abk Lifestyle: Adjusting on the Fly

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” – Dolly Parton

Complete strangers before October 2015, Birmingham Ben, Iowa Jay, and Wyoming Chad started becoming good friends of mine over an exquisite day of golf at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN. (You may have heard of Hazeltine. It hosted the Ryder Cup shortly after our visit.)

Though geographically separated by thousands of miles, we decided we should stay in touch. Not some high school yearbook fake stay in touch, an actual I think we should be active friends.

In July 2017, the four of us embarked on a golf week in Wyoming and Montana, the Wild West taking center stage and igniting my newfound love with that part of the country.

In August 2018, missing one member of the crew, we converged on my old stomping grounds in Charlotte, NC, a side trip down the road to golf mecca Pinehurst also on the agenda.

In September 2019, Birmingham and Auburn, AL (and 18 hours in New Orleans) took the reigns, hosting the four of us for what turned out to be a wonderful surprise, our expectations surpassed at seemingly every turn.

We were on a roll. Let’s do this every year. Shouldn’t be any issue. But then the wind changed direction, and 2020 hit.

2020 was full of twists and turns, and unfortunately, our annual golf trip got sidelined. Could we make it to Iowa? Could I host down on the Gulf Coast? Or should we just punt and resume in 2021? The latter won out, and visions of Iowa 2021 centered around Saturday’s Iowa-Iowa State football game danced around in our minds. This is going to be epic, maybe better than Alabama.

Then I started a new career and Baby Girl decided that September 2021 sounded ideal for an arrival, so the wind changed direction again.

Birmingham Ben actually made the trip to Iowa this past week, visiting with Jay and having a brilliant time, I’m sure. As we all texted back and forth, it became apparent that even though our full group trip took 2020 and 2021 off, a smattering of memorable side trips (one I had totally forgotten) continued popping up to keep the friendships rocking and rolling.

Ben and I in Destin, FL May 2017 and at East Lake Golf Club March 2019.

Jay and I in Iowa/Minnesota/South Dakota June 2019.

Jay and I in Kansas City November 2020.

Ben and I in Pinehurst February 2021.

Chad and I in New Orleans April 2021.

Ben and Chad in Wyoming/Montana May 2021.

Ben and Jay in Iowa last week.

The trips with all four of us are still the best, never a dull moment to be had. (We are each genuinely fascinated with where and how the other three live.) But until the wind blows us all back together, maybe in 2022, we will just keep adjusting the sails. The unique friendships we made that gorgeous autumn day at Hazeltine are too valuable to let slip away.

Speaking of adjusting the sails, Baby Girl is coming in less than 72 hours. So when we talk next time, whenever that may be, overlook the misspellings.

There’s going to be less sleep, but more love.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Lifestyle: Variety is the Routine

“Most days are abk now. That’s the whole point. One life. No days wasted. No days exactly the same. Be exactly who you want to be. But some days are more abk than others.”-anything but khakis®️

For the abk lifestyle to fully blossom, two things have to occur. First, every day must be tended to fully, intentionally, and passionately. Second, no sleepwalking is allowed. No arbitrary daily routine can exist just because of comfort or habit.

Over the past almost 4.5 years, I’m 99.9% sure no two days have looked remotely similar, unless that was my intent. No morning coffee just because. No tacos just because it’s Tuesday. No I’m going to be creative at 8am every Thursday, because living cannot be planned. What do I want out of each day? Hell, I couldn’t have a routine in my life now if I tried. Some days I go to work at 6am. Some days 10am. Some days not at all. Some days I play golf at 2pm. Some days 6pm. Occasionally not at all. Some days I teach. Some days I don’t. Some days I teach adults. Some days I teach kids. Some days I want tacos. Some days pizza. Some days a salad. Some days I sleep on the couch. Some days in the bed. Some days I write. Some days I take pictures.

