abk Chronicles: #somethingnew

If not knowing is a reason,

Or discomfort or fear,

I’ve got a few little ditties,

That I’d love for you to hear.

Entering a whole new world,

Has been exciting and strange.

Everything brand new,

180 degree change.

Living in the Deep South,

I knew nothing about.

Rattlesnakes and gators,

Watch your step when you go out.

Hotter than hot,

And sometimes hotter than Hell.

Could I get my head around it,

Only time would tell.

What did I know about guns,

Or how to back a trailer?

Left goes right, Right goes left,

Had me cussing like a sailor.

Riding jet skis and boating,

Are the names of the game.

Most people go fishing,

But that doesn’t stoke my flame.

And what the hell is a nautical mile,

Why is wind measured in knots?

Low tide, high tide, wave height,

Consuming all of my thoughts.

You need a license to drive,

To hunt, to fish, or to boat.

But if you play your cards correctly,

You don’t need a winter coat.

Hurricane season,

Can get everyone’s attention.

Wind and flood insurance aren’t cheap,

I’m sure there’s plenty more to mention.

New houses built tall,

Way up high in the sky.

Can look like a giant treehouse,

But now I understand why.

The answer is Katrina,

Back in 2005.

Still burning deep in people’s psyche,

What washed away and what survived.

Then there’s The Great Golf Journey,

Would they think I was insane?

Because I gave everything up,

Just to play a silly game.

A boy from North Carolina,

Green glasses, pink belt, pink hat.

Cheering for the Panthers,

Instead of Saints Nation, Who Dat?

The place is now my sanctuary,

To grind and do my stuff.

Hellbent on this vision to help others,

‘Til I deem enough’s enough.

The human journey is real,

Full of questions and fears.

Full of obstacles and risks,

Full of blood, sweat, and tears.

I may never be an insider,

A fisherman or sailor.

But at least I finally learned how to

Back up that damn trailer.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Golf: Bumps and Bruises

6/5/20, Gautier, Mississippi-

After consecutive birdies on holes 12 and 13, I found myself at 2 under par. Mark my word, that was the only reason I was still at the golf course. After about four hours of waiting, watching mediocre players play from the professional tee boxes, and other ridiculous tomfoolery, I had had enough. But I was 2 under, so on I trudged. I made a miraculous bogey on 14, a bored bogey on 15, and two ho-hum pars on 16 and 17 while talking nonsense with my playing partner from Tampa, Florida. Five hours plus now. No wonder so many guys aren’t allowed to play golf. Even par on 18 tee, I smoked a drive right down the middle. But then something bizarre happened. Pitching wedge in hand from roughly 135 yards, the club left my hands as soon as I hit the ball. The club went straight. The ball went sideways. It was really weird. Annoyed, bored, and confused at this point, I sunk a 20 foot putt to claw out a double bogey and carded a frustrating 74.

Initially, I thought the club had simply slipped out of my sweaty, bored hand. But upon further reflection, I had been losing feeling in my left hand all day. Then at go-time on 18, the hand simply went to sleep. Though I fought it for another week or two, it was the beginning of the end for a while.

I am no stranger to soreness and injury. For 25 years now, it’s just been there. I’ve grown to tolerate the daily soreness, but an injury brings along its ugly cousins: loneliness, boredom, and fear. This particular injury, an overused left arm (think shoulder, elbow, wrist and forearm pain), really scared me.

Along the great golf journey, there have been three injuries that I consider significant. They are inevitable. I mean, I’m 38 years old, exercising and grinding every day like I’m 20 years younger.

The first injury was piriformis syndrome on my right side, a nagging, hard-to-get-rid-of injury where a tiny little muscle near the hip/buttocks messes with the sciatic nerve. I surmise this injury occurred during the NYC Marathon Volume 2 and lingered into the first few months of golf. The aggravation was brutal. I couldn’t get comfortable. I couldn’t sleep. At the recommendation of a yoga expert, I stretched a very specific stretch and rolled sideways on a tennis ball as much as I could tolerate. Eventually, after months and months, it went away.

