Yesterday I played for the first time, Duplicate Bridge. The tournament lasted four hours. When I got home, I drank two glasses of wine and went straight to bed.
In my book “What Rotten Eggs” I put forth the idea that the challenges that I had to deal with as commanding officer of a military base on a small, isolated island, gave me lots of confidence to deal with challenges the rest of my life. Since leaving the island I have faced most challenges with confidence. Yesterday I had a unique experience. I have always wanted to play serious bridge. Two years ago, at age 81 I asked a friend if he would teach me how to play. At first, he was concerned that my age might make it difficult. I convinced him that my brain still worked. He taught me the basics. I played bridge on my computer. At the end of one year, I joined a bridge group. We played party contract bridge where there was little pressure and over time, I felt that I was a decent bridge player. After playing about forty sessions, I was ready to try serious Duplicate bridge.
In Duplicate bridge every team plays the same hand. The objective is to score higher with that hand than the other teams. I was teamed up with an excellent player and before we started, she showed me the procedures for using the bid box, card boards etc. With the first hand I was overwhelmed. My brain went into zombie mode. I made many mistakes. With each mistake my confidence waned. I guess there are challenges tougher than commanding officer of Loran Iwo Jima.