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Table Tennis anyone?

I just got worked by a 70 pound midget.

I've been wanting to play some ping pong (yeah, what's that?). Umm, table tennis. Right. I brought it up in my 11th grade HL (high level) class today and Linda's head about popped off when she flipped around too fast. Seriously, she nearly fell out of her chair. "You play table tennis?!??!" Of course this lead to a conversation about it. I grew up playing in our garage when I was young. Mom wanted to keep us around the house so she bought us some toys like a ping ping table and pool table. She preferred that friends came to our house. I'll never forget trying to pay pool in a room that was way too small for a pool table. We learned real fast to lift your back hand up in the air to avoid the wall behind you.

I got to watch my older brothers have some epic battles. John liked to tell everyone he always won, but that was a bit of hubris. Dale could beat him. I was a bit too young then, but had some fun getting beat by them now and then. I can't say I'm good at the game. I'm alright I guess. In my experience anyone that can play at all is convinced they're very awesome. I can play fairly decent with my left hand. One of the first times I ever spoke to my ex I pissed her off when I was playing left handed ping pong. Was it that she felt insulted? Or that I was still winning?

Of course I ask Linda if we can play sometime. She says practice is today at 4:30 and I'm welcome to come play.

I would have liked to share a picture of Linda and I playing, but they have photograph rules, so this is the best we get from afar. Further, this picture doesn't do the table tennis team justice. There were 20 students playing when I first arrived.

Amazingly I'm done for the day around 4:15. Head back to my apartment to start some laundry and change my clothes. Hit the lower school gym and find Linda beaming. She discards her opponent and hands me a paddle. Her coach says we can play, but have to go the other end of all the tables. They have 12 tables all lined up in the gym. Table tennis is serious business here.

One of the boys in my 11th grade class, Hong Ye, laughed at me when I said I wanted to play. He immediately said I needed to play Linda. Apparently she placed second in ACAMIS last year. That's their equivalent to a state title. Linda might be 5 feet tall. Maybe. She's way under 100 pounds. Perhaps 70 pounds soaking wet. We hit the ball back and forth a bit. It didn't take long to feel competent. So a game began.

Some different rules in scoring and serving. We play to twelve. Serve switches every two serves. First game was close. 10-10 to start. Game to two points. Linda was careful letting me screw up. She wins game one. The kid puts everything back on the table. Game two was similar, but again she put me away in the end. After 8-8 she throttled me again. I only scored 6 in our last game. She was a machine, but a very happy machine that I was willing to submit myself to the torture. We shook hands and shared a "thanks for the games". Now I'm going to wonder if she was taking it easy on me early out of pity. The odds there are good.

Good times. I'll be back for more humbling.

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