The second injury was plantar fasciitis in my right foot, a heel injury I would not wish on anyone. It resulted from months of walking while playing and constantly being on my feet practicing. I wore a boot to sleep, even though I couldn’t really sleep. I went to physical therapy. I stretched my calves every free moment I had. I started using a cart when I played. Finally, a month or two ago, after my 16,000th calf stretch, it went away.

The current injury is golfer’s elbow/tendinitis of my left arm, and the swelling is mucking with the two nerves that meander down to my hand. It doesn’t really hurt. It tingles. It annoys. It causes double bogeys on the 18th hole. It came about from golf, carrying a big ass iPhone, and holding my dinner plate in my hand as I ate since I haven’t had a dinner table in about a year and a half. I’ve rested it on two different occasions recently for five and seven days, respectively, and it helped. Surely, soon enough, it will go away too.

For the last 25 years, I’ve had to become skilled at balancing overuse vs. rest. Not enough vs. too much. Too much leads to injury. Not enough makes my arthritis angry. I want to fulfill my potential. I want to push limits. I don’t want to hurt.

I returned to action on Friday night, a little sore and rusty. I played my first round back on Saturday, carding a 74 and easing my fears that I had forgotten how to play. My current handicap is 1.3. My average score is down to 75.4. My new clubs tailored specifically to my game should be here any day.

As I told my boy Kris last night, let my arm get right and my new clubs arrive. Give me a month to tinker and grind. And then I really feel like I will be there, ready to scare even par or better every time out.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Never-Ending Unlearning

As you may have seen, I didn’t write anything last week. Well, that’s not entirely true. I didn’t publish anything last week. I wrote quite a lot, but none of it captured exactly what I wanted to say.

Honestly, my week was just a little too noisy.

On the previous week’s piece, I got a decent amount of commentary on the concept of unlearning. I wrote about it because I am passionate about it. I wrote about it because I have actively been doing it for three plus years. I wrote about it because I think, for adults, UN-learning might be more valuable than learning.

Maybe you want to know more about unlearning. Maybe you are wondering how to truly unlearn. Well, as with everything, I don’t have the answers. But I’m happy to share my experiences.

Unlearning is not easy. It’s even less easy to do whilst surrounded by noise (shout out last week). It’s not overly popular. It’s not at the top of people’s daily to-do list.

It takes time. It takes real commitment to yourself. It takes courage.

You run the risk of offending your family, friends, boss, clique, country club pals, pastor, teachers, and anyone who thinks you should behave exactly as they. You risk offending those living in the past. I made the internal decision that it was worth it. It was worth the risk to uncover who I really was and wanted to be.

Stubbornness has absolutely no place. Ditto ego.

Learning is often subconscious through what we see and hear. Unlearning is a very intentional exercise.

Unlearning holds the power of REAL change. I’ll vouch for that.

When and why did changing our minds become such a negative thing? Why did changing our minds become a weakness? Why is upholding tradition so positive?

Over the past three plus years, I’ve changed my mind on roughly 642.8 topics. Negative Nancies might say I’ve become wishy washy, hit a midlife crisis, or gone crazy. Positive Pollies might say I’ve grown immensely, or better yet, evolved. It all sounds fancy, but really I just changed my mind. I got off autopilot. I got new information.

Y’all remember a few years ago when I was writing incessantly about traveling solo, meeting strangers, and unveiling a new world? Y’all remember when I quit my job, sold my stuff, and moved to la la land to create a rather unique, intentional life from scratch?

Through meeting new, different people in new, different places and doing new, different activities, I took in an immense amount of new, different information. This is what helped me. There is no more direct way to say it.

This new way of life seeks to eliminate categories. I don’t define myself as anything anymore. I’m just here, designing something different. (Ok, maybe I’m a very ambitious golfer). Categories can crush us. Categories can define us. Categories can confine us. You’re a Republican? Divorced? A Buddhist? An accountant? A homeowner? Brilliant. We are so much less. We are so much more.

The neat thing about seeking to eliminate categories is that it promotes open mindedness, or more specifically, a bona fide opportunity to undo and unlearn. Not having categories allows free thinking. Not having categories promotes common sense. By not having categories, the category can’t own us.

