Mondays are for…

Due to Christy’s early work schedule and my boss’s understanding, I get to spend every single weekday from roughly 7:30 to 9am with my one year old daughter. That begins on Monday mornings, when I am still a little sore and she is ready to bounce off the walls. Little mama sets my mood for the day.

At 10am, it’s big, unhealthy, cheat day breakfast time. It’s usually biscuits and gravy, but that can vary depending on the flavor of the day.

As soon as I get back home, I open up all the curtains and fill the house with natural light, which is one of the keys to my happiness and energy.

I don’t like clutter and I’ve never liked anyone doing my laundry, so I get all of the laundry going and spend a few minutes making sure that no excess items have crept into my life. If they have, they go bye bye.

After SportsCenter round three, I watch The Rookie. It’s about a middle aged guy who did a complete 180. I can relate.

Some Mondays I go jet skiing. Some Mondays I play in tournaments for the professionals in our section. Some Mondays, though not recently, I bebop over to New Orleans.

I eat an orange and drink flavored water for lunch.

Early afternoon, the creative vibes kick in. Sometimes I sit outside in the sun and read. I write. I think about things I would like to do and what actions I need to take to actually do them.

Based on how I’m feeling, I think about what style will match my specific energy for that afternoon.

I start to loosen my body up. I’ve got to go practice soon if I want to get better. It’s all about having fun (in the sun) and getting better.

In my job Wednesday through Sunday, I serve the game of golf and a lot of people. Sometimes people gift me things that I can savor on a Monday. I once received a fine bottle of tequila. Recently, I got a thing of fresh shrimp gumbo. Just the other day, I received a 5 star cigar from the Dominican Republic.

Before I go practice, I start thinking about dinner. Every other Tuesday is Sushi Night per the request of my seven year old son, so Mondays are often pizza. Every week should include a damn good pizza. It just should.

Golf, pizza with the family, maybe Monday Night Football. (Just as long as it’s not my Panthers. They are unwatchable right now.)

By 9pm at the latest, I’m done. I might think a little, but it’s on to Tuesday. There’s a little one year old girl that will be bouncing off the walls again shortly.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Living in Nature’s Playground

About two weeks ago, we rearranged my office at the golf course. We made it bigger, but more importantly, we made it brighter. If I have to be inside, I want clean, unobstructed views into nature. That’s how the house was purposefully built. That’s how my office now is.

But I didn’t move down to Nature’s Playground to be inside. This past week, with essentially perfect weather all week, I decided to live outside.

On Monday, I took my son jet skiing. On Tuesday, I went to the course to practice. (I currently sit at 7th place in the Assistant Player of the Year standings for Mississippi and Louisiana. I want to finish strong.) On Wednesday, I taught lessons. On Thursday and Friday, in anticipation for this weekend’s Club Championship, the first that I would be fully in charge of, I spent hours out on the course each day. Marking the hazards, setting the tee boxes, picking each day’s pins. Not glamorous work, but very satisfying.

While I was covering my hands in red paint, Christy and Banks (and Granddaddy) enjoyed their fall break on the water, catching a shark and a massive redfish that would be Saturday night fish tacos.

Saturday and Sunday, I taught lessons and got to watch a couple of hours of the Club Championship, including the final few holes where the very deserving winner was crowned. At 6:30pm on Sunday night, I was whipped but extremely fulfilled. That was a damn good week. I rarely used my phone, and I lived outside every single day.

While the vast majority of the country starts to enter colder weather season, one of our two peak seasons here has just begun. For the next three months, if I’m paying attention to my life, I should be doing exactly what I did last week and enjoying the hell out of it.

After three and a half years, I’ve learned. Summer is a little too hot for me. January is just a little cold weather breather. The other seven to eight months must be lived outside in nature.

The house. The profession. The hobbies. The jet ski. The lifestyle. It’s Nature’s Playground, for crying out loud.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Golf: Documenting the Struggles

In my last journal entry, I talked about my entire family being literally sick. Just ten days ago, I was throwing up everywhere. Some 24 hour bug. It had me sideways.

This week, I want to talk about being figuratively sick. Think, for a moment, about resigning from a great career, taking a massive pay cut, and leaving family and friends so that you could focus on one thing that required an exorbitant amount of time, effort, and attention. Think about grinding it out for over three years, day after day, accomplishing both so much and absolutely nothing simultaneously. And then for whatever reason, one random day, you completely forgot how to do what it is you’ve worked all this time to do. I bet it would make you sick to your stomach. It certainly did for me.

