Sunday, August 13, 2006

I have bad news and I have good news (and bad news and good news and bad... )

Which do you want first?

Okay, the bad news:

I went to the range Friday night before the tournament to see if I could swing a golf club. I could, but I was being so cautious with my back that I was swinging with all arms which caused disastrous results with the golf ball. I took about 20 swings and had to call it quits. I almost cried on the way home, but there's no crying in golf. My pain increased throughout the night, possibly due to the exertion and I had a difficult time sleeping. I woke up on Saturday thinking there was no way I could possibly play golf.

The good news:

I went to the chiropractor as scheduled Saturday morning before the tournament. Even though I had to report a flare-up and backwards progress, I received my treatment which felt good. He followed that up with an amazingly positive attitude and when I told him I didn't think I could play, he actually prescribed golf for therapy. He said "if you go home and lie around feeling lousy, that becomes your new condition." He told me I need to get out there and continue to do what I do and that golf is good exercise for my back right now. He didn't know the stakes of the round, but suggested that I just go out and try and get through as many holes as I could.

The bad news:

I revealed my condition to the board and asked if I could get consideration to reschedule my match. My competitor is on the board, so the cat was out of the bag.

The good news:

They granted me the continuance. I went out to play as much of the round anyway as my doctor "prescribed." I didn't waste any swings warming up since I wasn't competing. I teed off first and hooked my first shot left into the trees but was in bounds and kind of playable. It hurt but I survived it. I was deep in thought as the rest of the foursome teed off. My would-be opponent hit a great tee shot well beyond mine and in the fairway. It occurred to me that it was lame and weak to be out there playing the round but pussying out of the match. After all, a lot of these guys are older men who play hurt nearly every time. After watching his great tee shot, I said "let's play it." He said "Are you sure? You don't have to, but if we start, we finish." I said "if I don't finish, you win." Game on.

The bad news:

I lost.

The good news:

I finished. I powered through it, and played pretty well considering. Actually, it would have been a pretty good round for a healthy me, and I was proud of that because of the pain I endured. But pretty good was not good enough. My opponent played a great round and earned the win. Under normal circumstances, it's hard to say if the result would have been the same. I tend to think not, since I am a fierce competitor, but we'll never know. What felt worse than swinging the club was teeing up and retrieving the ball from the cup, and the WORST was riding in the golf cart. I stood and walked as much as possible. Hitting out of the sand was the hardest of the swings and was usually followed with ginger swings which produced terrible results. I gave away a lot of strokes by taking swings trying to baby my back.

The rundown

I really battled on the front nine. I got three strokes on that side and used them well. After losing the 1st hole, we halved the 2nd (where I got a stroke) when I bogey'd and he par'd. One down. 3rd hole, we both bogey'd. Still one down. 4th hole, we both bogey'd but I got a stroke. All square. 5th hole, he bogeys, I double. Back to one down. 6th hole, I par, he doubles. All square. 7th hole, we both bogey but I get a stroke. One up. 8th hole, I bogey, he pars. All square. 9th hole, we both bogey. All square after nine.

At the turn, I used the privacy of the restroom to let out some of the winces and pained facial expressions I'd been suppressing. The soreness and fatigue were really wearing on me and I was amazed I was even giving this guy a run for his money. That was my downfall. Under normal competitive circumstances, such weakness in attitude doesn't exist.

I got two strokes on the back nine and knew I had to start making some solid pars but instead of feeling the exhilaration of the challenge, I felt like it was an uphill battle at this point. 10th hole, he bogeys and I triple! One down. 11th hole, he pars and I double. I got a stroke on this hole and gave it away in the middle of the fairway. I still could have halved it on the green but missed a make-able 2nd putt. Doubt and lack of confidence had crept in. Two down. 12th hole, we both bogey, still two down. 13th hole, we both bogey, still two down. 14th hole, he pars, I bogey. Three down, four to go. 15th hole, I got a stroke but the exact same thing happened as on the 11th. I gave one away on the fairway and one on the green. He pars and I double. Match over. I finished the round with double, par, par. I was disappointed in the loss (my first match loss) and the mental weakness that caused it. But I was proud of my physical effort and courage to do battle.

The bad news:

I'm feeling the repercussions of all the strain I put on my back yesterday.

The good news:

Underneath the tenderness, I feel like it's getting better and when the soreness from overuse subsides I'll be well on my way back to normal. I'm continuing my stretches and have more follow up visits to the chiropractor scheduled.

More good news:

Greg won his match and advanced to the A-flight championship next month. (Incidentally, he played a worse round than I did, relatively speaking - he shot a net 76 and I shot a net 71.)

The bad news:

It won't be me he faces. (Don't think for a second I won't be secretly keeping track at the next tournament to see who would win if we were playing each other.)

The mixed feelings news:

After the round, the board invited me to join them as Secretary. It took them about a half hour of persuading me before I caved in and accepted. I know they just want some sucker to fulfill those duties (mainly writing to keep members informed and promoting to recruit new members). I also know I'm pretty busy right now and don't need more unpaid responsibility. However, as the only female member of the club, I was impressed they were willing to have a female on the board with voting power.

I think they were impressed with the way I handled the match situation. In fact, at the 19th hole, I noticed a marked difference in attitudes toward me from the members as well. It could just be that they were happy I got beat, but it also felt like an increase in respect. Too bad my decision to play came on the first tee, though. I bet that thwarted a lot of wagering that would have taken place had they known the match was on.

Next post.

1 comment:

srinidhi said...

I am back after an eventful holiday and missed your posts for a while. Too bad about your back. Lying on hard bed is good advice.

I don't know about chiropractors, but I know that Yoga would give you long term benefit.
All the best.