But I’m not a dope. I know categories exist loud and clear, and in the larger world, likely always will. One of the issues we are facing head on right now is that many people are born with facts that we then place into categories that, unfortunately, have caused them to be treated both overtly and covertly as unequals for centuries.

Wanted: Lots of conscious unlearning to overtake subconscious learning.

New and different really was and is still the key. It opened my eyes to the subconscious promotion of rigid, self-serving systems. Racial, economic, religious, educational, healthcare, legal, and on and on. Better not think for yourself. Better not believe anything different. Better not rock the boat.

Where do you want to get better? Where do you want to make an impact? Do you want to fight the war on racial injustice? Do you want to get better at golf? Do you want to be a better father or mother or human?

The hardest, yet arguably most important piece of my getting exponentially better at golf has been the unlearning of years worth of bullshit habits. The new, correct stuff I’ve learned has been a piece of cake. The bad habits? I continue to fight them every day.

I’m not here to tell anyone what to do. Lord, no. As the genius Dave Chappelle said, “I’m here to help you reveal yourself to you.” Your best self, as the cool kids say. Your 2020 potential.

Daily action. Daily maintenance. Make the time. Make the effort. My whole world changed. I support you.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Being Better: Doing the Work

A few weeks ago, I called my biggest confidant. He stepped outside of his home so we could chat openly about solving the world’s problems, as we always do. I asked him what was cracking, and he told me a cop had already circled twice, eyeing him down as he walked outside and talked on the phone. This handsome, kind, articulate, well-educated man decided to go back inside.

I’ll never know how that feels, but I never want HIM or anyone else to feel that way ever again.

Surely you see it. It’s everywhere. Real life. Real people. Real communities. Not fake, biased, crazy TV news life. Surely you do. Maybe you don’t. Maybe that’s where the work has to begin. Lying to ourselves can be problematic at best, and as we’ve seen time and time again, deadly to others at worst.

When change is needed and things don’t change, people get frustrated. Mad. Furious.

Especially when the root cause and primary point is being ignored entirely, and is instead being deflected towards Christ knows what.

The problem is the problem. I get it now. Surely you do too? Everyone versus racism. Right versus wrong. Dig deep. Today is a great day to start the journey. Today is a great day to start the work.

I never would have had the insight or courage to write this piece three years ago, but I have lived these last three years looking in the mirror with my index finger pointed directly at myself.

I had to open my eyes and heart. I had to stop lying to myself. I had to feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment for things I had done, said, believed, ignored, or overlooked, many of them subconsciously. I had to unwind and unlearn everything the system promotes so I could see clearly, and then relearn what I actually, personally believe. It’s had a stunning effect. My world is very, very different.

The good news is I’ve found inner freedom. The bad news is I’m more aware than ever that lots of people still don’t have basic freedom.

The bad news is the truth is dirty. It’s nasty. Life isn’t clean. It can be uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. The good news is we can do something about it. We can get better.

The good news is anything can change with action and effort. Effort and action. The bad news is corporate lip service, singing Kumbaya, fleeting trends, campaigns, and quick fixes are often applauded over real effort and action. God forbid the bottom line or status quo get affected. God forbid we offend a friend or family member.

My biggest confidant is a black man. One of the people I miss the most in Charlotte is a strong black woman. The person I am pulling for hardest from afar is a talented black lady. I’ve shared meals, drinks, and intimate stories with each of them.

However, I spend most of my time playing a sport dominated by rich, white men in a state with a ridiculously ugly racial history.

Is playing golf in Mississippi a crime? No. Of course not. Could it be part of the greater problem? Maybe. Is it an opportunity? Absolutely. An opportunity to continue to listen and learn, to live what I learn, and then to have the courage to share it broadly. To actually be an advocate. I must do better. We must do better.

After three years of writing now, surely you know my stance. The POWER of UNLEARNING ideas that have been passed down and/or celebrated for generations, many of them outdated, inefficient, illogical, wrong, backwards, or downright evil, is HUGE.

