I suck at golf.
Really, that's the best way to put it. And quite honestly, as much as I've dreamed about being someone who can magically glide across a dance floor without a lesson or play tennis so well that I could be a top player, the reality is far from that in everything that I do.
The only reason I can write well is because I've been at it since I was six years old and learned to write. I've talked before about the little books I started to create in first grade and the novel I began to write in high school (which still exists although not in any published form). And I read, read, and then I read more– because there is a correlation between reading and writing well.
Running was much the same for me: I got somewhat good because I worked at it. And from running came a multitude of lessons, like how to set and achieve goals. Those I parlayed into everything else that I have achieved.
When I took up golf exactly five years ago, I knew it would be a challenge for me. I am especially not good at any sport that involves a ball (hence, why I ran). And it has been a challenge. Now, the reality is that golf is always a challenge. It's supposed to be that way because it's like the Great Pumpkin. We, like Linus, spend our entire lives hoping for perfection in hitting the ball while Linus is still waiting for the Great Pumpkin.
As I wrote recently, returning to the driving range was part of my Lenten journey– one of which I did have a priest's blessing to do because he understands the importance of taking care of our physical selves. Out to the driving range I went and purchased not the large bucket of balls, but instead the jumbo.
Crazy? Nope, not in the least. I knew I wouldn't get anywhere without practice.
But that's where a funny thing happened. I admit that sometimes I miss the ball. It's worse than hitting a bad ball, but it's always been a struggle for me to even catch what's thrown to me so this hasn't been a surprise in my mind. I'd rather hit something into the sand than not hit it at all.
And yet when I went to hit that first day on the range this spring I felt when my stance was wrong and I would miss the balls. I can't fully explain it, yet something was different. It was as if something inside my mind– that bridges my mind with the movements of my body– finally made a connection five years later.
Then yesterday on another return to the range, I took some time on the putting green and felt the same exact feeling. Some little piece had fallen together. Two puzzle pieces finally found where they interlocked.
Greg and I were discussing on our way home from the range yesterday my challenge with the serger (a type of sewing machine that allows one to make factory-looking seams). I had been making a skort yesterday and it was taking forever because there is a learning curve to not just using it, but also threading it. He reminded me that eventually it will pay off, that it will be easier, that making a skort will be a piece of cake.
But for now it's like golf and everything else I've done: I keep at it even in the face of irritation when it's not going right.
And I'm sure it doesn't hurt that I made the driving range part of my Lenten journey: getting a little help from above is never a bad thing.