The variety is my routine. The variety is my consistency. With my bigger picture in mind, I tend to that specific day’s wants and needs, wants and needs that absolutely vary from day to day. Why we confine ourselves to a predetermined regimen versus daily conscious living baffles me. I mean, what if I’m feeling Asian food on Taco Tuesday?

The first thing I told my sister at the airport after she and her family arrived last week was this: down here, rules are merely suggestions. There are no arbitrary, rigid rules down here. That’s the whole point. We work when we need to work. We play when we need to play. We eat when we are hungry. We sleep when we are tired.

We need to be cognizant of the impending birth of a child and mom’s needs, but otherwise we can do whatever y’all want. Want to go to the beach? Let’s walk to the beach. Want to jet ski? Let’s ride. Want to play golf? Let’s play. Want to just chill, watch the kids play, and have pizza delivered? Beautiful. (Half jokingly)- Want to bet on the Notre Dame-Florida State game? Actually, yes. Let’s do something different!

Alright Suz, here’s how betting works. This means that. That means this. Bet with your head. Bet with your heart. I don’t care. Just don’t bet too much that if you lose it will ruin your night…says the guy who got slightly agitated when Notre Dame decided to take their foot of the gas.

$38.10, she won. I know who’s buying the pizza next time.

Life is full of questions, questions I’ve been exploring for the past 4.5 years. Life is full of exceptions, as I wrote about last week. And life is full of contradictions, example 1A being my disdain for routine in life while simultaneously embarking on a golf journey where having a methodical regimen is the way to get really good.

On the one hand, I love variety, creativity, artistry, freedom and the spice of life. On the other hand, I now work, teach, and play something that requires a rigid routine.

On the one hand, I can’t explain it. It’s just another question. On the other hand, I guess I just discovered a difference between anything but khakis®️ and abk Golf 💡.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Lifestyle: ‘Tis the Season

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”- popular Christmas song

If you’ve followed along for any period of time now, you know that I find many traditions to be tired. Played out. Not relevant anymore. When someone says to me because it has always been done that way, it takes everything in my being not to scream.

However, exceptions exist everywhere, and college football season and all of its magical pageantry, beautiful autumn scenery, and yes, even its long-standing traditions, get my heart racing.

Along my travels, I’ve been on a Super Duper Top Secret Mission that, honestly, I didn’t even mean to be on: visit all of the SEC college campuses and stadiums and take in each one’s unique experience and culture. To date, I’ve done 12 of the 14 schools. Some were as a teenager. Some were very recent. Some were brief. Some lasted a few days. All of them offered something.

The two towns I have yet to visit are College Station, TX and Fayetteville, AR. I’ve been near both of them along my travels, but for whatever reason I did not take the plunge.

My trips to Athens, GA, Gainesville, FL, and Columbia, SC were essentially non-events as I recall. I remember the hedges in Athens, the blonde hair in Gainesville, and that Columbia is the hottest place on Planet Earth.

The remaining nine, however, all have a place in the scrapbook, memories emblazoned in my brain for a lifetime.

I took a brief tour recently in Tuscaloosa, AL, but with school not yet in session, I had to rely on the history oozing out of the campus to paint the picture for me.

It was a fun time to be in Starkville, MS two months ago, with Mississippi State’s baseball team winning the College World Series. The town was buzzing, though half of its residents were in Omaha with the team. I highly recommend the gulf shrimp tacos from Two Brothers Smoked Meats and the grilled cheese and baked beans from The Little Dooey. If you golf, 25 minutes away are Mossy Oak and Old Waverly, a sublime pairing basically right across the street from each other.

I bebopped around Knoxville, TN a couple of years ago, a town completely covered in orange. As the sun set, I found a spot perched high above the Tennessee River and Neyland Stadium and snapped a couple of pics, imagining the throngs tailgating in their boats on game day.

I drank my first frosty barrel-aged bourbon beer (delicious) in Lexington, KY a few years ago, sharing some laughs with my friend Gazza, who was randomly in town, at a local hotel bar adjacent to Rupp Arena.