UNLEARN. It’s an underrated, wonderful, terrific, beautiful, very difficult place to start the journey.

Effort and action. Action and effort.

I’m committed to doing my part.

Have a great week.- Benj

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abk Golf: The Impossible Goal

“Impossible is Nothing.”-Adidas

Before we get started this week, I want you to forget about golf. Now, unless your passion/livelihood/goal is golf-related also, take a second and replace golf with whatever it is that you are passionate about or want to get better at. Now, good, we are all on the same page. Let’s continue on.

Since the last time we spoke about golf, a lot has happened. I shot my first even par 72, where on the home stretch, I was so nervous I couldn’t feel my arms. The next night, I shot my first 2 under par 70, and I wasn’t nervous at all. (They said, like so many things in life, that you just have to do it once.) Last night, I shot 72 again. I’ve lowered my official USGA handicap to 0.6, which statistically puts me in the top 2.5% of golfers nationwide. My average score is down to 76.05 (most proud of this), and I played my 300th day of golf in the last 13.5 months on Friday night.

300 days of practice. 5-6 hours per day. 1500-1800 hours of grinding so far. In 25 mph wind. Or 105 degree heat. With sore hands. Sore feet. Sore brain.

But I am nowhere near my goal. Not even close. I’m just laying the foundation. Just getting started. Realistically, if my body holds up and I have a few bucks left, I am two years away. Maybe more like four. Let me repeat that. I have gotten to the 98th percentile of golfers, and I’ve got 2-4 more years of grinding. But that’s okay. It’s the daily process I am in love with, not the goal. My goal is impossible anyways. Says the world.

Dude, what IS the goal? Well, it’s pretty out there, but let’s first recap where 13.5 calendar months and 300 days dedicated to golf (anything) can take you.

Massive growth and progress is the easy answer. Luckily, I am blessed with athleticism and am a quick learner, because it turns out I didn’t know jack shit about golf. But instead of seeing that as a barrier, I just put my head down, asked a bunch of silly questions, took my lumps, introduced myself to some people in the know, observed (not listened to) everything, tinkered, tried stuff, and took off.

I want to learn to play the game at the highest level. I want to develop a well-rounded game. I have no interest in simply breaking par once. I have absolutely no interest in making a hole in one. I want to develop a meticulous consistency where on good days I am good, but on bad days I am also good. The only way I know to do this is to grind, practice, and work. All with purpose. All with intention. So far, it’s worked. Shocking, right? As I tell aka show my son, there’s an excuse for everything or a way to do anything.

When I first started the golf journey, I randomly met a young guy out at the course who wanted to play. We both shot roughly 90 and had a nice time playing.

Fast forward nine months, and I randomly ran into the same guy again. He immediately asked if I wanted to play, and before I could warn him about my progress, he threw out a friendly wager. I told him I’d been playing a ton and gave him the opportunity to rescind the bet, but his pride stood in the way. Anyways, some three hours later, I beat him by 15 or so strokes. 15. He asked me how I’d improved so much, and I simply told him “a lot of focused work”. Then I told him to keep his money, but more importantly to listen next time somebody tries to save him $20.

I mean, it’s really simple this week. If you want to get better at something, anything, put in the work. Focused work. Also, be careful who you bet money with. It might not be the same person you once knew.

Have a great week.- Benj

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abk Lifestyle: The World is Huge and The Options are Endless

“Is it better to be different and know that you are different or to be different and think that you are the same?”-anything but khakis

38 year old Benj: I had a birthday this week. I turned 38. I worked on my golf game, went jet skiing, and had dinner with family.

22 year old Benj: I had a birthday this week, too. I don’t remember exactly what I did, but I just graduated from Mars Hill College, and I am grinding hard as I get ready to continue my soccer career as a graduate student at Wingate University in the fall.

38: That’s great! I actually just made a video congratulating the Wingate University Class of 2020.

22: Cool! What did you say?

