abk Living: It is Possible…

“Impossible is nothing.”-Adidas

As a mid 30 something with pretty stout ankylosing spondylitis, I really had no business running the New York City Marathon back in November 2017. Definitely not after I got strep throat multiple times immediately leading up to race day.

I certainly had no business doing it again the following year. Most definitely not after I was stricken with illness and injury for the vast majority of the typical training period throughout 2018.

It was an unlikely proposition when I was in Italy in 2017, leaving Venice via train early one morning to catch the noon kickoff in Milan and then the evening kickoff in Bologna just a few hours later. 2 Serie A matches. 3 major Italian cities. 1 twelve hour period. If only I spoke Italian. Unlikely.

It was an improbable circumstance that I decided to give up my prime earning years to play golf every day in southern Mississippi. In the past just over a year and a half, grinding 455 intense golf days and nearly 2500 focused hours in hopes of achieving a virtually impossible goal a few years down the road.

I could go on and on.

Then there’s making an albatross, a 2 on a Par 5, joining the rare double eagle club, on Golf Day 453. Not impossible, but pretty damn close.

I’ve never been struck by lightning. I’ve never had a hole in one. Per the pure math of it all, I should have had both happen, the latter multiple times, before recording an albatross. But I digress…

I decided to play 9 holes late Saturday afternoon with two of my friends. It was chilly, and the course was packed. After waiting some 20 minutes to tee off, about 3pm CST, away we went. After a lazy bogey on 1 and an equally lazy par on 2, I decided I would try to get one back on the par 5 3rd. Playing roughly 520 yards, I decided to pop one just for giggles. I succeeded, leaving myself 196 yards to clear the pond fronting the green and 218 yards to a back right pin. After using some intense quantum physics to calculate the true yardage in the increasingly cold air, AND waiting for the foursome in front to clear the green, it was go time. I figured 4 iron would be perfect, giving me a high probability for birdie and a slight possibility for eagle.

Screw all that. Why not just hit the ball directly into the hole? I hit it perfectly, the ball never left the flag, and three bounces later it came to rest in the hole. I hollered at my playing partners, then immediately drove up to confirm what I thought I saw. Sure enough, on a par 5, I had put the ball in the hole on my second shot. Holy crap, I thought! 6 million to 1 odds, one expert said. Something that has never been done on that hole in the 18+ year history of the course, we believe. I was buzzing…

Listen, let’s not be silly here, it was just dumb luck. I haven’t been able to make a 3 foot putt in two weeks, but I can hit a 218 yard shot, with all of the potential twists and turns, straight in the hole? This is what I’ve learned to love and embrace about life. Dumb luck and chance are not to be ignored.

Honestly, I could care less about each of these tick marks on my ever growing life resume, but I absolutely love the expansion of self and possibility that each limit-pushing experience represents.

In the past few years, I have had so many of these beautiful experiences. Not just in sport. In life. Unlikely experiences. Improbable experiences. Dare I say, impossible?

I used to look at that Adidas commercial, and dream to myself, I wonder what the hell they are talking about? I’m starting to understand, to believe, to do. In another dimension. On another level. Maybe my ridiculous goals aren’t all that ridiculous after all.

Have a great week.-Benj

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