I sat through a vicious storm in Columbia, MO, my first real experience with a Midwestern pop-up tornado. Real talk, I pulled over at a gas station, uncertain of what to do and scared to freaking death.

I ate some incredible red beans and rice in Baton Rouge while visiting the campus. I had no idea a live, full-grown tiger prowled outside of the stadium, so that was interesting. But the most intriguing thing to me about Baton Rouge is how you can look inside Tiger Stadium from the bridge high above the Mississippi River as you leave or enter town. Every time I cross it, I peer in, fascinated.

I loved the hot chicken at Hattie B’s in Nashville, TN, which is hilarious because I was there to run a July 4th 10k. I made a side trip to the super cool store Imogene + Willie, a place that provides excellent clothing, but even better life quotes.

My day in Auburn was every man’s fantasy. Golf at 7am. Birdiefest with your buddies. Shower. Change. Tailgate. Eat. Drink. SEC football clash. War Eagle.

And last but certainly not least, The Grove in Oxford, the swankiest, most dressed up tailgate experience in America. I’ve done it twice, I believe, preceded both times by steaks at nearby Como Steakhouse the night before. I’m not sure anyone actually cares about the game, but the fashion, the pomp, the circumstance…

Since we are sharing secrets today, I’ll tell you one more: even though I live in SEC country now, I’m indifferent towards any specific team down here. I’ve had fun everywhere. I’m a Penn State football fan, and I love watching the Big Ten. The northern cities and the fall leaves make me feel in love.

Want to know something even crazier? When I get home from the golf course on Saturday (or Thursday) night, I love watching the Mountain West and the PAC 10. I could give two shits about the actual games, but when the camera pans out on the Colorado State at Utah game, I look out at nature and remember my abk journey, my being right there.

And I smile and think to myself, ‘Tis the season.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Lifestyle: The Beauty and Freedom in Self-Expression

“I suppose the best brand is just being yourself.”-Higgins, from Ted Lasso

Although I am headed to New Orleans tomorrow, for the past few months and for the foreseeable near future, my world has been and will be a tiny little, beautiful, maybe five mile triangle in coastal Mississippi. Gulf of Mexico to Golf Course, rinse and repeat. It’s a little confining if you compare it to the massive exploits of my last four plus years, but I’ve also learned a few tricks along the journey.

First off, nature is not confining, and that’s where I operate most of the time. Nature is limitless.

More importantly, prioritizing self-expression: expressing myself all of the time, how I want, without pretending, is the ultimate freedom. I’ve learned to do that in a lot of ways (writing being one), but 1A is still through individual fashion and style.

Every morning, I ruffle through a handful of exotic belts, handmade bracelets, limited edition hats, and who knows what to start my relationship with the day. I don’t drink coffee, so I prefer to design something beautiful instead.

It used to be suit, shoes, shirt, and tie, but now it’s belt, hat, shirt, and bracelets. Same premise. Same pizzazz. Same quality. Just different.

I loved my navy suits, my cognac shoes, my buttery soft shirts, my Hermès ties. It was my way of speaking to the world every day. I now love my snakeskin belts, my camo rope hats, my transfusion shirts, and my arsenal of bead bracelets. It is still my way of speaking to the world every day.

Most every piece I have or had tells some kind of story. If I wore a certain double breasted pinstripe suit in the past, it must have been Closing Day, and that’s a different kind of mindset type of day. If I wear a certain pair of white pants now, it must be White Pants Day (tomorrow), and that’s a different kind of mindset type of day.

Mixing and matching it all, for me, is just like singing, painting, or dancing for someone else. It’s art. It’s how I talk to the world. It’s taking the rules and recommendations that someone else arbitrarily invented and blowing them up. Brown shoes with a red and white belt? Sounds perfect. As an article in Esquire recently said, What if, instead of nodding to the past, you want to charge headlong into a future of your own design?