38: It’s on Facebook somewhere, and I only had 30-45 seconds, but if I had had longer, here’s what I might have said:

——

Everyone and their brother wants to tell you how to live. What to do. What to believe. What’s right. What’s wrong. Advice for this. Advice for that. Clichés that sound cool. Quotes that look nice. They are often well-intentioned, but they don’t know you. You know you, and if you don’t, well, start there. I did, three years ago, as 35 year old Benj.

I believe everything starts with self. What do you want? What makes you tick? Get to know yourself. Love yourself. When you screw up, forgive yourself. Most of all, be kind to yourself.

However, comparing yourself to someone else is a recipe for disaster. Life is internal, not external, and no one really knows what they are doing. Yes, adults too. Especially adults. It’s ok to be wrong. It’s ok to change your mind. It’s ok to not believe what you believed ten years ago. The framework we are often presented is, quite frankly, backwards and somewhat rigid.

Find your people. Be patient. Understand your emotions. Take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Money is merely a tool, bigger isn’t always better, and freedom is so underrated (and tied more to courage than money).

What you want should be personal and intimate. If you don’t know what you want, try stuff. Even in adulthood. Forget The Joneses. Forget the roadmap. Get comfortable with discomfort. It leads to extreme growth. Be ready to adjust. Things don’t stay the same, nor should they. Things are also not fair. Oh, and a personal fave, no one likes a complainer (except other complainers).

You likely have some talent that will help others. Foster it. Use it. If you want to get better at something, work at it. Everything starts with self but is meaningless without everyone else. Making an impact, a true impact, even on just one person, beats pretty much everything.

Free thinking, selective hearing, thick skin, and a big heart will take you somewhere pretty cool.

At the end of the day, you just have to be you, the real you, and finding, developing, understanding, and accepting that person is life’s great journey.

Own your life story.

Have a great week.- Benj

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13 Months In: A Simple, Sore Day in the Life of abk Golf

9am- Wake up. Sore. So sore. Open cabin door. Check wind conditions. Walk dogs.

All morning- Try and get to a place where I am not so sore. Some how. Some way. Read. Write. Mental game work.

Noon- Lunch. Leftovers.

1pm- Get blood flowing. Stretch. Light weights. Turn focus on.

2pm-6pm- Golf with Banks. Practice. Play. Work. Look at animals. Take photos and videos. Jot down notes and stats. Call parents.

7pm- Family dinner. Talk. Laugh. TV. Red wine.

9pm- Extensive stretching, band work, foam rollers, etc. Replay round in my head. What did I learn?

11pm- Bedtime.

Rinse. Repeat. Be better tomorrow.

Golf Day 288 in the books. Down to a 1.7 handicap. Serious business now. The journey continues…

Have a great week.- Benj

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The anything but khakis Way

“Luxury has nothing to do with money.”- Hugo Jacomet

As a new owner of a jet ski and a soon-to-be owner (🤞) of a lot across the street from the Gulf of Mexico in southern Mississippi, here is what I could see happening in the very near future.

Instead of keeping my golf clubs in my trunk, I could store them at the course. Instead of driving my car to the course, I could hop on the jet ski in the gulf, bebop through the bayous, and arrive at the bridge on the beautiful 6th hole at Shell Landing, where a cart and my clubs would be waiting. It could happen. Of course, it could happen…

I am absolutely fascinated by lifestyle design. Not WHAT someone does for a living but HOW someone lives. Two very different things. Better yet, I am fascinated by what is desired in someone’s mind or heart that is either thought to be impossible or simply yet to actually be made possible. I like working to make the impossible, possible. The unknown, known. Fantasy, reality.

I have two main thoughts regarding dreams and desires. One, they MUST be yours. No need to steal them from The Joneses. And two, they need not be lavish. I mean, they can be, but lavish dreams can become quite complicated (see expensive).

With that said, enter Mississippi, its exorbitantly low cost of living, and let me tell you a little more about the anything but khakis way of life. The jet ski was a little splurge, sure, but the lot? Shoot, it is about 1/100,000th of the cost of a similar lot on any other coast in America. I like value. It affords freedom. Equally as important, I like good attitudes and positive energy. They afford freedom. The way someone, some place, or some thing makes us feel should be complementary or additive, not a chore.

