Did someone say darts?

“So, we throwing darts tonight?” she questioned in passing.

It was Wednesday, and if this Wednesday was anything like every other Wednesday for the past five and a half months, they were probably going to go throw darts.

“I’m always up for a game of darts, but I have plans at 8.”

“That’s plenty of time.”

As the workday slowly chugged to a close they meandered their way down the four and a half icy blocks it took to get from point A to the two slightly shabby, but always welcoming dart boards at their pub. They stepped inside and made their way up the 15 dimly lit steps it took to get from the street to the oak and green wall panels they knew so well. It was the kind of place that they were proud to call theirs. It lacked pretence. It lacked good lighting. And it lacked a reliable supply of beer and menu options. But it was that dingy simplicity that gave it its charm.

“Hey! How’s it going?” their waitress greeted them with a smile. “We’re out of PBR, but we have Yellowhead,” she paused knowing her two regulars would nod with approval. As they agreed to the always-on-special $4 pints she added, “two corndogs and a plate of salt and pepper wings?” With another nod, a smile, and some simple conversation, she was off.

Before the beers could arrive they’d pulled their recently purchased darts from their respective pockets. It was time for a few practice throws before things got serious.

The aimless lobs scattered across the board.

12. 20. 10. Clear the board. Next throw.

17. 7. Foam. Clear the board. Next throw.

By the time their beers were placed on the nearest shiny black table the game was well underway. The rest of the pub was quiet, but before the night was over the empty stools and vacant dance floor would be filled with thirsty university students looking to blow off steam and empty their wallets.

Before long, nearly two hours had passed, five games played, six pints drank, and at least four double bullseyes hit. As they closed their tab, their waitress inquired if they’d be going for caesars. It was still early and she knew them well.

Lessons from the Dart Board

Recently my friends and I have taken up playing darts. It used to happen maybe once a week but lately we’ve been ending up in front of a dart board up to 3 nights a week. During my last game of darts, it could have been the beer, or it could have been for real, but I noticed a few ‘life lessons’ from the dart board.

Just Try I was reluctant to star playing darts all those many months ago. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. I had never really played before and I didn’t want to be horrible. Fortunately, the people I was playing with were kind. I’ve become a lot better, which has reminded me to look for more new things to try.

Be Consistent A lot of times I find new goals seem hugely overwhelming. The end of the road seems so big, lofty, and far off. All the work it will take to get there can make you wonder if it’s worth it. But then I look at my dart game – which, has generally been only a couple hours every week, my improvement has been huge. Little (consistent) steps are what gets you where you want to be.

Don’t Doubt, Go Big When my darts game really starts to suffer I generally begin to assume its because I’m horrible and have no skills. This is of course, not true. And its a good reminder that no matter how bad things are, one horrible loss, or three horrible losses in a row, your next game can be your best. You might even get a single and double bullseye in one round.

Reset When things aren’t going your way it’s ok to take a step back – and in darts I mean literally take a step back – and reset yourself. Its amazing what those little moments can offer you, shake out the jitters, clear your head, and start again, refreshed.

Aim Small, Miss Small Don’t generalize, aim for what you want, for what you really want and go for it. My brother used to tell me that if I aim small, I’ll miss small. Instead of going for a huge spot on the board I always pick one specific spot to aim. I rarely ever hit that one spot, but it good to know what you’re after.

Be Cool! Just relax dammit! When I get all nervous and self-conscious and concerned that I’m not playing well, I end up playing way worse. When I start thinking too much everything I do gets bogged down. When I cool it, and play for fun I usually end up doing better. ‘Speed Darts’ is my game of choice. So have more fun. All of the time.

Drink Beer Because this helps with the whole relaxing thing, and 2 beers is my peak zone for darts skills. More PBR for all!

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