As abk has developed and I have become more adept at articulating my experiences, it has become clear to me that the brand has never been about luxury items or expensive things. I don’t need to be the first to get something or have the latest iPhone. Don’t get me wrong, I have some cool things, but it’s usually not about the thing. It’s about using that thing to talk with the world. My new house tells a story. My new belt tells a story. My new beads tell a story. My tattoos tell a lot of stories.

abk, in its early years, was my attempt to discover 100% me. Now, it’s about me being 100% me 100% of the time. It’s the ultimate freedom: saying everything I want to say without uttering a single word.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Golf: Process, Progress, and Drowning Out Noise

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”-Kurt Vonnegut

It’s been nearly two months since I played in my first real golf tournament, the Mississippi State Amateur. I started big, because that’s what I do.

If you don’t follow along regularly, let me catch you up.

Almost two and a half years ago, I made a major life change, to put it mildly. One aspect of that change was that I wanted to get really good at golf, to put it simply. At the time, I was a roughly 14 handicap with an average score of 93, give or take. I am athletic as hell, I had fallen in love with the game late, but I had a lot of fundamental flaws. Fast forward to almost two months ago, and I had gotten pretty damn decent, hovering somewhere in the low single digit handicaps with an average score of 76/77.

But I had zero experience playing in real tournament golf, which is a totally different beast, I learned. There’s golf that means nothing, and then there’s golf that means everything. Forget skill, practice, and determination. It is hard to anticipate how you are going to feel when you have never done something before, and I had no idea what to do when I got an incredible jolt of adrenaline on the first tee, day one. Hell, I had no idea what to do when my arms went limp on the first tee, day two.

After a rough scoring tournament full of welcome to moments, most people had kind words to say to me, but one person took a jab. A basically you’re not as good as you think you are kind of thing. I just smiled, said it was a great learning experience, and got back to it. Like immediately. There was lots of work to be done.

After a wild 3 under par 69 on Saturday night, I have now shot every score between 67 and 101 (except for 68) along my two year plus golf journey. How’s that for steady progress?

After that wake up call two months ago, I have been doing my best work and playing my best golf ever. Just for statistical purposes, I’m carrying a 0.6 handicap, and my scoring average of my last twenty rounds is 74.5, lowest ever. I’ve still got lots of work to do on my driver, but everything else is cooking. The mental game feels more focused, the confidence is higher, AND I’ve got a real tournament, with all of its wild emotions, under my belt.

I’m almost halfway through a five year process full of grinding, building, and investing. Interestingly, I’m learning that this five year process is just the beginning, just the foundation. How dare I be so impatient.

I have to experience what things feel like to take next steps. Wasn’t prepared here. Need to do better there. Pretty good here. Wasn’t comfortable there.

The hard-ass David Goggins hit me with a great quote this week: Life requires an abundant amount of action. Not talk. Not excuses. Action. Damn straight. The peanut gallery’s words are essentially useless. Get in the game. Play your first tournament. If you shit the bed, learn from it. Grind. Then line up a full slate of tournaments, and go do it again.

And remember, two and a half years. This is just the beginning.

Have a great week.-Benj

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When abk and abk Golf Collide

Last week, we talked food. Damn good food. In the same piece, I mentioned that this week we would talk about SEC schools, football, etc. For two reasons, I am going to postpone that piece a week or two. First, we are not quite to college football season yet, but almost. Second, last week was a milestone week for me at the golf course.

Golf is ridiculously similar to life.

At the core of abk is this: I have one life. It’s my life. I must find what I love, how I want to live, and what works for me. I must express myself as such and freely. I must own my life story.

At the core of abk Golf is this: It’s my golf game. I must know my strengths and limitations. I must decide what I want to give to the game and, in turn, what I want to get out of it. I must own my golf game.

I had to put myself in check a few times over the past few years. Benj, you are not here to tell anyone how to live their life or tell them what their goals are. You are here to listen, observe, encourage, and assist as you can. They will give you clues. They will talk it out. Just pay attention. Limit your advice. Tell a story.