What’s at the top of your lifestyle list? For me, I wanted to be outside and in big spaces. (Wyoming fit the bill as did the Gulf of Mexico.) I wanted to stop worrying about what was next and enjoy what is now, and nature handles that for me. It needed to be hot (sorry Wyoming) to soothe my joints. It needed a certain energy, which I get from two places: on the water and in New Orleans.

To be able to do all of this, to start over, cost of living had to be low. Down here, golf membership costs nickels. Real estate costs dimes. I’ll take a $3 BBQ sandwich over most anything. I’m a master sommelier on $10 bottles of wine.

And my favorite “restaurant” down here is a gas station. Mountain Dew and egg rolls. Lavish, I know. I still love style and clothes and always will, but I just don’t deal with meaningless STUFF anymore. It saps energy and clutters vision.

I’ve been on this beautiful journey for three years now, and occasionally I get a glimpse at where all of this is headed. (Uncertainty and vulnerability were/are the magic tickets.) I’m pretty sure that one day, I want to help people not only unlock their dreams and desires, but also formally help them turn those dreams into reality.

I’ve kept copious notes every step along my journey, and I remember everything. Every action. Every decision. Every conversation. Every success. Every failure. Every emotion, yes, emotion. I had low, low points alone in Iceland, I felt real fear in Mexico and Oklahoma, I had aha moments in Italy and Missouri, and I learn relevant life lessons every single day on the golf course. I’m simply not there yet. I don’t have the full credentials, so I have to be patient and keep grinding. But in two or three more years, the spirits willing, I should have something too good to keep to myself. I will have personally done it, and that’s the only credential I really want.

So then, if somebody else wants to ride their jet ski up to the golf course, have their cart waiting, and take off and play, I’ll be the man to help him/her dream it and do it. Although we should pick a hole other than 6 to start on…it’s the most intimidating damn hole on the course.

Have a great week, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!-Benj

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abk Golf: Getting Closer

Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to leave rounds in the 80s behind forever…

In my last 35 rounds, I have shot three 80s on the number and 32 rounds in the 70s. I can confidently say now that I consistently shoot in the 70s, so it’s time to dig deeper. It’s time to go lower.

I started the week off on Sunday afternoon shooting a ho-hum 75. I was +1 standing on 18 tee, and like a clown, I decided to go for it. You know…IT. Even par. Of course, I hit it halfway off the earth and double bogeyed the hole. Try again later. Hope you learned something.

Later was Tuesday, when I woke up at 10:45am to a text from the local golfing powers: Golf today? I was sore, super sore, from a Monday night grind on the course. Of course there would be golf today, but a competition only 2 hours after I woke up? I have a personal rule though. I don’t turn these particular gentlemen down unless I absolutely have to, so I quickly got my mind and body going.

As soon as I arrived, I told them how sore I was and that it may take a few holes for me to get into a rhythm today. But that turned out to be complete nonsense, as I fired a 74 in serious wind conditions that immediately ranked as a Top 5 round in the short life of abk Golf. I finished birdie, birdie, par, par, which afforded me a mere one stroke improvement over Sunday’s performance, but left me feeling more like a king than a clown.

It rained on Wednesday, and so I took a much needed day off. Everything hurt. Old things. New things. Everything. And so I did nothing. Nothing.

Enter Thursday. Thursday at the golf course is a cluster. There are weekly Thursday specials that draw everyone and their drunk uncle. It’s nearing the weekend. And if the weather is perfect, the effect is exponential. And it was.

Banks and I arrived late afternoon, but it became clear that we weren’t going anywhere for a while, so we just putzed about. We warmed up, had some giggles, and looked for some animals until the coast was clear. At about 6:15pm, 1 tee was open, so off we went.

When I was putting from inside 8 feet for eagle on 3, I knew it was on. When I saved par from 20 feet on 8, my only stressor of the day, I knew it was on. If only I had hit my birdie putt a tad harder on 9, my 33 (-3) would have been a 32. If only the sun went down about an hour later, this could have been the night. But you know what they say…If ifs and buts were candies and nuts…

On Saturday, we indoctrinated our new jet ski early in the afternoon (more on this next week). But I had to get to the course. I spent Friday doing the necessary jet ski paperwork instead of playing golf, so I was jonesing.

