I admit I wasn't sure what he meant. So, the nosey person in me asked him.
And he replied with words that I'm still shocked by:
"It means the resilience that you have developed as a pool player - the ability to overcome adversity, pick yourself up, and get going again - helps you in difficult situations."
Did he really just say all that?
It sure does put quite the spin on just "competing" in pool (or any sport), doesn't it?
While I didn't see that in myself over 4 years because of the grief and depression I could barely climb out of bed for, it's been pointed out to me on numerous occasions that ALL my big title wins were during those years.
It's funny though, that he said this, because I actually never thought of that and usually see the reverse: When I find myself in a pressure situation in a tourney or I'm in the finals of an event, or I can feel the adrenaline moving through my veins and pumping my heart feverishly, I sometimes use life learning experiences to calm myself down:
"This is /nothing/ Melinda. You found a loved one pass away. "
"Why are you so nervous? You had to speak in front of 200 people you didn't know through sobbing tears and absolute heartbreak about your Dad after he passed."
So, to read his take on the reverse - using what I learned in pool to help me through adversity in life - is not only huge compliment because of the words he chose ("heart," for example), it's also because I never really thought of that before.
P.S. I was reminded that A Mind for Pool by Phil Capelle touches on this. :)