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Forums Home / The Lobby / Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Air Hockey ( View Older Thread | View Newer Thread)

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fupersly - 03 Aug 2013
Total Posts: 231
I'm in a philosophical state of mind tonight, so hopefully this doesn't come across as weird or unusual. (then again, we are talking about me, so that's almost a given) :p Basically, I've been thinking a lot lately about my desire to play Air Hockey and how certain personal events (historically, not just recently) have prevented me from following through with that as much as I'd like to think I should have at this point in my life. Maybe this would be better material for a blog post than some kind of general "out there for all to see" thing, but again, I feel like sharing this now. If you're not interested, feel free to pull the rip cord now - I promise I won't be offended.

So, what's the deal? For starters, I haven't even been on this website in over 3 months, and now that I'm here, I was able to process through all the unread posts in a little over an hour. Sad as it makes me to say it, a lot of what I'm seeing is just more of the same old thing. Maybe that's life or maybe that's just how things go with this sport - hard to say for sure. What I do know is that the pursuit of making my voice heard and standing up for what I think is right in Air Hockey has definitely decreased in the last 2-3 years. Certainly, my personal situation has changed to where it's just not as easy to do that anymore - frankly, I have no idea how people with kids manage to do ANYTHING for themselves, let alone something they really WANT to do that takes up what little personal time they have. If you are an Air Hockey player with children (especially ones who are too young to play) and are still as dedicated and as active as you were back when you didn't have kids, you have my deepest respect and I am in awe of your commitment.

That being said, this is not my attempt at saying "wow, I had kids, that's why I can't play Air Hockey as much as I used to". I mean, I couldn't really make that stick given that I have an Air Hockey table sitting in my garage, virtually begging me to find time to practice on it. Certainly more recently, I've had some health issues (mostly lower back problems) that have kept me from really playing at all, but I haven't had that excuse for very long. In a lot of ways, I think maybe I'm just afraid that I will go down there every night and practice my ass off, convince myself that I'm really making progress and going to shock the world, and then turn around and get pummeled by someone who is just naturally that much better than I am. I'm pretty competitive and I hate losing (although I did eventually manage to train myself to stop throwing mallets when I lose), but I think it would hurt even more if I put the effort in because at least if I lose now, I can blame not being able to practice enough on it and save my ego the bruising it would most certainly take otherwise.

(to be continued)
 
fupersly - 03 Aug 2013
Total Posts: 231
I've always loved Air Hockey. I remember playing for the first time when I was just a kid, maybe 7 or 8 years old, in a Brunswick Bowling alley in Antioch with my brother, Paul. He's 12 years older than me so he was like 19 or 20 at the time, and although I like to think I remember beating him, I don't think either of us would be able to remember for sure. But what I do remember is how much fun I remember having doing that. Scoring and seeing the little lights on the side of the table light up and glow that robotic red color each time. The sounds of the puck hitting the rails, going into the goal. The feel of the air on my hands, arms and face. The rush of the puck moving so fast, going ways I didn't think it could. Meaning to score and actually doing it, even if I missed the previous 10 times I tried. It wasn't the same kind of magic I felt playing other games, but it stuck with me. It wouldn't be for another 10 years before I found that feeling again, and then almost 10 years after that before I finally dedicated myself enough to achieve at least some kind of recognized status (Billy Stubbs' Top Shot #96!) and respect (at least for my game) among my peers.

I've never really been the best at anything. I've been really good at a few things, pretty good at some other things, and fairly good at most things I've tried, but I thought Air Hockey could be different. I really thought if I put my mind to it and really gave it all I had, maybe I could finally conquer something and feel like I'd really achieved something. I always got the same line from my teachers my whole life: "Joe could be REALLY good if he just applied himself!" Seems to be a theme in my life, actually, and one that applies here, too. See, I did apply myself to Air Hockey for a while, but not long enough. Or maybe some part of my mind felt like I did and just tapped out because it realized I couldn't do it, even though some other part of my mind kept telling me not to listen to that negativity. After all, Air Hockey isn't professional Football or Baseball or Basketball. Sure, there's strategy, but it's not like a solved puzzle already. I COULD do it - I just had to want to badly enough.

I'm in danger of rambling on and losing my train of thought, the whole reason why I'm doing this, so I'll stop at that for now and just say that I can still feel that part of me that says "I want to be the best at Air Hockey". I want to find that desire again, that perfectionist in me that says "you scored on that cross, but it was right down the middle of the goal - go shoot it again until it's perfect". I wish I could force my body to stop hurting, my mind to stop doubting, and my soul to remember what it is to feel that rush again. Maybe all I need to do is play again. Maybe I need to have someone kick my ass badly enough that I find that resolve again. Maybe I need to step away for a bit and learn to miss it more.

...

Or now that I think about it, maybe I already have.
 
tableman - 04 Aug 2013
Total Posts: 690
"Shut up and play air hockey."

- Bruce Morrison
 
Mike C - 04 Aug 2013
Total Posts: 459
I started playing because of my kids! I also started playing at the age of 46, when C
 
Mike C - 04 Aug 2013
Total Posts: 459
Mike C said:
I started playing because of my kids! I also started playing at the age of 46, when Colin was 11. Once you expose your children to air hockey, it may actually help you to get that passion back in you. You can't force it on them though! It has to be their passion too. I've tried to get Colin and Connor interested in golf and I've dealt with the reality that they could care less about the game I was a professional. AH has been a lot more fun for all of us though than any other sport. Good luck.

 
tableman - 04 Aug 2013
Total Posts: 690
Mike C said:
Mike C said:
I started playing because of my kids! I also started playing at the age of 46, when Colin was 11. Once you expose your children to air hockey, it may actually help you to get that passion back in you. You can't force it on them though! It has to be their passion too. I've tried to get Colin and Connor interested in golf and I've dealt with the reality that they could care less about the game I was a professional. AH has been a lot more fun for all of us though than any other sport. Good luck.



My Dad loved golf. I always figured, when I get too old for AH, I can take up golf. :)

 
Red puck - 21 Aug 2013
Total Posts: 192
Joe, in order to become some thing more than a dude with back pain,
you have to get into the mind set of; NOTHING MATTERS BUT THE TABLE.
Everything else is secondary, but it works out.
Because if you have this in mind, then your whole living becomes to sustain yourself to LIVE and PLAY AIR HOCKEY. What else REALLY matters?

 

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