“You know the type, loud as a motorbike, but wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight.”-Jay-Z
I am a very independent person, as you probably know by now. I also don’t get shook very often, preferring to go and do, process whatever happens, and then get on with it (which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t).
Both traits can be huge assets. They can also be huge weaknesses.
These traits are why playing golf is right up my alley. It’s an individual sport, and one that can get you shook in the blink of an eye. Therefore, the mental practice is as important, if not more, than the physical. I have done a ton of work on both aspects in the past two years, but sometimes you just need a little something different.
In my life, I have had six or eight or ten moments that I consider perspective changers. Things that have happened that alter my life’s trajectory or how I decipher this wacky/beautiful world that we live in.
Some have literally been life or death. The death of a childhood friend. The death of another childhood friend. Some have been less than life or death, but similarly influential. An event here. An experience there.
And then there is what happened in my golf tournament two weeks ago, something so unimportant comparatively, yet possessing the same possibility to alter my coming months and years, should I give it that power.
Before you laugh, two quick words. First, golf is rarely ever about golf. Substitute the word life, and we will all be talking the same language. Second, I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. People who are experts in their field. People that maybe wield a scalpel beautifully. But because of something that happened to them, something perspective altering, a three foot putt scares them to death.
With my adrenaline pumping on the first tee two Thursdays ago, I felt like I could hit the ball to Louisiana, and by God, I almost did. Twice. Fast forward ten long minutes, and in a stark contrast, my entire being felt completely defeated. Two plus years of grinding, and I had played myself completely out of my first golf tournament on the very first hole. Immediately after writing down that 9 on the scorecard, I looked over at my good buddy turned caddy turned shrink and calmly said, What the f**k just happened?
I received 15 or 20 texts, calls, and messages of support over the next 48 hours, for which I am and will be eternally grateful. These friends knew it wasn’t life or death stuff, but they did seem to know a good bit about support and encouragement regarding something that was obviously very important to me.
My main man, Kaddy Kris, who was with me every step of the way, is to be thanked even more. When people ask me how the week was, I answer honestly that it was a great time and a great learning experience. Without Kris, that would not have been the answer. Dinner each night would have been very lonely.
But the most unlikely sources of support (I should know better by now) were the locals on the coast at the golf course, some who can be a little rough around the edges, some who are real mens’ men, some who I honestly was a little nervous to face. Excellent, lifelong golfers who had been there, done that themselves, eager to now offer a kind word.
(anything but khakis – having been through something that you might think is embarrassing or scary or whatever and using that experience to help other fellow human beings)
I received a half dozen to a dozen real war stories. Horror stories. Funny stories. Words of encouragement that caught me off guard and hit me deep. It takes real courage to do what you did. To put yourself out there. I couldn’t feel my arms either. I made a 10. Keep grinding. Just a little tweak here and there with your driver. It’s right around the corner for you. We see it. We know it. It’s coming.
Gruff granddads all of a sudden turning into kind mother hens. What a wacky/beautiful world that we live in.
Have a great week.-Benj
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