Every year as a child the girl went on one family ski vacation. Half the day she was enlisted in ski school and the other half was spent as a family unit, making turns side by side down the mountain. On chairlift rides her father pointed to the red coated ski school professionals below and discussed their technique and style. He marveled at how they navigated a field of bumps or managed to carve smooth S-shaped turns on steep terrain. “Look at where their shoulders are pointing, straight down the hill while there legs push out like a pendulum, do you see that?” He asked the girl and her older siblings. When they got back on the hill he came up with exercises and games to hone their individual skills. Competitive by nature, the kids used these drills to distinguish who was the best skier in the family. As one of the youngest the girl was always trying to keep up. She placed her father and the ski school instructors on a pedestal so high it reached the mountain peaks. She tried to mimic them, to impress them and hopefully one day climb to their heights. That day had finally come. In a way becoming a ski school instructor meant she was now the strongest skier in the family.
Allowing no more time for self reflection or pity, the girl splashed water on her face. This was still her night; the Blondie wasn’t going to ruin it. The girl left the bathroom and surveyed the room until her eyes landed on a pool table. Unlike most girls a pool stick felt comfortable between her fingers. There were two gentlemen playing, the girl approached the handsome dark haired one and asked, “How do I sign up?” The man pointed to a blackboard where a couple of other names were listed. “Put your name up there doll and I’ll deal with you in a little bit.”
“Your assuming you’ll win the next three games then?”
“No assumptions, I work in facts.”
The girl returned to the table forty five minutes later to play the same dark haired gentleman. “Rack ‘em doll face.” He said as he chalked his stick. The girl shook her opponent’s hand and carefully went over the rules. Rules have a tendency of changing from bar to bar and from player to player, it was important to establish them. “What’s a matter sweetheart you don’t know how to play the game?” Her opponent asked. She smiled back.
Her opponent started the game with a hard break, sank two striped balls and then missed the third. The girl circled the table eyeing the balls. The key to her success was taking her time. It wasn’t about finding the easiest shot but uncovering a sequence of shots. Instead of hitting in the obvious ball, the girl took a long shot across the table. The ball went in and the cue softly hit the rail leaving a clear shot in sight. From there the girl started a series of impressive shots; a hard cut in the side pocket, a soft touch in the corner, a solid bank across the table, and finally a combo that made her opponent’s friend whistle. Pretty soon the eight ball was the only one left. With one more shot, the girl could single handedly run the table. It was always at this juncture in the game that her father’s voice passed through her mind. Never miss the eight ball.
A Warrior Princess