I can tell you exactly where it started: my second shot on the 17th hole at The Warren Course at Notre Dame University, September 2nd, 2022. To my knowledge, I had never hit a shank in my entire life, but about 2:30pm that afternoon, I hit my first one. And then I hit my second. And then my third. I never got my ball in the hole on the 17th and 18th holes, a disappointing finish to an otherwise fantastic day.

I thought maybe the heat had gotten to me. Maybe the local Michigan IPA had me a little woozy. Maybe giving lessons to my playing partner had me a little unfocused. Or maybe, after being completely honest with myself, I knew something was seriously wrong. I felt a knot in my stomach.

It was very apparent upon my return from my trip that something was seriously wrong with my golf game. My first round that I played? Horrible. My first lesson that I gave? For the first time ever, I couldn’t SHOW my student what to do.

The worst part was that I couldn’t pinpoint the problem. Was it my body? My hands? Exhaustion? Disinterest? Lack of confidence?

Luckily, I am surrounded every day with a handful of professionals along with a couple of superb amateur golfers. We talked it through. I told them how I felt. They watched me. They gave me my to-do list, everyone’s recommendations along the same lines.

Day 1 I struggled, but there were less shanks. Day 2 I struggled, but the shanks were gone. Days 3 and 4 I struggled, and quite honestly, I knew I hadn’t yet pinpointed the issue. Day 5, after some more struggle and mediocre practice, I decided to try something.

As a reminder, I am forty years old and I have arthritis, which places certain limitations on what my body can do. As such, one of my biggest weaknesses in my golf game has been an almost nonexistent shoulder turn. My teachers and mentors have told me this for years. If you fix this, you’re game will go to another level. Finally fed up, I told myself to really focus on this. Make huge, crazy huge shoulder turns and see what happens.

I played six holes. I birdied one and had tap in pars on the other five. It was quite honestly some of the best golf I’ve ever played. I was completely reenergized. This has to be the answer.

The next day I shot a one over par 37, and I can sleep soundly with that number.

I have a lot of work in front of me and even more questions. When I wake up in the morning, I am stiff and sore. When I finish working at the course, I am stiff and sore. When will I play? When will I sufficiently stretch? How will I make sure my body is ready to perform at a high level, as a professional’s body should? Gone now are the days of just walking outside with limited stretching, playing like I am fifteen years old.

But that’s okay. It’s just another evolution along the journey. Quality over quantity. Quality over quantity. It’s always been a part of Brand Benj. It’s always been a part of abk World. It’s now time to apply it to abk Golf and all of my golf aspirations.

Have a great week.-Benj

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abk Journey: When Things Go Off the Rails

For nearly five and a half years now, I have succeeded, for the most part, at living intentionally. If there was a place I wanted to go see, I went. If there was a skill I wanted to master, I got to it. If there were activities that peaked my curiosity, I dove right in.

As with anyone’s life, there were peaks, valleys, and surprises, but for the most part, I felt consciously in control of both my day and my life.

Roughly four weeks ago, however, I lost control of my daily intention. I know how it happened. I know why it happened. It is kinda, sorta still happening, but I’m excited to announce that I believe the end is near.

At the golf course, we are always trying to make things better. We’ve embarked on two massive projects in the past year, both of which tried my nerves a little during the process but ended up huge successes. We got into the nitty gritty of a third project about a month ago that also coincided with one of my colleagues leaving. All of a sudden, my days were filled less with golf stuff and more with trying to hire new people and get ready for the installation of a new software system.

I can’t tell you why, but this particular set of circumstances really grated on my nerves. I felt a little off internally. Simultaneously, it was about 9 million degrees outside, and I would go outside, teach a lesson, come back into the air conditioning, rinse and repeat. My body felt way off. I needed a break.

The break came in the form of a 2,000+ mile sports trip with my son that was absolutely brilliant, but upon my return home, the exhaustion was still there.

I jumped right back in. New software, training new people, blazing hot lessons. I was going through the motions. I was beyond excited for that next Monday off. I had announced to everyone including God himself that I was taking my daughter to school and then sleeping all day. It was a must.

At 9:39am that Monday morning, my phone rang. I didn’t answer. Then it rang again. And again. And again. It was my son’s school nurse. He had just thrown up in the middle of class. I needed to come get him. Thus started the week from Hell.

