An abk Conversation

“John” (not an abk fan): This guy, Benj, has lost his mind.

“Bob” (friend of abk): I think he’s actually on to something, to be honest.

I mean, does he just do whatever he wants?

Not exactly, but what is wrong with that mindset? Shouldn’t everyone strive for that?

Never really thought about it. I was told: college, graduate school, good job, 40 years of work, 401k, retirement, travel a little, be bored a little, die. Any deviation from that is weird.

Anyone ever teach you about passion and happiness?

Don’t be ridiculous. Happiness is a big 401k and a big house. Right? Right? Right? Happiness is not rocking the boat. Right? Right? Right?

Happiness is happiness, pal.

What is this guy, Benj’s, superpower?

Interestingly, he has a TON of shortcomings that he finally learned to own. He’s kind of incompetent with a lot of normal things. Guaranteed he can’t change a tire. Guaranteed he struggles to cook dinner. Guaranteed you are a better husband and a nicer person than he is. The Mississippi folks make fun of his incompetence any chance they get.

But he does have two things. First, ACTION. He doesn’t play around with decades of thinking and pondering. He just processes information and, right or wrong, BAM! Second, MINDSET. He thinks completely differently from you. What’s scary to you is normal to him now, and what’s normal to you is scary to him. In fact, normal is scary to him.

He’s playing golf every single day at 37. Who does he think he is?

He’s trying to get really freaking good, and listen, I wouldn’t bet against him. He honestly believes he can do it. He’s not out there pounding beers all day.

He’s got some personal physical goals that he can’t wait on. I’m sure you’ve heard he’s got arthritis, which influences almost every decision he makes. For him, it might be impossible to do vigorous physical activity and/or travel the world comfortably at traditional retirement age. So, he’s doing it now.

That actually makes sense.

I’ve known him for a while. He’s a lot of things, but he’s not a dope.

He does have some lofty goals though. Scratch golfer? All 50 states? As many countries as possible?

He honestly believes, “Go big or go home.” One life.

Speaking of travel, he has traveled a couple hundred thousand miles over the past couple years. Does he ever see his family?

He’s a massive believer in quality time over just sitting there, everyone on their iPads. He actually has more quality time with ALL of his family (from NC to MS and everywhere in between) now more than ever. He also gains “family” on most every single trip. That’s a MAJOR goal of his.

Does he ever compromise?

Would you be willing to move to Mississippi?

Good point. What do you think he’s going to do next?

He’s got a list, and he’s leaning hard towards one thing specifically. It’ll take you off guard. But he swore me to secrecy.

Nothing takes me off guard with him any more.

He believes every day should be interesting and meaningful.

Sometimes I think he’s showing off.

No, he’s just showing. He believes too many people are talking and telling instead of doing and showing. He has lots of respect for doers.

Back to that ACTION thing, right?

Exactly.

You seem to know him well. What’s he trying to accomplish here?

He doesn’t have many soft spots, but he has a real soft spot for people and their self-esteem, happiness, and fulfillment. There have been stages in his life where he was unhappy, unfulfilled, in pain, and even lonely. He said “no more” to those feelings, and he sprung to action. He wants to show people that anything is possible, even if you have to rewire yourself like he did at age 35.

Anything is possible?

Yeah, you know he ran the NYC Marathon last year with very limited training?

Yeah, well, that was stupid.

Finally, we agree on something. That WAS incredibly stupid, and I guarantee you he now would agree. Occasionally, his zest for life gets the best of him. He knows that, but that’s just who he is.

There is an old saying in the banking world, “If you’ve never had a loan go bad, you haven’t done enough loans.” That’s how he feels about living.

Have a great week.-“Bob” 😉

Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and @abkgolf.

