I always thought that to be proficient in any discipline, you needed to start at a very early age. It turns up that it is not necessarily so.
Some people have been playing golf or tennis for a very long time and they are still hacks. The same goes for pétanque.
It is not the number of hours or years spent on the field that counts, but your natural ability. Innate talent does not need to wait for eons to blossom. You have the “right stuff” or you don’t, and no amount of practice is going to change that.
In the game of pétanque, women can be extremely good at “pointing.” And needless to say that to be successful a team absolutely needs to retain the services of a good pointer.
I know such a person. She started playing relatively late, and she surprisingly became proficient in a fairly short time. This has not gone unnoticed in pétanque circles, and when there are mixed tournament she is very much in demand.
I think that she should parley her pointing skills into more substantial perks.
This individual was born in an unlikely place to play the game. She popped up into the world in a snow-blanketed place called St Petersburg. Few people play pétanque there even though it is not totally uncommon.
“Crossing the Neva, you’ll arrive at the Field of Mars – 22 acres of green lawns in the center of St. Petersburg. Just like its Parisian twin, a vast green lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower, the Field of Mars in St. Petersburg once served as a square for military parades and now it’s a recreational space. On a fine summer day, you can join a group of pétanque players, or simply bask in the sun. And if it’s raining, which is more common for St. Petersburg, you should probably move on to the next route.”
When she came to America, this woman barely spoke English, didn’t know how to drive a car, never tasted escargots or frog legs, and never heard of petanque.
I would say that she was as sophisticated as a “deplorable.” But she was also a diamond in the rough.
Luckily she met me… and as they say in Hollywood, the rest is history.
She is now one the best pointing dynamo in the club and she is eagerly sought for tournaments.
Her name, by the way, is Tamara Semionovna Efron, and she is my wife. She has brought home more trophies than I care to remember and (confidentially) I find this intolerable.
But facts are facts and I have to accept it.
One more thing…
I would like to reiterate before concluding that “there is absolutely no collusion” between Tamara and Vladimir Putin. If you hear otherwise, it is fake news.
до свидания (das vidania) my friends!