I called Christy. She said she felt like crap too. Monday and Tuesday were a bust. Wednesday, everyone seemed to be happy, but Thursday morning, the day my parents were flying in for Charli’s first birthday, I threw up about fifteen times. Later that evening, Banks was back to puking also.

I didn’t know if we would even get to see my parents (we did). We cancelled the birthday party. Everyone was still kind of on the fritz, and good God were we hungry!

Sunday came, and I had lost almost fifteen pounds. Christy made some comment to me about how I could relax THIS Monday. I told her I just had a feeling that would not be the case. Sure enough, it was straight to the doctor on Monday. CW had an ear infection, 103 fever, etc. I had effectively given up.

(Fifteen pounds lighter, I actually felt free and enjoyed spending the sick day with my daughter.)

I haven’t hit a meaningful golf ball in a month. That may seem trivial when compared to sickness and the like, but it’s the singular most important piece to what I’ve been building as a second career and lifestyle. Its success speaks to my credibility, allows my teaching business to grow, not to mention I take great enjoyment in being really good at something athletically.

I’m off tomorrow also. An intense reboot practice session is on the books. I’m excited, but I’m also more aware than ever that after I hit publish, honestly anything could happen.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Musings from an Epic Journey

It was a phenomenal sports trip, but to label it just a sports trip would do it an incredible injustice.

2 MLB games. 2 NCAAF games. 2 rounds of golf. 7 states. 1 very improbable and exciting sprint onto Notre Dame Stadium’s field.

If you believe me, let’s just say I had a 5th degree of separation connection with the security guard. If you don’t, Touchdown Jesus opened the gate.

I used to love the smell of arriving in a downtown, but twice this trip I stepped outside and smelled nothing but weed.

This trip had about eight iterations. Notre Dame was never supposed to be included, but a little birdie convinced me I should go.

As a father, I feel that my main role is to introduce my kids to the world. Not MY world. THE world.

My son said he didn’t want to wear a Penn State shirt to the game because he isn’t a Penn State fan. Dad, that’s your team. That made me very proud.

I had never been to many of these places, so we got to explore them together with fresh eyes.

When you go to real places like rural Indiana, Detroit, or Cincinnati and just pay the slightest bit of attention, you’ll get a good feel for what’s going on.

Due to a road closure, we experienced a little more of rural Indiana during the midnight hour than I would have liked.

My PSU and Michigan two game parlay hit, so that was pretty cool.

I tried to make sure every day had at least one or two traditional kids activities. Looking at Pokémon cards, reading at the bookstore, chalk drawing, or riding the merry go round.

You better pay attention driving around Detroit. One wrong turn and you’ll be headed to Canada trying to make a U-Turn that doesn’t exist.

Michigan Stadium is wildly uncomfortable.

A history lesson is the literal backdrop to Comerica Park (the Detroit Tigers’ stadium).

I was $300 under budget for this trip, which never happens.

I always try to see at least one good buddy along the way, when possible.

Playing golf inside Indy Motor Speedway was a unique experience.

Purdue vs Penn State…started out as a pillow fight but turned into one hell of a game.

All of the gratitude in the world goes out to the ladies at the McDonalds in Memphis, Indiana, the security guard at Notre Dame Stadium, and the manager at Greyson Clothiers in downtown Detroit. The level of customer service we received was out of this world.

We pulled into downtown Detroit, and a few minutes later, a fireworks show broke out.

The Detroit pizza was good, but because I was absolutely ravenous, let’s call it phenomenal.

The best nachos were a toss up between the ones at Michigan Stadium and the ones at The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

Along the journey, we stayed at budget hotels. At the destination, we splurged.

At all of these different places, I remind my son that we are guests and that we are super lucky to be able to experience all that we do.

I had no idea what we were going to do on the way home. So last minute, we went to Cincinnati and watched the Reds play the Rockies.

There were glimpses of autumn all around. College football, the trees in northern Alabama, the 60 degree temperature as we departed Michigan.

This year we have done Boston, Memphis, Charlotte, New Orleans, Atlanta, and now Detroit. Which one was best?

I am just endlessly inspired by being on the road.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Dabbling in Dad Shoes

Yesterday, I played my 900th day of golf in the past three years. Five days a week, I stand four to eight hours a day for work. Four to five days a week, I teach and coach a couple of hours per day, also standing. I also have two young children.

