I’m never going to be a professional disc golfer. There, I said it. I wish it was different, but it’s not. Hang on a sec while I go cry for a bit. I’ll be right back…
You see, I’m supremely unathletic. I played bench in little league. I scored 2 points all season for my grade school basketball team. I failed the PE test in junior high. I did not have a letter on my letter jacket in high school. I’m a tall, gangly, uncoordinated goofball. I was not destined to put any sort of ball into any sort of goal with any semblance of competence.
Honestly, I don’t even really like most sports that much. I dig going to a baseball or basketball game, but I don’t watch any sports on TV. Not even football (gasp!). As far as playing sports, ball golf and disc golf are my only real loves. While I love playing both of them, I’ll never be truly great at either one. It’s just not in my genes.
That’s only a problem if the reason I’m playing is to win tournaments. I enjoy tournaments. I’ve played in quite a few. I’ve even cashed here and there. But if tournaments disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn’t really miss them. I’d still go out on my morning solo rounds and be happy as could be. One might even say I’d be content. That happens when you’ve figured out your “why”.
What we all need to realize is that one of the keys to happiness in our lives and out on the course is to be content with what we have. We all have limitations out on the course. Not everyone can be Paul McBeth. Even he can’t always live up to the legend that is growing around him.
I see so many people get upset out on the course. They miss a 50 foot putt. They don’t keep their drive in the fairway. They hit a tree. They grip lock a drive. They do any number of things that are totally expected from a non professional. Heck, even most professionals do those things.
We can’t go out on the course, or even out into our lives, and realistically expect perfection. We can’t reasonably expect ourselves to perform at levels well above what is grounded in reality. Yet day after day we do just that. And then we proceed to beat ourselves up for not living up to these lofty expectations.
It was a rough day in high school when I had to come to grips with the fact that I couldn’t make a single team. It took a long time for me to just admit that I would never shoot par on a ball golf course. It was hard for me when I realized that I’ll probably never qualify to compete at the open level in disc golf.
But a funny thing happens when we come to grips with these limitations. We start looking at what we actually do have. We start to figure out how to do a lot with what we were given. A strange sense of peace and freedom comes from this. Life becomes a lot less stressful. It also becomes a lot less disappointing.
The same thing happens on the course. There are some holes I just can’t drive. I’m good with that. There are some putts I’m very rarely going to make. I’m good with that too. There are some tunnel shots where I’m going to be in the woods a lot more than the fairway. I’ve come to just be OK with that. And you know what? My rounds are a lot more enjoyable now because of it.
How about you? Do you spend more time on the course wishing you could instead of being happy you can? Do you stress out because you can’t do something? Do you get frustrated because you couldn’t do something that, when you step back and really think about it, wasn’t something you could do consistently anyway?
Don’t get me wrong, we should always strive to get better. Hard work and practice do pay off. We just can’t get ahead of ourselves and let unrealistic expectations and hopes to cause frustration in our lives and in our games.
We all live for those moments when we play beyond our abilities. Those shots that we try that work out perfectly. Those times when all the planets align and we just kill it out on the course. That’s why we keep coming back. We just need to stop expecting those moments of perfection all the time. Be content with what you have and you’ll live a happier life filled with more enjoyable rounds of disc golf.
One thing I wasn’t content with was the weekly newsletter I was sending out. If you haven’t subscribed, I would encourage you to do that now. I’ve completely revamped the newsletter and it’s got weekly content you can’t get anywhere else. Stay up to date with everything that is Mind Body Disc by subscribing below!