I've been playing pool once a week in a local sports bar for a couple of years now and have made huge strides forward in how I cope with the social aspects of it. I look forward to going now and really miss it when I can't make it. That is huge progress from being terrified about it to enjoying it. It began as something I wanted to do but which also terrified me. Being woman alone in a bar is very daunting. Also, playing a sport which is very much a man's domain was also daunting. It was terrifying all round!! But I've stuck with it and it's now become a really important and enjoyable part of my week.
Last week I had cause to enjoy it even more than usual.
I was coming to the end of my practise time when 2 men came in to the bar and began playing pool on the table next to mine. After about 15 minutes one of them challenged me to play him for money. I declined asserting that I never play for money just for pure love of the game. He then agreed to play me on those terms. His mate said he'd play whoever won.
Well I beat the 1st guy hands down, I played him off the table. He said "I can't believe I just got beat by a woman". So I went on to play his mate. It came down to the last ball on the table and it was 50-50 who would win.
He won in the end but said "he couldn't believe how close he'd come to getting beat by a woman" and asked me how I'd learned to play like that.
I told him how I started out in snooker 25 plus years ago and only came to pool 3 years ago. How I bought a 4-foot table for myself 2 years ago, play snooker and pool most days and that I go down the sports bar once a week to play on a full size table.
He was like "respect", put it there, as he shook my hand in disbelief that a woman could play the game so well and take on the men in an even game in the way I did.
I nonchalantly said "well, erm, women can play pool you know".
He said to me "if ever we're in here again and you are here we will play you again for sure, you are good."
There was so much respect coming from thay guy towards me it was breathtaking and very healing to feel so much respect as a woman from a man.
All the while his mate kept saying "I can't believe how close both of us came to being beat by a woman."
Inside I chuckled to myself. I packed up my cue and walked out the bar feeling 12 foot tall!!