I met my friends a few holes in, shortly after draining a ridiculous (lucky) birdie putt on 4. I hit my rhythm somewhat immediately, and before I knew it, I was -2 and in the middle of 15 fairway. A 3-putt and then a lost drive on 16 brought me in at 73, kind of annoyed, kind of excited, kind of hungry, as usual.

It had been a great week of work. 75, 74, 33 (9), and 73 easily qualified as my best week of golf ever. EVER. I’m getting closer. My handicap dropped to 2.7 briefly and finished the week at 2.9. I’m getting closer.

Most importantly, I shared each of these rounds with others, the 33 on Thursday with Banks taking the cake.

For 276 days, I’ve grinded through the 90s, and they eventually left. I’ve grinded through the 80s, and I’m hoping I never see them again either. I’ve grinded through the high 70s, and I know they will rear their head now and again, but I’m ready to focus on 73-75 and what it entails to take that next tiny little step. This week was very important, mark my word. This is exactly what I signed up for, and as I always say…Back at it tomorrow.

Have a great week, and stay safe.-Benj

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Q&A: Quarantine with abk

What’s cracking down in Mississippi?

Well, on the one hand, the same as everyone else. On the other, nature is still open and it’s sunny and 75 degrees most every day right now.

Good ol’ Mother Nature…

Every morning when I wake up, one of the first things I do is open the cabin door and keep it open. That begins my relationship with the outdoors for the next 10 hours or so.

Specifically, what are you doing?

Reading, writing, thinking, eating something tasty, drinking red wine, sleeping, watching a little TV. Back to the basics. Working on the golf, of course.

What are you watching?

I binge watched this show about football, class, and Los Angeles on the CW called All- American. Loved it. I’m watching Entourage again. And The Last Dance about MJ and the Bulls, obviously.

What are you reading?

Anything except the news and negativity. It’s like eating 600 Oreos in one sitting. The mind and body aren’t built for it. Not to mention the vast majority of it isn’t true.

What are Christy and Banks up to?

They go fishing and pick berries. They love it. Banks will come play golf with me too. Even before all this started, we decided to raise him like it was 1990.

Go on…

He knows what Tik Tok is and has his own iPad, but for the most part, he just plays outside. ALL DAMN DAY! It’s been very inspiring.

How so?

Kids are great reminders that we adults should relax and play more. I’ve listened. Ironically, much of the stuff adults argue and stress about is very childish.

What do you miss about “normalcy”?

Sports, travel, and in person interaction, just like everyone else. Nothing real groundbreaking there. I do miss my regular excursions to New Orleans.

What’s new with the golf journey?

Well, I got a new bag, which I desperately needed. I got some new balls, which I customized with a pink “Benj”. I walked my first 9 holes in eons the other night and had a blast, though my right foot wound up a bit sore. Otherwise, still grinding. Shot a couple of back to back 36s from the big boy tees this week, so I’m very pleased.

Have you cut your hair and beard?

No.

What else are you working on and thinking about right now?

I have the introduction to my book done, but I’m not really inspired right now. The house build got put on hold for a hot second, so I’m keeping my eye on material costs and mortgage rates. Will there be new opportunities and ways to help people that are intriguing on the flip side? How will the world operate differently? On and on.

What word would you use to describe this crazy time?

Reset. Do we want to go back to the exact lives we were living, go do something else completely, or somewhere in between? It doesn’t really apply to me this time around because I’ve just spent the last 3 years doing exactly that. But I’ve talked to a handful of folks in the past few weeks looking to switch gears. I’m always happy to help. I know exactly what it entails to do a complete 180 in a lot of categories.

Any final thoughts?

Yes! Completely unrelated, but some time this week (probably today), anythingbutkhakis.com will be visited for the 20,000th time. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has ever read along and a special thank you for the couple hundred folks that follow along religiously! I’m a small group kind of guy, and I love our little community! So thank you!!

Have a great week, and stay safe.-Benj

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