After crossing the finish line at a 5K race in the end of last July, I came to the realization that I have lost the speed that I once had (not that I was fast, but faster than I am now). I had trained hard, eaten well, and my body felt great, but I still crossed the finish line with a slower than normal time. Being a competitive person, I was losing my competitive edge for running. I wasn’t about to give up running, but my goals had changed. I needed something that I could do to stay active (when I’m not running) that I can someday be competitive doing. I went back to a sport that I once played and loved in my early twenties. I went back to the golf course.
Now, if you knew me well, you may be wondering about my decision to head back to the links and take up golfing as a hobby. In fact, since the beginning of August, many friends have asked, “Have you been golfing? It doesn’t seem like your kind of sport.” I’m unsure of why they think this, but I’m guessing that they know that I can’t stand still and that golf is too slow for me. I love to run, swim, bike, play hoops, soccer, and lacrosse, but I love the mind game of golf. I love the eye-hand coordination to play golf (both long game and short game golf). I love the challenge.
Another reason, and the most important reason, is that my dad golfs. He is really good. My dad doesn’t run, swim, or bike, but he golfs (he even travels to the south to golf in the winter). This is a sport that we can do together, and last August, we were golfing again (after about fifteen years). For the next twelve Saturdays or Sundays (until the end of October), we headed out as the sun came up (it is important that I am home before noon to start the constant weekend driving of my children) to different golf courses around central New York.
Sometimes, my son even tags along, but he is super competitive (I don’t know where he gets it?), and usually only lasts nine holes. Towards the end of the season, my youngest daughter joined us on the shorter courses and loves it. Golfing has become one of my most favorite things to do (even better than running).
As I drive home from work on a 71-degree day in Syracuse (the first day over 60 degrees since last fall), I passed a golf course filled with people. Knowing that I had a board meeting, I knew that there was no chance that I was going to get out on the course, but if I managed my time well, I would be able to take some practice swings in the yard.
When I pulled in the driveway, my dad was waiting at the house to drop something off to the kids, but as he stood next to the back door, I knew that he was there to see me too. Before I even had a chance to say hello to him, he said, “I went golfing today. Played 18 holes and it was great.” He was smiling from ear to ear. My dad came over to brag. He is not the bragging type, so I loved it. With the ten-day forecast showing some fifty-degree days in the near future, we planned an outing for next week after work. I can’t wait. But in the meantime, I got ready for my board meeting, pulled the clubs out of the garage, cleaned them up, and took a bunch of practice swings in the yard as my wife gave me the thumbs up from the front window. Just another thing that I love about spring.:)