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abk Golf Update: Turning Corners

“Patience.”- abk Golf

A couple of weeks ago, I was officially exhausted. My left rhomboid muscle was strained, my game had plateaued, and I was tired and hot. Not to mention I had been in a car for 14 straight days and 6,000 miles. So on this particular day back in Mississippi, frustrated and fatigued, I just walked off the course, went home, and went to bed. It was 2pm.

My home course, Shell Landing Golf Club in Gautier, Mississippi, provides all sorts of challenges. It’s blazing hot, it’s quite long and narrow, and it always has some kind of sea breeze blowing. You may think this breeze sounds wonderful, but it annoys the hell out of me and my golf ball.

As I have gotten to know the course over the last six months, it hit me one day that this was the most wonderful daily course to practice on due to these challenges. And while the heat, the narrowness, and the constant wind may ruffle my feathers regularly, when it is time to play elsewhere, I may have a slight (or considerable) edge.

In last week’s piece, I wrote about GolfWeek 2019 in Alabama and all of its fun and frivolity. What I purposefully did not discuss were my results, but I am going to now.

As I mentioned in that piece, we played four delicious courses between Birmingham and Auburn. First was Vestavia, sitting atop a mountain, where I shot 80. Second was Shoal Creek, a major championship venue, where I shot 80 again. Third was Farm Links, a wide open public beast, where I shot 77. Last was Moore’s Mill Club, a long and tight layout, where I shot 78 (including a back nine 1-under 35). These were the four best consecutive rounds of golf of my life, and I had never seen the courses.

The work is paying off.

These four rounds were massive for my confidence. A year ago, the 80 at Vestavia after driving for six hours would have been a 95. A year ago, the 80 at major venue Shoal Creek would have been a 105. A year ago, the 77 at Farm Links would have been an 85. And honestly, the 78 at MMC may have gone completely sideways as tight as it was. Also, minus the first round at Vestavia, the last three could have easily been sub-75 without a couple of self-inflicted wounds.

I feel like I am one small step away from consistently shooting in the 70s on challenging tracks, which is my next goal. My right foot still hurts and my left shoulder stays sore, but otherwise I feel good. Mentally, I continue to remove the noise. I’ve played through gunshots, train whistles, and sirens, though I have not yet conquered the mariachi band (¡Ben and Chad! ¡Olé!). Just months ago, first tee anxiety was still very real. Now? Not so much.

My handicap is now officially 6.1 and trending at 5.8, down from 14 five and a half months ago. In that span, I have played or practiced 114 days totaling over 400 hours. I’m pleased with the progress, but I still have a long way to go. If six months ago the odds of getting to scratch was the same as getting struck by lightning TWICE, I’d say it’s now down to only ONCE. I’m getting close to being a bona fide amateur golfer, not just an athlete who is decent at golf. For me, that is a massive difference.

As peachy as all of that is, a 6.1 handicap doesn’t allow for many mistakes each round. If I shoot above 80 now, I am not pleased. (I can’t believe I am writing that.) That’s new to me. Minimal mistakes. No slipping. At a minimum, maintain. Work. Grind. Get better. Daily.

I’ve started to receive some notes, “What is your end goal with this golf thing?” My answer right now? “Depends on how good I get.” I’ve got some ideas. I’m all in for this dream. I gave up my paycheck six months ago. I pay a zillion dollars a month for health insurance so I don’t have to pay TWO zillion dollars for my arthritis injections. I live in a cabin in Mississippi the size of most bedrooms so I can play golf every day.

In October, I have no travel planned (although always subject to change). In Mississippi, there is no winter. I’ve played at Thanksgiving and Christmas down here before, no problem. I have daily check-ins with myself and biweekly “Come to Jesus Meetings”. I haven’t enlisted any professional help yet, nor do I want to, but I’m sure it is inevitable. All that to say, give me another 114 days and 400+ hours. I’m dialed in.

My buddy Ben called me a few months ago and asked me if all of this grinding was “fun”. By my definition of the word, yes, absolutely.

