Of course, pool is a game of control. It’s a game of angles and premeditation and of improvisation, of making the best out of the situation on the table. But to John, someone who has had to wrestle control over constant dyskinetic motion in his arms and legs, the importance of that control reaches so much further.
A ranked billiards league player in his hometown who has played the game for over seven years, John worked with therapists to reconstruct the skills he needed to run the table once again. But getting back to pool is every bit as important socially as it is functionally. It’s a part of John’s identity. “It’s not just the game,” John says. “[The league] is where my friends are. It’s how we all hang out.”
If John’s work simulation at Chick-fil-A has meant anything, it has meant a tremendous spike in his personal confidence. As a volunteer with real responsibility, John is able to see—in concrete terms—his capacity for accomplishment. His job description interweaves the very skills he has spent the last year of his life relearning.