What’s so great about ping pong?

The game is blind to your age, gender, nationality, ethnic type.

Teaches courtesy.

You stretch your gluteus and back when you pick up balls.

Passersby in a hurry actually detour to retrieve your runaway ball and hand it to you.

You warm up gently. You shift your weight from leg to leg, over and over, in rhythm. Like in dance. As you age, this surprises you.

You face and play someone ten feet away. Close enough to see expression and hear how they breathe. Your eyes may not meet. And then occasionally they do.

Rare is the player who can avoid to laugh. Some groan. Almost everyone laughs.

All kids slam in their first lessons. Look where it gets them.

Some people prefer to play for points. Some only volley.

Play outdoors is different than play indoors.

All skills, whether in golf, ping pong, oration, or fly fishing, derive from how your hips push your legs into the ground.

Ties soccer for world-wide popularity.

Progress results when you stop moving your arm and start to move your torso.

Welcome outdoors, ping pong player. You now must contend with dust, heat, sun glare, watchers, the smells from the dog run next door, scrutiny and kibitzers, ever-occupied tables, rain, grit, wind, ice, temperature, dusk, insects, drones, lack of shade, lack of water, dogs, squirrels that seize runaway balls, distraction, nets shorter than the regulation six feet. As if those weren’t enough, you have to preserve face. That is, if your opponent fails to mention any of these as a problem, it’s hard to be the first one to complain. Misery loves company.