Bottom To the Top

June 15, 2010
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Hayden and I volleyed it 1,050 times and it didn’t start that long ago…
At first I had no idea. I thought it was hard but I was wrong. Ping Pong was growing through our pack of friends like a wildfire in a forest. It all started at Covered Bridge Pool. They have a Ping Pong table so we started to play. My friend Hayden got better everyday. He was starting off good so it became really clear that he would be great. Then my other friends Treat and Brandon were also getting good. Soon Hayden created “ The Gods of Ping Pong”. He was at the top followed by Treat then Brandon. They were amazing; I thought they could be in the Olympics. Then I started to play. I didn’t think I was good but people noticed that I was getting better. I had a very unique strategy. I at first was hitting the Ping Pong in an angle toward the other side of the table. That seemed to work because nobody could hit it. Then I was facing Treat. I remember the day I faced him at the pool. It was a beautiful, hot humid un-lame day. I went into the snack bar to where the Ping Pong table was. I walked in as confident as the last test I took. I could smell the tasty crunchy French fries in the distance. I started the “ volley for serve” then the game was on. The games were best two out of three.
The games went by so fast I wasn’t even thinking straight. It was “dead-man’s” serve. He was winning. I won the first game and he won the second. The score was 20 to 17. I served and got the point, 20 to 18. Clink, clink he hit it off the table again, 20 to 19. I serve and he pops it into the air and I spike it, 20 to 20! I can’t believe that I just got 3 points in a row. I serve again he hit it hard. It hit the table and bounced up and hit me in the face. He laughed but I was determined. He had advantage. I serve and he hits it back faster then a jackrabbit. But I counter and hit it. It bounces at the end of his side of the table and it goes off. Its duce and it is his serve. He serves it but I comeback with force and hit it on and off his table. I can’t give up just yet. I had advantage. The he serves and… BOOM! I win. I hit the ball so fast he couldn’t help but stare at the pure greatness. This made me realize that I am now in the forth spot of The Gods of Ping Pong.

Hayden’s house was like my second home. I used to go there a lot. I even know the garage code. Anyway he liked Ping Pong so much that he got a Ping Pong table and that’s where I played. “ Wow John your getting really good” he said. I personally thought that I was getting better too. I served the ball to Hayden but he caught it with his hand. I was very curious. “ I am now going to teach you how to curve the Ping Pong.” I go electrified by his decision. First he showed me how to move the paddle a certain way. I moved the paddle as he moved it. Then he showed me the other way how to curve it. I simulated him perfectly. So I picked up the Ping Pong and served it to him. He moved the paddle just the way he showed me before. It curved. I began to recognize his curved. It curved at me then went to the right. I was amazed. So I hit it back and then he served. I was thinking of the exact way on how to do it. I did it. I curved the ball beautifully. I see the letters on the ball go round and round again. I hit his side of the table and it went right off the table. I was so proud of myself. Then at that moment he said to me, “ You are ready to compete in the God Tournament” I never saw that coming.
The God Tournament was at Covered Bridge pool once again. I could taste the chlorine as soon as I arrived. But I pushed away that taste and started to taste sweet victory. It was me vs. Brandon, best two out of three. I was very stressed out. We did the volley for serve and then the God Tournament started.
He mercy ruled me the first game but I took control of the second game by beating him 20 to 11. He got crushed. So now I was in the last game. I felt the little tiny droplets race down my face. I was panting like a dog on a hot summer day. The score was well I don’t really know the score. “ Duce” Hayden said. I was serving. My serve wasn’t even that good to start off with. So at that very moment I changed it. I picked up the smooth white ball. I bounced it once. Then held it in my hands and did the new serve. The serve was brilliant. The ball went faster then a cheetah. He tried to hit it but I knew he would miss it. I can’t give up now. “ Advantage John.” I was so glad to hear his voice. I was swaying back and forth waiting for him to serve. Brandon had curly hair but it wasn’t a distraction at all. He served his regular boring serve. I simulate Hayden’s curve and what do you know, it curves. It curved so much it was heading right for Brandon’s face but curved in. it hit the table just like I had planned. He made a last ditch effort. The ball was going away from him. He reached his paddle out as far as he could. The ball hit the rough red paddle and jumped in the air. It bounces once. I think in my head, spike it, spike it. So my fast reactions spike the ball. Now that hit I knew he couldn’t hit. He missed it. I had done it. “ Game, set, match!” he yells. I jump into the air in glee. I am so electrified. “ John you have moved up to the third spot in the Gods.” Starting at that point I toss the paddle on to the table every time I win. It right then became clear that I was number 3 in the Gods of Ping Pong!

After the match that day we went straight into the pool then went home. The next day Treat and I go to Hayden’s house to watch the Eagles game. We watched for a little while but we had to play Ping Pong. So I made a match so awesome that the real gods of Ping Pong would thank me. The match was me vs. Treat if I won I got into the second spot. But if he won I would be banned from the Gods of Ping Pong forever. Of course he accepted the match. It was best two out of three again.
I won the first game like a breeze. But he didn’t win the second game yet. It was 20 to 19. It was dead-mans serve. He served very clean. I do my special curve. He finds the ball in his eye perfectly. He hits it but as he hits it the ball hits his hand. The ball goes way out. I stand there trying not to let my jaw drop. “ Game, set, match?” Hayden couldn’t believe what had just happened. Then I put in my head that I had just won; I am in second place in the gods. “ I win” I toss the paddle once again on the table and say “Good game.” The silence was so bad you could hear the parents every single word. In my head I realized I went from the bottom to the top. Ping Pong some how taught me to never succumb to anything. Oh yeah, remember when Hayden and I volleyed the Ping Pong ball 1,050 times. Well, if I had given up, would that of happened? As Vince Lombardi once said, “ The difference between an unsuccessful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will.”





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