Played A Master At Ping Pong Today

“It’s a waste of time for me to play a beginner”, said the best ping pong player at Bryant Park today at lunch.

OH MY GOD I am talking to the best pong player in frigging Bryant Park, it is like a beginner chess-player finally meeting A Chess Master… A total no-chance.

He is also right, it “is” a waste of time.

BUT I am NOT a beginner. I can return it, my serve is (shit as I found out) but passes, I do some spin, and with luck I will slam it once in 10 times.

I’m blurry when I play

Took a big breath

“Do you have a pad”? I said


“Would you like to play with me for a bit on the other table?”

“They are using my pads” he said, and we both looked at the Japanese couple playing in front of us.

“Would you like to play”? Said the Japanese man,

Yes!!!! And I was all ready to play the Japanese woman when she said:

“I have to go, because lunch time”

And there we were… The best player in Bryant Park and ME. Professional (extra padded) pads in hand. I borrowed his, mine was in my back pack and there was no time… I was going to play!

It was terribly obvious that he was a lot better than me. Of course. But he taught me three things:

1) It’s Not Tennis:

How did I not realize this? I was hitting that ball like I was in a court that was HUGE and had almost no limits. No wonder.

He then made me stand in the middle of the table and hit it from the left and the right without moving the arms too far, just standing in the middle. Wow!

Must work on my back bend. (Editor’s note: that applies to yoga too)

Ping Pong at Bryant Park

2) Easy:

It’s his desire to win that makes him miss the mark“- Someone said that

“Easy”, that word made me focus on “not so hard” which is my tendency because anger wants to come out when I’m playing.

My desire to win, and the subsequent anger when I lose, is getting in the way of my game. (Editor’s note: the anger has to come out somewhere else)

Adriana Diaz, champion USA Ping Pong 2016

3) Cheer:

There were people around, and I kept talking to him as we played. I told him my good moves and my bad moves, but kept returning it!

And so people were cheering, sometimes for me, sometimes laughing at me. But when more than one person said “good” I actually got better.

Then… I told him that I was going to give him my “best serve” – It did nothing… Then he gave me his better serve.

And I didn’t  even see the ball leave his pad… Like it never happened. I have no recollection of the ball. It went through me, invisible…

I want to play that level where the ball is no longer visible.

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