For the most part, I have given up on the traditional definition of having fun and chasing “success”. Instead, my definition of fun is maximizing potential, pushing limits, and pursuing excellence (either doing it myself, encouraging others, or watching others). So every day, I work a little harder to solve this mesmerizing, frustrating puzzle that, of course, I know can never be solved. And that, to me, is fun.

Have a great week.-Benj

Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and @abkgolf.

If you enjoy these and would like to get the weekly piece via email, please follow on the website http://www.anythingbutkhakis.com .

The 3rd Annual Golf Shindig: Alabama

“It’s a thoughtfully curated, no nonsense, no bullshit, perfectly planned five days that allows us to maximize our levels of tomfoolery, nonsense, and bullshit.”-abk

In last week’s piece, I talked about my childhood friends, some of whom I have known literally my entire life. This week, I am going the complete other direction. I met Iowa Jay, Alabama Ben, and Wyoming Chad at a conference just under four years ago, and we hit it off. We now text or chat almost daily, and once a year, we vacation together in one of our hometowns. And it is an absolute riot.

Welcome to Birmingham, Alabama everyone, and please don’t let the kids read this one. Actually, scratch that. Everyone should read this one. I believe more people should do trips like this to balance life out. Guys trips. Girls trips. Guys and girls trips. To new places. To less glamorous places. To real places. Make your own parameters. It’s not about debauchery or escape. It’s about passion. It’s about exploration. It’s about friendship.

This trip is unique. It is a heavy hitting golf trip where the golf only makes up some 20% of the festivities. We challenge each other to make it better than the previous years, which took us to Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, and North Carolina. We want it to be more memorable. We want fun, obviously. But we also want firsts, new places, different perspectives, and to meet new people.

Generally speaking, people are proud of their hometowns and home states. They like to show them off. This mentality is a key cog in these trips. What are the best courses in Alabama? What are unique Alabama-only experiences? Where must we eat? Let Ben show us where he works and how he lives. We aim for the best, but it must be brutally authentic!

GolfWeek 2019 had four very distinct pieces:

1. New Orleans

2. Local Living in Birmingham

3. Golf

4. Auburn football weekend

I go to New Orleans once a month to get the juices flowing, but Jay and Chad had never been, so that was a Day 1 must after they flew in. We went to one of the oldest bars in America, an Esquire Best New Bar, and then my go-to, The Ace Hotel (I could live in that hotel.). The boys got the flavor, which was the point, and we grabbed beignets for breakfast on the way out.

Who knew that Birmingham was so hilly? That was a shock to me. What was not a shock was the glorious tastes of Saw’s BBQ and Rodney Scott’s, as well as brewery row. We stayed at Ben’s lovely home, met his cool dog Phoenix, saw where he worked, and really got the vibe of what Birmingham was all about (he knows everyone).

Four rounds of golf in four days sounds like a regular week for me now, but definitely not at the caliber of courses that Ben put together. We started on top of a mountain at Vestavia Country Club for sunset golf (my favorite).

Next, we walked Shoal Creek, site of two PGA Championships and last year’s Women’s US Open, with caddies.

Friday was at Farm Links, a rural sleeper that came out of nowhere. And Saturday, after about 12 minutes of sleep, we played Moore’s Mill Club in Auburn, where Jay and I played our first nine in an unreal birdie fest.

Speaking of knowing everyone, Ben’s friend in Auburn knew everyone and played a gracious host to us for an SEC weekend vs. Mississippi State. Food, golf, housing, sightseeing, exploration, tailgating, and the game.

We got the flavor of it ALL, so mission accomplished.

Two final things.

First, I’ve known these boys for just under four years. I don’t know how they feel about me, but I appreciate them for a couple of reasons. They get me, and they encourage me. During GolfWeek, we have tons of fun, but one night we REALLY talk, and it all makes sense.

Second, and I told him this to his face, Jay better go ahead and start thinking about GolfWeek 2020. Ben raised the bar extremely high this year, and he’s up next.

