Golf and Other SportsRebecca Woolf
I’m a terrible athlete. Quite possibly the worst. And I’m not just saying that to be self deprecating. I am truly terrible.
Not that I didn’t ever try. I played soccer for all three of my junior high school years. And in those three years, I scored one goal.
Against my own team.
My (other) athletic career highlights prior include the following:
– I was the last at-bat on my softball team.
– I surfed for four years and only stood up twice.
– Even after an ENTIRE summer of tennis lessons I STILL couldn’t keep myself from hitting the ball well over the court and onto the window of some poor bastard’s parked car.
– I broke my arm in 8th grade falling during a hug. I had to wear a cast for six weeks.
… Needless to say I’ve spent my entire post-adolescent life steering clear of all things sports-related. If I’m going to warm a bench, I’d rather do so in front of my computer, where I can engage in the athletics of the page.
But last weekend I decided to engage in some golf. Because, well, we were in Florida. And the Westin Diplomat has an incredible course. With good natured staff. (Bruch and Dennis? I’m looking at you.)
We were given a golf cart, which to be honest, is the only reason I wanted to play golf. Because I’m twelve.
Ten minutes into putting I actually hit a ball.
And an hour after that? I actually hit it kind of far. And down the middle. And Hal was like, “Whoa, Bec.” And Bruce was like, “That’s my girl.” And I was like, “Go, self!”
I’ll spare you any details because it sounds super lame. Even right now, typing this post about GOLF is all very lol. But walking that course, approaching my little ball on the green, as opposed to a fishing it out of a pond or a tree or a windshield, I felt pretty awesome.
I assumed I would hate golf. I assumed I would be a hilarious disaster with zero power, terrible form, that my putting would be atrocious, that everyone would laugh at me and I would do my usual “ha ha I suck” can-can with my nine-iron and my visor.
Which, of course. Of GOLF course.
We all assume, right? We all think we’re going to be better at certain things, worse at others. We go into jobs and relationships thinking we’re going to win at them only to find ourselves (accidentally) winning at the things we assumed we’d fail at.
That’s always been my story and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.
In the four hours we played, I thought a lot about assumptions and expectations and how it feels to suck and then to not suck. I thought about all the things I isolate myself from and those I spend way too much time trying to win at. I thought about the various trees and ponds, the little hills that surround us, the obstacle course, the flags…
I thought about how many times I’d missed.
I thought about all the games I never played because I was afraid. I thought about all the games I played and surprised myself into winning.
Okay, so winning is the wrong word.
Not losing. All the games I not lost.
Am I even talking about sports anymore? I don’t even know. It’s late, you guys.
Am I talking about golf? Not really but also sort of yes. Because golf was never something I had any intention of trying. Just like a hundred other things I spent far too much time steering clear of.
Because “it’s not for me.”
Because, “ew. No thanks.”
Because, “I’d rather do something I know I’m good at. Like sitting by a pool.”
Because… “I will suck and what’s the point?”
Sometimes there isn’t a point. Sometimes it’s just about trying new things.
Things that may or may not make us (surprisingly) happy.