Feyte and Dasdinee are asked to take part in sports training at school and they both agree.
When they are in the gym hall, they are told to go to the different sections of the hall. Feyte ends up in the Squash court, she picks up the racket and starts trying out the game. She takes to it quite easily, almost like she’s done it before. She makes impressive progress and those around her are delighted for her.
Dasdinee ends up at the other end of the hall. She finds herself in a big, open space with a matrix of lines and markings on the floor; she instinctually understands that this is a multi purpose hall. In front of her, she finds an endless selection of rackets of slightly different shapes and sizes, balls and shuttlecocks of varying weights and designs.
She picks up some of the equipment and wields them about. She finds herself resonating with most of them quite naturally, although she doesn’t feel an immediate pull towards any.
After a while, Dasdinee decides to visit Feyte at the Squash court. Dasdinee feels dismayed when she sees Feyte dancing around the court, expertly smacking the little green ball and seems to be commanding it to land exactly where she wishes.
Dasdinee approaches the gym teacher. “I feel so useless”, Dasdinee begins, “Feyte is so clear about what she should be doing and is obviously gifted at it, whereas I have so many things in front of me I don’t know where to start! Feyte has already made so much progress and I haven’t done anything at all!”
The gym teacher looks empathetically at Dasdinee, “Things are not always as they seem Dasdinee”, he speaks softly, “with Feyte, her talent is firmly in Squash, it’s been obvious for a while, it’s just a case of right timing and opportunity for her to discover that for herself.”
“You, on the other hand, is built to be trained in something else.” Dasdinee’s curiosity is piqued as the gym teacher continues, “can we train you to be a champion Squash player, ‘cos we can; can you be a great badminton player, ‘cos you can, but the best contribution you can make to the school is to be the ambassador of the expanded possibilities.”
Dasdinee looked visibly mystified as the teacher paused for effect. “Look at the court you were at and the equipment in front of you, the game is no longer about being told what to do and do your best to get good at it, which is how it’s been. The game now is about deciding for yourself what feels good to you and have a good time doing it. Most important of all, to know that you’ll be supported and rewarded with applause and approval as long as your heart is in it. Not many would appreciate or buy into that, let alone understand it and teach it. You, Dasdinee, have such capacity except you don’t believe it yourself yet!”
“So…, let’s just say I do believe, how would I know and what would I be doing?”
“It’s not about what you do, it’s about how you are. Your joy and enthusiasm are contagious, but only when you are feeling authentic and acting with genuine passion; what you actually do is not so critical, as long as it is pleasing to you.”
“So you don’t want me to be good at anything?”, obviously still finding the concept somewhat incompatible.
“We already know you could be good at a lot of things, but the one level above that is not about medals as such, but to help raise the game for everyone else.”
“So you are saying I will be distracted if I were to become really good at something!” Dasdinee beamed at the teacher, “then how come I feel so de-motivated and useless then?”
“Swimming against the current is always tough. Much of this is, admittedly, counterintuitive and out of whack with what you’ve always known and been taught to believe. Nevertheless, remember you still do choose how you feel and what you decide to do. In a way, having a clear path is in fact easier, and what you are experiencing now is part of the training.”
Since then, Dasdinee visits the gym often, especially when Feyte is in a Squash match, she’d always be there to give her support. Otherwise, Dasdinee spends time playing with and coaching other people, her classes are fun and inspire creativity. She would use the badminton rackets with the ping-pong balls on a tennis court setup, or use 5-a-side football format with hockey sticks and tennis balls. Kids have fun exploring the different possibilities, even Science teachers find new ideas on illustrating concepts.
Unbeknownst to Dasdinee, she is on her way to be inventing some new games altogether. When she does, they will be strange to many, a few may be curious and they certainly won’t be popular straightaway. Nevertheless, by then she’ll be a lot more ready to see it for what it really is: training for yet the next level.