Iowa 2020. Forget politics. The boys are coming to town next year, and they better be ready.

Have a great week.-Benj

Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and @abkgolf.

If you enjoy these and would like to get the weekly piece via email, please follow on the website http://www.anythingbutkhakis.com .

When Friends are Family

“Weddings are optional. Funerals are mandatory.”- Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani

It’s been a weird week, and I’m completely freaking exhausted.

Most weeks here on abk, I live in FantasyLand, focused on pushing limits, maximizing potential, and turning dreams into reality. However, I am not a dope, and I am well aware that painful reality is ever present or often just around the corner. It’s happened to me before, and last week it happened to one of my best friends. And though I choose to incessantly focus on the positive, these moments are real and change peoples’ lives forever.

One of my lifelong pals, Kevin Byrum aka Caveman, lost his mom 10 days ago. I received the news last Thursday morning while I was sitting at a picnic table in Moab, Utah, some 2,000 miles away. After offering a quick word, I began thinking how I could get to Monroe, NC for the funeral/celebration of her life.

Due to some logistical challenges, I couldn’t just fly from Moab to Charlotte. I would need to drive and detour through Mississippi. I figured I could make it to North Carolina by midday Monday, so Friday morning I set off. Utah to New Mexico. New Mexico to Louisiana. Louisiana to Georgia (via Mississippi). Georgia to Monroe, North Carolina, arriving 10 minutes late to the funeral after breaking every traffic law in the Carolinas.

The service was very nice, and then our group of friends had a pool party immediately after to celebrate our friendship and Mrs. Byrum’s life. We played, laughed, reminisced, and had an excellent time, but we also checked in on each other. Not like “how are you doing?” Nah, more like “YO, FOR REAL…HOW ARE YOU DOING?”

This group of 37 year olds that has dwindled over the years has endured tragedy after tragedy. Parents dying, suicide, best friends going WAY too soon, low points, really low points, and so on. As much as I like to be a walking example for positivity, I must not forget that bad things do happen and we MUST check in on each other. Like really check in. Even with the strong ones like Caveman. Especially with the strong ones like Caveman.

I know it’s 2019 and I harp on that a lot, but I’m still a face to face kind of guy. A text, email, or social media message can kind of sort of get the job done, but sometimes it’s not enough.

If I’ve learned anything over the past five years, what we visually see on the surface is so often only the tiniest portion of the picture, and sometimes it is complete and utter bullshit. Sometimes what people need regardless of what social media post they shared yesterday is just an in person deep dive. “You good? Like, you for real good?”

Keep that in mind going forward. Make an extra FaceTime call or in person visit if you can. Make sure those loved ones know you love them. I had some good conversations this week, and it made me feel good that everyone was diving a little deeper. Because this too shall pass, but until then…

Mrs. Byrum was a sweet, simple soul and a mother to our entire crew for the better part of 35 years. I have plenty of stories about her that make me smile, but one really sticks with me. A couple of years ago as I was nearing my first NYC Marathon, an envelope showed up in the mail about ten days prior to race day. It was from Mrs. Byrum, and it contained a check to Team Arthritis Foundation supporting my upcoming race and lifelong battle with arthritis. To my knowledge, she was not a woman of tremendous financial wealth, and this gesture just blew me away.

Love comes in the strangest packages. Sometimes it’s letting someone go. Sometimes it’s flowers, chocolates, hugs, and kisses. And other times it’s a note inside a tiny envelope signed simply, “Betsy Byrum”.

Have a great week.- Benj

Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and @abkgolf.

If you enjoy these and would like to get the weekly piece via email, please follow on the website http://www.anythingbutkhakis.com .

The Comfort Zone Chronicles: Moon Over Moab

“On the micro, it’s all about self. Self-awareness, self-improvement, self-mastery. On the macro, it’s so, so much more. It’s about helping every single person live their dreams.”-abk

I had two things I personally wanted to do: golf at Sand Hollow, Utah’s number one ranked and insanely beautiful course, and explore Santa Fe and its artistic weirdness. Otherwise, this wasn’t my trip. I was just along for the ride.

