I’ve hit 100 days of doing this crazy challenge, today (28 February 2020 – shame I didn’t think to time it to land on this leap year’s 29th; that would have been poetic, wouldn’t it?).
Thankfully, despite the best efforts of the weather and of the vicissitudes of life, I still have a buffer and remain 9 rounds ahead.
‘Vicissitudes’ is a great word, isn’t it? Can thank my legal training for that one.
I’ve played through 2 named storms (Ciara and Dennis) and some great weather before Christmas and on Christmas Day itself.
In defiance of the storms, I am still standing.
I consider myself very lucky, as the place in which I chose to live, and Headingley GC’s open course policy, have enabled me to play on. My thoughts are with the flood victims whose lives will still be in turmoil.
I only lost one day to the storms – Storm Ciara took that off me one Sunday, but to be honest it was a good job really as we had an 8-hour power cut at home, and I needed to bail out a sump where the pumps weren’t working. That made playing one round a day look like a breeze (sort of pun sort of intended).
I’ve lost other days in A&E and in the fracture clinic following my wife’s accident 4/5 weeks ago in which she broke an ankle. That’s made it just that little bit more difficult, let me tell you, but I’m still going. I love her, so I’ll support her, and this challenge means so much to us both that it’s not an option to do anything other than to continue.
I’ve questioned why I am doing this – of course I have – as my trolley got blown into a bunker (still got sand in the grips of some clubs; no time to clean them properly), as my hat flew off down a fairway (got it back, though) and as my cheeks got sand blasted with hail (great for developing a ruddy complexion). Not those cheeks – the cheeks on my face! Cheeky! 😉
Obviously, there’s the raising funds for Oakdale Centre, but it goes deeper than that.
It’s my way of giving a purpose to the storm that swept into our life when our only boy told us he was suicidal.
It’s my way of giving meaning to that and of coping.
It’s my way of turning a negative into a positive.
It’s my way of continuing to participate in life when it seems like life just wants to strike me down.
Enough of that …
It’s also good to see that there is at least some improvement in my game.
I’m developing a knock down shot to cope with the wind and more and more chips are going in.
One of the most interesting things that I’ve noticed is the importance of the mind. We all know it, but, on those days when I’ve been alone with my thoughts and shouting at the world in the gale force cross wind on the par 5 seventh, the tension that arises from anger is not conducive to playing golf well. At least not for me. See the 7’s, 8’s and 9’s on the shotscope records for this hole!
So, I’ll drag myself out of bed tomorrow and onto the course, whatever the weather.
I’ll put one foot forward after the next and play one shot at a time until I’m through another round.
And then I’ll do it all over again the next day, and the next, and the next.
For another 256 days.
That’s nothing, compared to what someone who self-harms is going through.
That’s nothing, compared to dealing with depression.
That’s nothing, compared to contemplating suicide because it feels like there’s no other option.
If people can deal with and recover from those afflictions, then I can play a few more rounds of golf.
And I will, until I’ve done it.
Do you know what I’m planning to on the day after I finish the challenge?
I’m going to play a round of golf.
At least that’s the plan for now.