06:01 5 March 2014 by GS Jade Barrett, CsbNews correspondent
“Why did I become Jackie Chan? Mostly because I work very hard. When people were sleeping, I was still training” – Jackie Chan
There are never enough hours in the day for the devoted (perhaps some would use the term “compulsive”). It is not unusual for these particularly driven athletes to feel guilty nearly every time they succumb to a rest period. It simply feels like an ill afforded luxury.
Professionals seem to come in two groups: those who partake as an avocation; those who play ad a vocation.
I am firmly ensconced in the latter.
To not play is to deny much of who I am: I actually feel poorly when I take a day off. My late sister, Connie, often discussed the similarities between her need to practice her cello with my drive to work on my game: “I don’t like practicing, I just have to”.
To be certain, I enjoy the sense of accomplishment of a job well done, but I suffer from performing in less a manner than I could. The odd part is that a weak performance is a motivation to return to the table and go at it once again.
While I am convinced that to harbor the belief that anyone can play bridge perfectly is a sure path to madness – and I am certain that more than a few of my fellow competitors believe that I have already obtained that state – the effort to play that well remains my goal. There is always another task to accomplish, another genuinely unique opportunity to experience.
Some years ago I was competing against Toshi (I regretfully forget the gentleman’s last name) at a tournament in Houston, Texas. He had been considering his options for nearly five minutes when I suggested that he appeared to have a problem.
“I do”, he replied. “Every hand. That’s why I keep coming back”.