It was a decision day for me…. I made the decision to give away my golf clubs
I was kinda at a lost as to what I wanted to write about today, and I had toyed with the idea of talking about my Navy career and sharing some sea stories. For the uninformed sea stories are generally lies based on some level of truth, and 99 percent of all sea stories start off this was “And this ain’t no Shit!” That seed is planted in my brain and will take the form of a post soon.
But then I made a phone call to the local High School about my golf clubs. It was a call I had been wanting to make for some time and a call I was dreading making, for an even longer time. Years ago when I got a new set of golf clubs (my Callaway Big Bertha’s) I donated my old, but still great clubs (Cleveland’s) to the High School where the neighborhood kids go. But when I made the call this time, I was turned down. I was quite politely turned down but I was still rejected. He told me that all the golfers at his school, on his team, none of which were left-handed, already had their equipment, and the fact that the clubs were left-handed made them pretty much useless to the school. But giving the golf coach credit, he did steer me in a better direction. He steered me towards First Tee. BTW I am a golf snob so I will name drop the type of clubs I have! For years and years I coveted the Callaway Big Bertha golf clubs. At the time I was doing this coveting I already had a great set of Clevelands. Yes I know I am bragging, but it is my blog so I am allowed to. But as a retirement gift to me, my wife allowed me to upgrade to the Callaway’s, it was a gift that I will ever be grateful. And soon some deserving young man will also appreciate.
Let me talk about First Tee for a moment. First Tee is a worldwide organization that uses golf to teach young intercity and otherwise economically challenged kids life skills. Integrity, honesty, self-reliance, are some of the basic skills that are taught. Taken from the FIRST TEE of Tampa homepage the goal of the organization is “To impact the lives of young people in the Greater Tampa area by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” These are very noble goals for a game that is indeed very noble. I feel this is a perfect place for my golf clubs, and all the other stuff, shoes, balls, tees, towels, gloves, ball mark repairers, and on and on, to go and have a second life. To make someone else as happy as they made me, to teach them those life skills, that have been important to me since the 1st time I picked up a club. While I have no part in the selection of who gets the clubs (and I didn’t want to have a part in the selection) I was assured that a deserving young man would get them, and I could ask for nothing more. Over the next few years, I will be thinking of my golf clubs in the hands of some young person falling in love with the game. That young person may someday look to the skies to thank me, hopefully I won’t be there to accept.
When I made arrangements to give my golf clubs and all my other golf stuff away, it wasn’t a simple decision. It was a heart wrenching one. I want to talk about the internal process of acknowledging my quitting of golf. I want to talk about how I came to the decision. It was a decision that was over a year in making, but the moment I made it, I acted on it, and I didn’t dwell on it. I hadn’t played golf in over 2 years, and only a couple of times the year before that. Over the last several months I have tried several times (unseen) in my back yard, to swing a club, to get comfortable with the process, I’ve used different lengths of cannula so I would have oxygen flow as I swung, and I tried walking without oxygen support, the bending over, even standing around without oxygen support was difficult. And even with oxygen support, if I walked 40 or even 20 yards to make a shot I was winded so bad, that it took too long to gather myself, all of this took any fun any reward I could get out of the game, so my heart wasn’t in it. Physically I realized there isn’t any one thing I could really do to play golf these days. Then add heat and humidity, my foursome would have to call 911 after the 2nd hole, and most likely the course marshal would bitch about the group’s slow play. LOL LOL. That wouldn’t be fair to them. I knew it was time to give it up. I’d embarrassed myself, and I was a disappointed in myself. This coupled with, the fact that only one of my golf buddies is still around, and he has already given up golf, made the decision easier, but not easy. Also, mentally if my heart wasn’t in the game, my mind would never be.
The progression of the disease is eating me up, and reality has set in. I will never play golf again. Maybe putt putt, but never real golf, on a real course. These factors all played a role in the decision process. Yes, I will have my XBOX360 golf, which I am pretty damn good, but it is still on a computer. And I don’t have anyone to share it with.
When you have a terminal disease, the progression of your illness forces your hand on a continuing basis. Most terminal diseases take their time. There rarely is a clear starting point of the disease, and within each individual the progression to the end is different. How we measure the progression is an internal thing. Sure doctors have their charts and tables that tell them that if a patient has these indications, these symptoms at a given point they are atXpoint in their life expectancy. But the individual has different measurements, such as can they still drive, can they still do house hold chores, can they fend for themselves in their own small and not so small ways, have their outside the home activities been curtained, and how has the disease impacted their hobbies, are some just some of the personal indicators we have. These are our reality checks. And we need them, and we need them to be personal. The giving up of my golf clubs was one such reality check. But it was only one, and far from the final one.
Okay off the soap box, If you have any questions, concerns or comments please feel free to ask. Have a great afternoon and take care. — Bill