Kim Newsome: This Lone Star Calls Her Own Shots

December 14 - On The Dot
 
FIRST THOUGHT: Don’t Knock Yourself Out

I hate being sick. When I have the flu, I miss being taken care of. But many of us are caregivers ourselves, whether caring for children, older relatives or pets, and sick days don’t exist when your dog is asking, “Where’s breakfast?” at 5 a.m. But one thing I know for sure is if you push yourself too hard when you’re not feeling well, you’re just going to feel worse.

Today, whether you’re under the weather or feeling at the top of your game, focus on taking care of yourself first. Your health will thank you for it.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 25 Years

One of the things you might do for yourself is to enjoy a hobby—besides brunch with your gal pals. What’s an activity you’ve always wanted to try? Bowling? Rafting? Pool? You know, the thing with 16 balls that you usually associate with men in a smoky bar.

In the 19th century, pool was definitely a man’s game. Until, that is, Frances Anderson came on the scene. She basically proclaimed herself champion of the billiards world and dared other women to take her on, offering $5,000 if they could beat her. But they couldn’t, and legend has it she remained undefeated against her female competitors for a quarter of a century. It wasn’t until her death that it was discovered the woman’s billiard champion had a mysterious secret: She was actually a man.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Kim Newsome, Professional Billiards Player and President of the Women's Professional Billiard Association

Despite Frances Anderson’s lifelong ruse, women are gaining some serious ground when it comes to billiards. After all, nothing beats the surprised look on a guy’s face when you beat him at a hard-won game of pool.

One such ball-busting woman who calls the shots in today’s world of billiards is Kim Newsome, a top-ranked professional pool player and the president of the Women’s Professional Billiard Association. A touring professional since 2001, Kim is also the executive director for a variety of billiard tours and events.

The billiard bug hit Kim early in life, when she was just 16, and dated a boy whose family had a pool table. Captivated by the game, Kim longed to grab a cue stick and get to playing, but her boyfriend and his buddies monopolized the table and told Kim there was no way a girl could be good at pool. So, when they weren’t looking, Kim secretly took up the sport. She loved it, and has never looked back.

During college, Kim made the decision to take her talent seriously. And not long after, the billiards world began to take her seriously too. The local women’s Billiards Congress of America 8-ball team she was on won a trip to compete at the 10-day BCA Championships in Las Vegas, and Kim made the bold move to take “incompletes” in her college courses just to attend the event. When she beat 437 other women to become the 22nd Annual BCA North American 8-Ball Women’s Open Champion, Kim realized she had met her calling.

From then on, Kim’s billiards awards seemed never-ending. But after a few years, she sustained a hand injury that would prevent her from competing. It was a tough blow that saw her national ranking plummet from 12th to 47th. Three surgeries later, Kim got back in the pool hall. And in 2007, she took home fifth place and was the top U.S. finisher in the Amway Cup Women’s World 9-Ball Championships in Taiwan. Not too shabby, right?

Kim’s nickname is Lone Star, a fitting moniker since she’s from Houston, Texas. But to me, Lone Star is a perfect description for Kim. She braved an arena that is full of dudes, shined brightly, unafraid of standing on her own, and racked up a ton of accolades and respect.

QUITE THE QUOTE

With Kim Newsome in mind, I’ll leave you today with this quote by playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who said:

“Don’t live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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