New challenges. Do you shy away from them or do you seek them out?
I am trying to live new challenges but in doing so live them to the fullest. The culmination of one of my biggest challenges happened last month in Kansas City, Mo.
It started five years ago when my lifetime friend, Jeff, and I started playing duplicate bridge.
Bridge is a fascinating game which challenges your mind. I guess the fascination really began in my teens. I learned bridge by watching my mom and dad play at the kitchen table with their friends. They had so much fun.
So my buddies and I started playing a bit in high school and during first semester at university, I spent more time playing bridge than going to classes. I do not recommend that if you would like to make decent grades.
In duplicate bridge, everyone plays the same cards so that eliminates much of the luck in the game. You simply compare your scores to those of everyone else. This year, Jeff and I qualified to represent Canada at the North American Bridge Championships in Kansas City.
This was not our first bridge trip but the trips have not been all about bridge. We lived each experience to the fullest. During our first trip to St. Louis, our bridge was terrible but we toured the famous St. Louis Arch, the World Chess Museum (we use to play chess back in high school as well), and I had my picture taken outside Busch Stadium beside the statue of Stan Musial, one of the greatest baseball players to ever live.
In Kansas City, there were thousands of teams playing bridge and close to 100 in our category. The tournament was two days long — with seven hours of bridge each day. So it was a marathon, not a sprint.
At 11 p.m. on the second night, I looked around the massive room we were playing in and saw that we were the only table still playing. Over the PA, I heard them ask players to stay put because they could not announce the winners until every last board had been entered.
It’s hard to explain the feeling that came over me as it was announced that the first place team was from Michigan and the announcer then said "... in second place from Winnipeg, Canada…"
Our picture, taken shortly afterwards, shows the joy we experienced. No team from Manitoba has ever ranked that high in a North American championship tournament.
I don’t know what my next adventure will bring but whatever it is, I plan to live it to the fullest.
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Bridge Manitoba is searching for a new home. If you know of a hall with some parking that is underused and looking to lease or even sell, please let me know.
John Hindle is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at email@example.com