That final thought has been a major transformation in my writing. No need to tell anyone what to do. Just tell stories about your journey.

After 2 and 1/3 years of grinding through my own golf game and learning a zillion things, I gave my first formal golf lesson last Friday. And then another on Saturday. And another Monday. And two more on the books for tonight. A 20 year old. A 40 year old. A 16 year old. Two little kids. I figured we would eventually get here.

I used to be quiet with my life stories, preferring to mind my own business. But then I realized that sharing how I view and experience the world could, at a maximum, change someone else’s life for the better or, at a minimum, help them just a little. Hence, the writing, the Instagram and so on.

I also figured that for the forty year old, as an example, a golf lesson would be as much about life as it would be about golf.

abk=abk Golf.

Here is how the lesson went:

How long have you been a PGA Professional?

I am not a PGA Professional.

Uhhh…well, did you play college golf?

I played college soccer.

Uhhh…well, how long have you been teaching?

Would you like to hear the five minute story? I won’t charge you to listen.

Sure.

(I tell story.)

Holy crap, that’s crazy.

(I give the lesson. After the lesson, I go and drop him off at his car.)

Dude, thanks for today. I have been mulling over making a life change. You know, doing something I really want to do with my life. I have obviously heard about people doing it, but I had never met anyone who actually did it.

Funny…absolutely no mention of getting better at golf.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Lifestyle: A Five Day Feast

“It’s amazing you are not 300 pounds.”- my friend Junior, to me

My pal Junior arrived in town last Thursday. Friendly and respectful when we first met years ago, we have become damn good friends over the past five years. He is on his journey, and I am on mine, journeys of self-improvement and self-mastery. We talk regularly, discussing our progress, fears, and offering each other support. I remember one of our first conversations years ago, as we both began taking the baby steps required to break out of our shells and drive a lifelong, intentional journey. How do we start? First step?

Just try a new food.

Upon his arrival in New Orleans, we drove straight to Domilise’s, maybe the best po’ boy place on the planet. Unfortunately, we were met with a sign on the door that said: “Closed Today. No Workers.” Fortunately, it’s New Orleans, so we drove three blocks to Guy’s, maybe a top fiver on Planet Earth.

I think the only thing they got wrong was Junior’s name, the nice lady referring to him as Julian for the rest of the day. They definitely did not get “The Bomb” wrong, a footlong plus sandwich stuffed with shrimp, catfish, cheddar, creole mustard, and pickles, the flavors melding together perfectly.

‘Twas the bomb. Dot com.

Lost in all of this overly serious self-journey talk, Christy has become an unbelievably creative chef, tossing in flavors here and there that reinforce Junior’s curiosity about how I am not 300 pounds. On the menu were fajita bowls, a tag-teamed shrimp and crab boil, fresh fish tacos they caught themselves the day before, and this chow chow relish over a pork shoulder recipe that I found in some bullshit flimsy flyer that landed in my mailbox.

Flavorful. Spicy. Colorful. All abk words that bleed over into so many other aspects of living.

It is no coincidence that in a recent ESPN article, LSU just down the road in Baton Rouge was named the unequivocal best place to tailgate in America. One contributor chose to mildly dissent, offering The Grove just up the road at Ole Miss as a valid challenger.

I’ve personally been to twelve of the fourteen SEC campuses (coming next week), and if the food/drink/vibe/football quality is the general measurement, it’s not even close. Gumbo, jambalaya, alligator… stuff that I never would have even sampled years ago.

But now…

For me and my current way of living, it all started with trying a new food, both literally and figuratively. I still don’t know any better way to figure out what you truly love in life.

Christy and Banks took Uncle Junior back to the airport on Tuesday, a wonderful five day feast finally coming to an end. Well, for me, at least. Those sneaky jokers grubbed at Domilise’s.

