The ping-pong lesson

Sometimes just seize the moment, who knows which lessons you need to learn… again.

© Keva Epale

Out of the blue: play

I am a more spontaneous gem than I used to be. I can out of the blue play, dance, sing, just “be”. One evening at the end of the year 2018, the simple call of play, led me into being inspired by ping-pong and it’s philosophy.

I am more into tennis, and yes the myth that from tennis you can play ping-pong is not true. I just watched the movie “Borg and Mccgregore” and I guess it was still playing in my head, when playfully a mate and I, saw a ping-pong table and it was screaming “play”.

Facing a good player led to facing pro’s

The mate I played with was a good player, she seemed kind of an expert. I didn’t even look to win, last time I played ping-pong it was in high school, I bearly remember how to play.

It was pretty funny, I didn’t want to follow the rules of ping-pong, I just wanted to play as I felt it. She tried to teach me but I didn’t get it or didn’t want to.

Until a Chinese old man came towards us and asked if we wanted to play as a Quatuor with one of his friends. He thought we were kind of good, so why not play all together! They opened their bags and came out a professional toolkit. One of them was in “tenue” ready to play, we didn’t see that coming.

© Keva Epale

Transmission: the age elegance

Surprisingly both of them taught us the basics. I, who was struggling with the service and holding the racket like in tennis, finally kind of understood the “big picture” of ping-pong. It took me longer but I got the spirit quite quickly and the mood of the real play. It was enjoyable and it motivated me to try it as a hobby, you can quickly get addicted and forget your previous plan (we were at an event).

Those short sessions shed light on my obstination, I thought I had worked on that but simple events like these made me exercise the “big picture”.

Not everything is “play” but mostly technique, without the technique you can’t play for real, you just can underplay.

It also exercised the “collaborative spirit”, for it is one team player at a time. Being solo most of the time, it’s good to be reminded to synchronise more with a partner or team. A good training, you can only get better and adjust.

What stroke me even more, was the dedication and passion of those two men, they for sure have grown and developed ease and mastery over ping-pong but mostly over it’s philosophy. I was humbled by them and their capacity to share and give back so generously within a crowded space and not a training space.

You carry a philosophy of game or life everywhere you go, it becomes you.

The duo I was in was genuinely happy and serene, my team player was so glad to share tricks and philosophy. Both of them had certainly entered and won many competitions and it is true you envision yourself in a real championship.

© Keva Epale

The way you play tells more about you than you think…

You have a playful personality, you enter an avatar world. Yes, I used to play video games when younger and I still enjoy once in a while (you don’t get rid of gaming that easily), the session we had with our ping-pong mentors, shed light on evolving personalities of players: the soft but dangerous one, the sneaky player using ruse and force, the wise player always aware of the right spots, the master player who just reduces all effort in ashes. Yes, you can witness personalities blossom.

I was surprised to see a more adventurous attacking game of mine, the ease and smallness of the racket helped me to embrace my gaming personality.

You can be more powerful and surprising when people think you don’t play well, keep your secret shots in reserve.

Well, I am a playful one, during the session I liked the effect of scoring for the team and being better at each set. Small minutes can reveal intense progress when you let go of what is around and focus on the game. “Focus” is the word, the more you engross yourself the more you unlock blockages and see the potential of play and result.

© Keva Epale

Self-confidence is a choice

Playing with them as a duo, slowly but joyfully I learned, missed points but didn’t give up. I found those minutes revealing to me, how the way you see yourself matter more than what people think or see of you.

I was at an event and I was adventurous enough to choose “a moment of play” redirecting my plans or connections, and it brought me interesting new energy but mostly surprising connections and lessons.

I have learned from the last 2 years to capture and enjoy the moment, I tend to forget it sometimes and we all do at some points of our growth. Being present is the key to many, many, many, internal quests.

I like storytelling and capturing stories. I use graphic design, illustration & co in order to do it! www.kevaepale.com

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