In the 23 years I’ve been sober I’ve been exceptionally active for 18 of them. I was into rollerblading for a few years, then I was a runner before I got into cycling. One activity/sport I don’t write much about, that I was an avid participant in, is golf.
They say if you want to be a pro golfer, you’ve gotta be able to beat all of the golfers who beat everybody else. I was one of those who could beat everyone else. In the height of my dedication to the sport I was practicing every day, playing three or four days a week, and working with a pro a couple of days a week. Over three years I got pretty good – not great, but pretty good.
Then came kids and everything changed. Money was short, time was shorter, and my priorities changed, happily. One thing that didn’t change was my golfing with my dad every Friday afternoon. I’d split out of the office about 10 am, pick him up at his house, and head out to one of three of our favorite courses. This went on for years without fail.
Alzheimer’s took that time with my dad from me. Before long, he’d become discombobulated and aim at me from time to time – I really had to stay on my toes. Shortly thereafter his play slowed down considerably and it was time to pull the plug. It wrecked me to stop taking him out. When he died, I hung up my clubs. I’ve only been out a handful of times since.
Most days I don’t miss it, I’m much better on a bike than I am with a set of clubs. Every once in a while though…
I went out yesterday with the salesman of my main supplier, a guy I’ve been golfing with for 18 years now, on an outing that his company sponsored. It was the first time since last year I even held a golf club. I hit some excellent 5 wood shots, some glorious 3 wood shots (the driver evaded me for the day and I eventually stuck with the 3&5 woods), sank some long putts and hit a few good iron shots. Muscle memory is awesome.
We had a great time and finished five under for the day. I was able to contribute well for having struck a golf ball for the first time in a year. I had enough of a good time to think I should at least practice enough to not lose my swing. Golf is funny that way.
Sadly, we used up all of the sunshine on the golf course. We’ve been hammered by thunderstorms since. While I don’t mind a bit of rain, I don’t do lightning and thunder – and I’m certainly not starting out in that mess (getting caught out in it is a different story). No miles yesterday and today’s going to be pretty tough too but we’ve got a century on tomorrow and the weather’s supposed to clear up by then. I’ll be back where I belong – in a saddle.