10 days. 3 guys. 4,000 miles. 8 states. No real plans. That essentially summed it up. The boys had some things they wanted to do. I had the two above. Otherwise, there was no roadmap for the journey. So we literally made one for ourselves and embarked on The Great Southwestern Adventure of 2019.

Five years ago, I never would have done this. I would have been too scared. Way too scared. If you read last week, you know I was afraid of everything.

But after proactively facing all of my fears over the past couple of years (and some 150,000+ miles of extensive adventure), I was ready. To my knowledge, I had never been proper camping in the great outdoors, so it was time.

Within the first five seconds of walking into our first campsite, we almost stepped on a tarantula. Not five seconds later, we saw a scorpion. (I killed it, James Bond style.)

“Ok, ok. Overcoming fear is one thing, dudes, but just remember to respect nature.”

Cousin Kris loves his big truck. He loves to drive it, and he loves to show it off. Brian, Kris’ friend, knows camping. He loves hiking and the great outdoors. Me? Per usual, I add very little other than the abk mindset. Help maximize these boys’ experience, push limits, learn something, and make sure this trip will never be forgotten. That meant extreme off-roading for Kris and gorgeous hiking for Brian, amongst others. But more importantly, it meant limited rules, plans, or rigidity. (I call them trip killers.) We’re just not going to do that nonsense. I’ve seen many a trip die a very quick death that way.

Miraculously, we did everything, and I mean everything, with no schedule and without feeling rushed. I’m certainly not going to list it all, but here are my top ten excursions from the trip, in no particular order.

1. Golf at Sand Hollow in Hurricane, Utah. Especially the back 9.

2. The buffalo in Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge outside of Lawton, Oklahoma.

3. The handmade jewelry and delicious food in New Mexico.

4. Sunset with the European and Asian crowds at Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona.

5. Sunset drive through Zion National Park.

6. Hiking Rainbow Point in Bryce National Park at 9115 feet, 55 degrees, and 40 mph winds.

7. The teamwork at Fins-n-Things extreme off-road course in Moab, Utah to ensure an adventurous, yet safe experience.

8. Being a passenger on Shaffer Trail in Canyonlands National Park. Honestly, this was terrifying.

9. Hiking to and then chilling at Grand View Point in Canyonlands National Park.

10. Hiking to the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

These were the biggies, and please notice, the Grand Canyon didn’t even make my top ten. But what about the small stuff? The challenges? The nuisances? The camaraderie? The journey?

For over 50% of the trip, cell phones had no use. Primitive to semi-primitive tent camping for six nights is quite uncomfortable. If you want to get into the windmill business, head to Texas and Oklahoma. Santa Fe tamales and Tucumcari red chiles are spicy, and we finally got Kris to In-N-Out Burger. We visited seven national parks. Most of Arizona has its own time zone part of the year due to its refusal to acknowledge daylight saving time. You can easily do this trip in under $1,000 per person (way less if you don’t buy Santa Fe jewelry lol). We booked every place we stayed day of, on-site. Get the $80 national park annual pass. I showered once in eight days. There are lots of hot air balloons in Albuquerque. We ate black hot dogs. Nights in Moab can get cold and super windy. Brushing my teeth with no water was a new experience. So was going to the bathroom in a hole with flies circling everywhere. There are more foreigners than Americans at these national parks. And eating dinner on Friday night on the old Route 66 is legendary.

As we sat at our campsite the last three nights in Moab, we were just about as one with nature as humanly possible. We saw Saturn and Jupiter looming large. My neck and back hurt from all of the off-roading, but my soul was on fire. I was uncomfortable as hell, but fully at peace with myself.