So a couple of months ago, I did what any self-respecting man in my situation would do.

I bought dad shoes.

From the time I was a teenager, I knew outward appearance and unique style was in my DNA. I remember wearing those purple striped shorts to my first day of middle school. Later on, I remember walking around New York City on vacation with my dad in a shirt and tie. I didn’t care if something was viewed as different. I knew what felt right to me.

As a banker for nearly 17 years, I was truly blessed with some great bosses that allowed me to be me and express myself. Though I might have toned it down for the occasional overly conservative client, I think most clients enjoyed having a banker that was a real human being, not just a corporate robot. I had beautiful suits made, collected ties from all over the world, and for one season even rocked a pair of pink suede Chelsea boots.

When I decided to make this massive life change some three and a half years ago, I unloaded a style bounty to family, friends, and Goodwill. Fifty plus pair of one off sneakers: gone. All but my most favorite suits and shirts: gone. Though I knew I may never wear them again, I kept the ties. They belong in an art gallery.

As the golf journey began, I started expressing myself in a similar yet totally different way. Enter custom designed golf shoes, exotic belts, unique yardage book covers, and a stylish array of shirts and caps. Amidst all of the personal changes, my love for self expression was not one of them. Again, I have been blessed to have a boss that lets me run wild.

About a year ago, I knew I needed some new shoes. Here I was, this almost forty year old man, living life on my feet like I was fifteen years old. I searched far and near, did some experimenting, but nothing really worked.

Then one day, I found the ugliest, most beautiful pair of shoes from Hoka. Either all white or all black. Built for doctors, nurses, and the service industry. Pricier than hell, but they looked super comfortable.

They were bona fide dad shoes, and I bought them, and I’m glad I did. Besides, I AM a dad, and are they really dad shoes if they are paired with a tri-colored python belt?

Have a great week.-Benj

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The Great Reconnection

When you have a conversation with most people in this world, you ask how the job is going. How’s the family? Did you get the boat fixed? Did the kitchen finally get renovated?

Then there are those few people with whom you dive a little bit deeper. Are you following your dreams? Are you happy? Are you spending your finite time each day doing that which you most enjoy?

If you put a gun to my head, I couldn’t tell you what my childhood friend Josh does for a living, other than that he is in the United States Navy, even though we talked for upwards of four hours in the upstairs of my coastal Mississippi house last Saturday night. Maybe I’m a terrible listener. Or maybe it never came up.

When you used to see and talk to someone every single day for the better part of fifteen years, even if it has been a solid decade plus since you last spent any considerable amount of time together, you just dive right in. Hell, when my son asked me who Uncle Josh was, I told him that he was the guy in my childhood neighborhood who had the Nintendo. What I didn’t tell him was how one day another friend and I wanted to play that Nintendo and didn’t want to wait for Josh to get home. So we climbed through a window, set up shop, and got to it. I’m pretty sure Coach Lowery was shocked when he walked in and we were plopped down comfortably on the couch, without his son, like it was our second home. (Which it was.)

Over the 48 hour period that Josh was in town, nothing was off limits. He was curious about the abk lifestyle. I was curious about the military lifestyle. We discussed our successes and fears, missed opportunities and future opportunities. (I still have no clue what he does for a living.)

And we played golf. Lots of golf. (The golf journey has reconnected us.). The old adage used to be that business deals get done on the course. In my experience, the golf course helps cleanse the soul. We played sunset golf. We played middle of the day blistering hot golf. We played just the two of us. We played with two other members. He gave me some advice on some of my life concerns. I helped him straighten out his driver, which is ironic coming from me.

Interestingly, he barely made our day two tee time after Christy and the kids persuaded him to spend the morning out on the islands. Usually, lateness is a pet peeve of mine, but in this instance I just giggled to myself as I waited. The abk was rubbing off. Josh had 48 hours, and he wanted to experience everything.

I don’t know why, but it seems that every modern day parent wrestles with the screen time vs playing outside dilemma. Though the conversation doesn’t interest me that much, on this occasion it turned out to be a banger.

On the pro side for playing outside, Josh reminded me of this great story from our childhood. We had this fort out in the woods in our neighborhood where we played all of the time. One hot day as we were playing, we heard the ice cream truck coming through. We hurried out of the woods to catch it, and for whatever reason, we bought an entire box of ice cream bars instead of just one for each of us. By the end of that day, we didn’t want to see ice cream for months.