Apparently, some workers willing to pile high the shrimp, roast beef, and gravy had indeed been found.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Golf: The New Kid/Old Geezer on the Block

My two favorite shows on TV are Ted Lasso and The Rookie. In the former, a goofball American football coach, amidst some self-reflection, heads over to England to coach professional soccer, despite having zero experience with soccer. In the latter, a forty-something guy from the east coast, amidst some self-reflection, moves to Los Angeles and becomes a rookie in the LAPD, despite no police background and his relative advanced age.

You could say I can relate well to both.

This past week, I played my best golf in the last two plus years aka my life. I’ve shot a few better scores, but my two under par 70 Sunday round and my 36-35 Wednesday/Thursday eighteen hole combo were quite satisfying. I was hitting the ball right where I wanted to, a couple of overly slow putts away from going low for the first time in a minute.

I’ve struggled with three lingering things over the past few months, weaknesses that were exposed heavily at my first ever real golf tournament: first hole nerves, last hole or two stupidity, and errant driving. So I went back to work, and last week finally started to show some results amidst my normal ho hum rounds of 76 and 77.

In the Sunday 70 round I referenced above, I eagled my next to last hole of the day. In the Thursday 35, I birdied my last three holes. All week, my driver was on a rope. Some confidence is finally brewing again. But how did we get here?

At 39 years old, to become the dumbest guy in the room, the worst player in the group, and have a neverending supply of welcome to moments was never my goal. Who in the hell would choose that?

But they have actually been my golden ticket and the secret sauce to getting better. (And better. And better.) Pairing those things with my genuine curiosity and willingness to grind, progress was inevitable. It wasn’t easy. I had to develop real, bona fide patience, and I had to smash my ego for a second. I’m so far behind the eight ball, I just have to get to work here. I can bring the Air Jordans and pink crocodile belts back eventually.

And I did, and I have. And the belts are even wilder and crazier. But I’m better at golf now. Much better.

It’s weird to sit in my new role, a role often reserved for twenty something former college golfers, ready to start their golfing careers.

It’s also weird to shoot a pretty damn good 74, come inside and report it, and no one gives two shits. The world I occupy now lives in under par, or no one cares. But I love that. Excellence.

I do have one real advantage, though, something that is repeated over and over about the lead characters in both shows I mentioned above. I don’t see the world or the industry or much of anything through traditional or conformist eyes. I’m not built that way, and I damn sure didn’t allow myself to be shaped that way.

I had mostly wonderful bosses in my banking career (shout out BQ if you still read along), folks that allowed Benj to be Benj (#abk) as long as I got the job done. Beautifully, my new boss is the same way. A couple of days in, he said, I’m not telling you to do anything. You just tell me what you see.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Two Days at a Time

“If you are creating what you really care for, your whole life is a Holiday.”-Sadhguru

You may have noticed that my writings don’t arrive like clockwork on Sunday anymore. I assure you that I haven’t gotten lazy. If anything, the complete opposite is true.

For years now, I’ve written about wanting a fluid lifestyle, where Saturday is no more important than Monday and Tuesday is no less fun than Friday. Well, I have finally gotten my wish, and as such, the writings will likely be arriving between Monday and Wednesday until further notice.

Effective roughly three weeks ago, weekends and holidays have been redefined. Shifted, if you will. So have bed times, wake up calls, mornings, afternoons, and evenings. It’s just completely fluid. My life is now tended to in little two day increments.

A few days a week, I’m up at 430am. I’m not in love with that wake up call because I have to be in bed the night before so early, but I’m on the golf course by 230pm those days, so it’s all good.

A few days a week, I’m up at 8am, and I love these days. The night before lends itself to unhurried dinners, quality family time, and who knows what. The morning of, I may leisurely read a book while taking in the water views. And until the time changes, that night’s activity is sunset golf at 6pm, my absolute favorite.

The late shift-early shift on back to back days might as well be one long-ass day (shout out naps and stretching), but the opposite early shift-late shift combo almost has a full day off in between (jet ski anyone?).