Do I all of a sudden love camping? Nah. Do I all of a sudden love hiking? Nah. Do I all of a sudden love eating with no utensils, sleeping on hard dirt and rocks, not bathing, and using the bathroom in a hole? Nah. But before you yell “gross”, I was you five years ago.

Would I do it again? Certainly. I had a wonderful time with the boys. It’s important to feel and beat discomfort. It’s the path to understanding.

Well, alright. Excellent journey, friends. I need to make an unscheduled trip to NC now, and then it’s 3rd Annual Golf Week next week. BL, please have a bed and bathroom ready.

Have a great week.- Benj

Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and @abkgolf.

If you enjoy these and would like to get the weekly piece via email, please follow on the website http://www.anythingbutkhakis.com .

20 Questions with anything but khakis

1. First off, where are you right now?

The Grand Canyon

2. For first time readers, what exactly is anything but khakis?

It’s an attitude. It’s a conscious decision to NOT take the comfortable or popular path on life matters. To really think through who you are and want to be. It can be as simple as what’s for dinner and as complicated as politics, religion, career, family, life, etc. In many cases, it’s doing the complete opposite of the mainstream. It’s finding freedom from the noise. It’s constantly evolving. It’s owning your life story.

3. Isn’t that uncomfortable?

God, yes. It sure can be. Until it isn’t any more. I’m getting real close (800+ days so far), and then I’ll probably start over again.

4. Do you sell something?

It’s all free, except for the hat design. That’s a few bucks. I’m not doing this for money.

5. Why are you doing this then?

To SHOW that 1 person, those 10 people, those 100 people who have unique interests or passions that they are not alone. And that it is possible to pursue them, even “later” in life. At mid-30s, I’ve started over and am actively making my own path. And the key is I’m actually doing it, not talking for the next 40 years about possibly doing it.

6. Describe your attitude towards life.

Intentional and passionate

7. You are gone a lot…

Traveling is who I am, and you have to be who you are. After about 3 weeks of “sitting still”, I need some new perspective. And this should go without saying now, but traveling has the best ROI of any investment I make. Not even close.

8. What’s your biggest priority in life?

Whatever the current step of the journey is. And happiness.

9. Are you ever going to get a job again?

Stay tuned.

10. What’s your pet peeve?

Lack of action and being told something isn’t possible

11. Do bad things ever happen to you?

You seem to live in fantasyland.

First off, it’s only fantasy if you don’t turn it into reality. Now, back to the question, yes. Plenty of bad things happen to me. I just don’t believe in negativity. There is room to be upset and time to mourn, but negativity baffles me. It’s a disease.

12. Where do you get your perspective from?

I’m physically uncomfortable every day. It would be a pretty shit life if I just moaned about it. I choose to be positive and push every limit that I can.

13. Tell us some personal goals.

Become a scratch golfer. Explore all 50 states. Explore as many countries in the world as I can.

14. What is your current golf handicap?

7.9

How many states have you explored?

40+

Countries?

2 handfuls

15. What’s your favorite thought right now?

“Did your life choose you or are you choosing your life?”

16. How do you pay for all of this?

Bitcoin. Just kidding. I can’t be the only person out there who has saved a few bucks. I’m just not waiting until I’m dead to spend a little bit of it. I’m heavily investing in my personal growth, and I am so much better today than I was even a few months ago.

17. What’s one thing we don’t know about you?

If it were totally up to me, I would live in a hotel. 100%.

18. What’s evolved most along your journey?

Other than everything, fear. I used to be afraid of everything. Now it’s the complete opposite.

19. Did you give away all your clothes?

No, I still have all the museum pieces and pieces from my travels. I hope one day to have a room or something that can visually showcase my journey.

20. What’s your ultimate goal?

The abk Foundation. Give everything back. What exactly does that mean? I’m not sure yet. But I’ll figure it out. Just another part of the journey way on down the road.

Have a great week.- Benj

Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and @abkgolf.