Josh’s point was that if we didn’t play outside all of the time, stories like that would not exist. At that point, I was quick to remind him that, per my earlier note, it was I who had broken into his house over twenty years ago to play Nintendo.

Over twenty years ago. To play Nintendo.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Dreaming Up a Lifestyle

A few months ago I changed the abk Instagram profile to read the following: Exploring my interests to create a full, non-traditional, intentional life. It’s not cute. It’s not fancy. But it’s true and to the point. If there was enough room, I would make one little tweak. Exploring ALL of my interests…

It’s no secret I have a ton of interests. Golf, sports, and travel are obvious. But what about my fascination with stadium architecture. My curiosity about Los Angeles and New York City culture. My desire to try all of the BBQ and shrimp and grits recipes in America.

Style. Freedom. Building something. Never ending learning. An intense interest in human behavior and human beings in general. Having friends and friendly acquaintances literally everywhere. I could go on and on.

My experience over the last five years is that when I am genuinely engaged in one of my interests, I am happy and fulfilled. When I am genuinely engaged in multiple interests, I’m so happy I am bursting at the seams, and that’s how I want to live. However, as someone with an infinite list of items that intrigue me and a finite time on this earth, I know that I have to be increasingly intentional and creative with my actions.

Somewhat recently, an abk idea popped into my head. Wouldn’t it be fulfilling to not only experience all 50 states, not only play golf in all 50 states, but shoot in the 70s in all 50 states while enjoying the company of either family or friends? (Travel, golf, human beings, nature, sport, self-mastery, etc)

I’ve visited 43 of the 50 states so far. I’ve played golf in 21 of those states, plus Cancun, Tijuana, and Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. Of the 21 states I have played in, I’ve shot in the 70s in 8. (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Iowa)

As the journey has progressed, I’ve learned that travel is fun. Traveling and playing golf is more fun. Traveling, playing golf, and playing at a high level is even more fun. Traveling and playing good golf with family and friends is the absolute best.


Assuming nothing wonky, my son and I embark on our next epic sports trip in 23 days. Purdue vs Penn State opening Thursday night football. Tigers vs Royals in downtown Detroit. The Big House in Ann Arbor for opening football Saturday. Golf in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and maybe Alabama. Detroit style pizza. Lots of exploration, snuggles, and adventures.

This will make state 44 for me, golf states 22, 23, and 24, and hopefully good golf states 9, 10, and 11. But let’s be clear here: the numbers and stats are just ego boosting talking points for a dinner party, which I avoid like the plague now.

It’s the time spent immersed in these awesome activities with awesome people that keeps me overflowing.

After Michigan, that will just leave North Dakota, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska that I haven’t experienced. But since I’ve upped the ante to require playing golf and playing GOOD golf in all 50 states, I guess I’ll just have to do them all over again.

One life.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Major Progress in abk Golf World

“They’re big, and they require sacrifice. Things that aren’t easy. They’re not the mundane. They’re not the normal. They’re dreams, and thus they require dreams execution.”-GaryVee

At the conclusion of the playing of my first Assistant’s Championship last Tuesday, it had been 1,196 days since I started the golf journey. Of those 1,196 days, I had grinded it out on the golf course for 882. 74%. Three out of every four days.

Three years, three months, and nine days. From a wildly ambitious dreamer and mediocre amateur golfer to missing my first professional paycheck by one spot. Getting paid to play golf. I finished eighth in the tournament. They paid the top seven spots.

I’ve kept copious notes of all 882 (now 885) days of grinding, and I remember the early part of the journey with great fondness. Like Day 3 when I shot 101 in my first round at Shell Landing. Or March 3, 2020, when a mentor told me my wedge game was terrible and I needed to do something about it. Or January 8, 2021, when I grinded through low thirty degree temperatures. Or June 3, 2022, when I played from almost 7500 yards to force myself to hit it a mile.

I’ve watched my son make his first real birdie. I’ve finished near dead last in a tournament. I’ve shot a 5 under par 67. I’ve practiced for thirty minutes one day, and ten hours the next. I’ve been excited, annoyed, defeated, nervous, and really nervous. I’ve heard my name called and felt my arms go limp.

I shot 109 early in the journey at US Open venue Pinehurst # 2, then posted a more than respectable 81 there just a couple of months ago. I shot 103 early in the process at Zurich Classic venue TPC Louisiana, then posted a 75 there a couple of years into the journey.