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are Grand Central Station at our golf course, so my weekends are now some combination of Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday. I may work six days one week and five days another, but it may feel like eight days one week and only three days another. My iPhone location doesn’t know if I’m at work, play, or what’s going on. Work, play, eat, drink, laugh. Rinse and repeat.

I tell folks that I am a social coordinator at a barber shop now. We watch sports. Play sports. Talk sports. Talk life. Talk nonsense. Laugh a lot.

Soccer, school, and PGA Junior League start for my big man soon. Christy is going to try her hand at high school teaching, God bless her. Baby girl is almost here. I plan to get the okay to start teaching golf this fall.

And football season, my favorite, is right around the corner. Will there be time to watch and enjoy?

I guess it’s a good thing I work at the barber shop now. In SEC country. In a casino town.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Lifestyle: Dream Big, Then Go and Do

“Don’t be realistic on what you want. Be realistic on how you are going to get it.”- Rachel Wolchin

Two separate incidents over the past two weeks have made me laugh out loud. First, on my first official day as newly appointed assistant golf professional, a customer asked me, Was this your plan all along? Ha! Second, I received an email from The Arthritis Foundation in New York City asking me if Round 3 of the NYC Marathon was of any interest to me this coming November. Double Ha aka haha!

I can assure you that becoming an assistant golf professional in Mississippi was not a part of the plan. I can assure you that running two NYC Marathons was not a part of the plan (it ain’t happening again Arthritis Foundation). I can assure you that hitchhiking in remote Iceland was not a part of the plan. I can assure you that waking up where I wake up every day now was not a part of the plan. I can assure you that becoming a father again at nearly 40 (just a number) to hopefully a beautiful, healthy daughter was not a part of the plan.

Everything big picture abk-related has been unplanned, and the lack of confinement has made my world huge. It has opened my heart. It has made my world more interesting and has provided meaning, purpose, and limitless opportunity. A love story about living.

It has also led to me writing down four things (well, five things, but getting more tattoos to document the journey is not that important) that some might categorize as unrealistic.

Tournaments 2024. abk Consulting. abk Golf Academy. Real estate.

On the other end of the spectrum, the actionable, sometimes tedious abk-related details must be intentional and tended to regularly. Grinding, discomfort, commitment, and focus are major parts of life.

Tending to the Tournaments 2024 ambition daily is a bit of a puzzle, but I love a good challenge, and I enjoy playing so much. Elbow pain. Constant soreness. Fatigue. Occasional disinterest. Weather…

Tending to the long-term abk Golf Academy ambition daily seems to be on the right path, as I have been a sponge around some terrific teachers for the past two years. Fingers crossed (which means nothing), I should be given the green light to begin my foray into teaching by fall.

Tending to the abk Consulting ambition is the most complicated of the bunch, but presents the biggest opportunity. I observe so many people regularly that can’t see or are afraid of their own potential that I want to explode. I see the opportunity to help so clearly. The manner in which to help is still a little fuzzy, though I do speak up more often now.

Tending to the real estate ambition is more of a weekly or monthly thing. I enjoyed my four previous real estate endeavors in North Carolina. I have enjoyed the latest construction project in coastal Mississippi. I am constantly looking at real estate in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Wyoming, and Montana. Something that complements the abk lifestyle. What is realistic. What is unrealistic. Better yet, what is actually realistic that we somehow convince ourselves is not.

I have done a lot of unrealistic things over the past few years, and I’m excited to do a lot more. It’s crazy how when you actually do them, they go from unrealistic to simply done. Redefined.

Statistically speaking, the most unrealistic thing I have accomplished in the past few years is a tossup between making an albatross (double eagle) on the golf course and actually finishing Round 2 of the NYC Marathon with minimal training due to sickness and injury.

Of course, running Round 3 would certainly take the cake (I swear I’m not doing it 😉 ).

Have a great week.-Benj

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