My ping pong journey began when I was a young boy living in a neighborhood of 13 adventurous boys who created and participated in all forms of play. Ping pong in the basement filled our winter days with spirited competition. We were soon introduced to a bigger stage of the sport by an elementary school teacher who offered ping pong as an elective, ran tournaments, and tracked ratings. That just fueled our enthusiasm more, and when we visited the Waltham Table Tennis Club, we quickly learned the stage was even larger. We were schooled by older men who gave us a 15-point advantage when playing to 21. These men, Ben Hull and Frank Dwelley, were former New England champions. The fire was lit bright; at this point, we wanted to be champions. My lifelong best friend, Ralph Bockoven (Chase and Connor’s Dad!), has always been my biggest supporter and main coach in other sports; my bond with Ralph and our love for a more unique sport opened our world to travel the country, meet great people and learn about new cultures from this melting pot of people who played in the US. I became the highest-rated 11-year-old in the county, without any real formal training. Ralph and I were our own coaches and motivators. I went on to make the US junior team against Canada in the Canadian National Exhibition. I also won the New England Collegiate Championships and continued to elevate my game after college. In 1988, I ranked high enough to try out for our first-ever US Olympic team and won the New England Tri-State Championships! As a career-long Health and Fitness professional, now working at Life Time Athletics, my career has enabled me to stay fit and continue to compete at a master level, winning a silver medal at the National Senior Games. Ping pong and sport builds character and has taught me many life lessons. I’m so grateful for how ping pong has created a lifelong journey of fun, play, and friendships in my life! I welcome you all to SPIN to join the playtime fun! Game on!