This year, I shot a 75 in my first tournament in New Orleans. In a match play event, I held my own but eventually lost 5&4 to a guy that has played in two PGA Tour events. In Houma, Louisiana, I shot another mid 70s round where I finished with two unfocused double bogies. Then I didn’t play another tournament for three months until Monday and Tuesday’s National Car Rental GSPGA Assistant’s Championship. Three months is too long. I was ready to compete.

My playing partner on Day 1, aka the eventual champion, had about a forty year head start on me in the golf world. A lifelong grinder, professional caddie, mini tour player, and teacher, it was obvious that he was a better player than me, but we hit it off immediately. After he told me his story and I told him mine, between shots, I picked his extremely experienced brain. We talked and laughed. He told me what I did very well, and he told me what I needed to work on. He only beat me by six strokes on Monday, a great gauge of my progress.

My playing partners on Day 2 were young guns, former collegiate golfers, and great players. We talked very little, but I still enjoyed the day. They hit it further, they hit it straighter, but I had life experience on my side. That might sound crazy, but I’ve done so much course management and work on the mental side of the game that I can be in the ballgame. One beat me by only four strokes and one beat me by zero strokes, a great gauge of my progress.

The course that we played was an absolute beast as witnessed by not a single player breaking old man par. I felt good about my play and solid about my eighth place finish. My Day 1 partner won the tournament at +2, and he would have shot in the 60s with his eyes closed at my home course. I reflected on and celebrated my birdies and pars, dissected my bogies, and reveled in the fact that I only made one double bogey, a direct reflection of 882 days of grinding.

A couple of better shots here and there, and I would have made $1,000. A few more here and there, I would have made $1,000 more. I’ve never even thought about the money until now, but I’ll tell you one thing. First time I win some cash, we are not celebrating the result, but we are definitely celebrating the dream execution.

And the next chance is only three weeks away.

Have a great week.-Benj

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Tuesday the 19th: A Roller Coaster of a Day

“I made three birdies, and my dog is still alive. It was a good day.”-Benj

A day earlier, some time midday, my trusty companion of almost seventeen years looked at me like she had finally had enough. Well, I take that back, she barely mustered up the strength to even look at me. I knew she had been going downhill, but I just couldn’t believe that this maniac of a dog, a dog that has been with me her entire life, a dog that has been with me my entire adult life, a dog with energy for days, could finally want to call it a day. But after a few hours of deliberation, I asked Christy to call the vet and set an appointment for Tuesday. 9:30am, confirmed. We would put her to sleep.

I had a tee time set for 2pm on Tuesday at Hattiesburg Country Club, a former PGA Tour stop and an old school traditional layout that I had heard wonderful things about, but had never played before. I was very excited, except that I wasn’t any more.

I woke up about 4am with knots in my stomach. For the next three hours while lying in bed, I proceeded to replay my entire adult life over in my head. For nearly seventeen years, there had been one constant in my life, and it was Becks. For nearly seventeen years, regardless of what I did, where I lived, who I was with, I came home to her. Don’t get me wrong, she was a nuisance, a knucklehead, an absolute nut of a dog. But she was full of love, and always there.

By 7am, I was crying profusely, and around 830am, I told Christy that I couldn’t do this. Let’s go to the vet, get some meds for her, and keep trucking. Yesterday was an anomaly. I don’t think she is ready.

So we did, and I immediately felt better. We got the meds, they kicked in almost immediately, and by the end of the night she was exploring the yard, controlling her bladder, and snuggling up on the couch. I felt like I was 23 again.

After crying profusely for about three hours that morning, I wondered if I would have any energy left to play this beautiful golf course that afternoon. It was about 1,000 degrees outside, and I was emotionally drained.

The course was absolutely beautiful, and I stumbled around my first nine like a man who had wrestled with putting his dog to sleep that morning. At the turn, though, I got my second wind, and proceeded to blitz the next nine in one under par, enjoying my company, my surroundings, and the fact that my dog would still be alive when I got back home.

It ended up being a great day. A weird day. An emotional day. A crazy roller coaster of a day that took me from North Carolina to Mississippi, uptown to rural, banking to golf, bachelor to father, so forth and so on.

And she’s still here. I’m so happy. I know she’s got at least one more fall season in her. Maybe two. Maybe five.

Have a great week.-Benj

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