. We will be looking forward to next year’s event; Enjoy Life.