If you enjoy these and would like to get the weekly piece via email, please follow on the website http://www.anythingbutkhakis.com .

The Ultimate abk Fantasy

“Often when you step out of reality into fantasy, you come face to face with reality.”-The Elder Statesman

If you have read along for any period of time now, you probably know that I don’t blindly follow many cultural and societal norms anymore. I’m a little bit contrarian and a lot bit non-conforming. If society zigs, I usually zag.

But not with football season, and to be specific, college football season. For that, I am 100% in.

Like many categories of my life, I have no specific allegiance. I’ve always liked Penn State football, but I’m not a maniac. Instead, I follow for the environment, the drama, and the emotion. I follow for the freshman walk-on kicker from Nevada that took down Purdue Friday night with a 56-yard game-winner and then immediately got a scholarship.

But I really do it for the travel, working to one day turn my ultimate fantasy into reality.

As soon as I wake up on a fall Saturday morning, as long as Manchester United is not playing, I immediately turn on ESPN College GameDay. I want to know where they are, what the atmosphere is like, what color the leaves are behind them, and what local joints they have eaten at that weekend. It’s my ultimate fantasy. No, not to work for ESPN (I have already done that for a very brief stint thanks to my friend, David Sherwood). But I do want to travel all over the United States for an entire fall reveling in that environment.

A year or two ago, I got into a workplace conversation about ultimate fantasies. Bucket lists. Road trips. So on. It was my turn to pipe in, so I happily shared mine. From Labor Day until the Super Bowl, from Thursday through Sunday, I would travel the nation with whomever would like to join me in the name of football. I would pair the best college towns with the best college games with the best NFL games to create one of a kind experiences each long weekend. No two would remotely resemble each other. I might even throw in a west Texas football Friday night.

There would be cold weather and hot weather. Orange leaves, no leaves, and pine trees. Big cities and the great wide open. Snow and excessive heat. Nail biters and blowouts. Heart stoppers and snoozefests. Plane rides and car rides. Po boys, clam chowder, bratwursts, and more. Cold beer, really cold beer, and maybe even a shot or two. Side outings to golf courses. Naps in The Grove. Walks around campus. I could go on for days.

My heart is pounding just writing this. It won’t be this year, but if you know anything about my penchant for turning fantasy into reality, it will happen.

Over the past two weeks, we have hosted my sister and her family on a rather bizarre 8 day vacation in the Deep South culminating with my brother in law being in the hospital for two days.

I then surprised my father back in North Carolina for his 70th birthday, stopping along the way for a beautiful (and crisp) round at RTJ Grand National in Opelika, Alabama (Auburn country).

On the ride back, I detoured to Selma, Alabama and walked the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge, mulling over the past, present, and future climate of a very messy subject.

Over the next four weeks, it’s more of the same, yet always a little different. Camping out west. More golf. Visiting with a friend or two. And then the 3rd Annual Boys Golf Trip, finishing with Mississippi State at Auburn, assuming we are still alive.

But in between all of this hoopla, I got this past Saturday all to myself. Woke up. Turned GameDay on. And literally immersed myself in this idea all day.

My imagination went from Ames, Iowa to Raleigh, North Carolina to Lincoln, Nebraska to El Paso County, Colorado to State College, Pennsylvania (pause, went and played 27 holes) to Laramie, Wyoming to Arlington, Texas to Los Angeles, California.

I’ve been to so, so many places over the past few years, yet I haven’t even scratched the surface. I’ve been to even more places in my head, painting pictures of what one day it will be like to visit.

My oversized imagination used to be an oversized pain in my side, because big imagination without action can feel very stifling. But once I went all in on action, I now feel very different. It feels like with a little focus, a few bucks, and a little planning, at some point in the future, that will definitely be the greatest autumn ever.

Have a great week.-Benj

Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and @abkgolf.

If you enjoy these and would like to get the weekly piece via email, please follow on the website http://www.anythingbutkhakis.com .