I’m trying really hard not to burn the wagon. Really I am. Let me explain…
Pretty soon, the count down calendar goes to double digits. As I’ve said several times on FaceBook, I can’t believe how quickly this is going. I’ve officially been on the road to the GBO for a month now. It was only a matter of time before I ran into some challenges…
If you’ve been keeping up with my daily updates, you’ve seen that every day brings a new lesson or three. One of those recurring lessons has been remembering why I am getting up every day to practice. A big part of me just wants to play. I changed my work schedule around to accommodate practice, but the child in me really wants to just go play every morning.
Coming to grips with the fact that just playing rounds is not what will best prepare me for the GBO is something I was ready to deal with. It was a fact I embraced and knew would be a part of things. What I wasn’t ready for was not being able to go to the course at all. Not if I wanted to practice anyway.
In the back of my mind, I saw myself practicing on the course through even the worst weather. And I tried. The problem is that while I was outside, and I was on the course, I was not helping myself get better by being there. When you spend most of your time trudging through snow looking for your discs, you aren’t spending a lot of time practicing or getting better. Even putting practice saw more time wiping down discs and dealing with frozen and numb fingers than actual putting. Snow play, while fun (for me anyway), is not good practice for the GBO.
That has forced me inside. I have already thrown more putts in 2015 than I did in all of 2014 (that’s no exaggeration as far as I can figure). It’s been very tempting to just sleep in instead. Putting in my living room is getting really boring. Especially since inside I can only get about 22 feet back.
Well, that led to a day that I was hoping wouldn’t come. Yesterday I missed practicing all together. There are a lot of excuses I could throw out there, but I just didn’t do it. It’s totally on me. At the end of the day, I could have squeezed it in, but I blew it off. I’m not real happy with myself for that one. But that’s where the burning the wagon comment comes in.
In the past, when I’ve been working towards a goal, I’ve never handled these types of missed days very well. Typically, they lead to a downward spiral of self loathing and excuse making that lasts days and sometimes even weeks. At the end of that spiral is the smoking wreckage of my best laid plans.
A good example of this is trying to eat right. In the past, I’ve been able to go months on a really clean, really healthy diet. And then someone at work will bring in donuts. I’ll think, “I’ve been good for a really long time, I can have just one”. Later on, “Well, I already had one, might as well have another.” After that it degenerates to 3 and then 4 and then “Hey, aren’t there any donuts left?!”.
At lunch time I forgo the healthy food I brought with me because, you know, I’ve already fallen off the wagon. I might as well burn it down to the axles and shoot the horses too. Three stops at fast food drive throughs and a half a gallon of chocolate milk later, I’m sitting bloated in front of the TV, two thirds of the way through a bag of Oreos that I couldn’t even tell you how I came to possess. The wagon, at this point, is a heap of smoldering ash blowing around in a flatulent breeze of my own making.
The next day is usually like that second donut. I’ve already been a bad, bad boy. I might as well stop for some Arby’s, right? I’m guessing that many of you can relate to this pitiful downward spiral that quickly spins out of control. That’s how it was when I first tried to quit smoking. That’s how it used to get when I first started going to the gym. That’s how it used to be when I came off the rails on the way to any goal in my life.
Well, a while back, I learned how not to burn down the wagon. I started looking at things differently when I would take a backward step on my intended path. Here’s how I see things now:
All I did was fall off for a day. In fact, I don’t even look at it that way. I just kind of slipped and put a foot down. It’s no big deal. It’s something I knew might happen. Hope for the best and plan for the worst, right? So, today I made a point to get up and toss in 300 putts. Taking my time, working on my form, forgetting about yesterday’s misstep. There is absolutely nothing I could have gained by sleeping in and skipping another day. All it would have done is made it that much harder to get up tomorrow.
I’ve found that’s the key. A brief stint off the wagon is not an all access pass to a free for all of negative behavior. It’s not an excuse to just pile additional mistakes on top of the original. It’s a reminder first that we are human. We make mistakes, that’s what humans do. What determines the type of human we are is what we do in response to those mistakes. We can either get back on that wagon, or we can take out our flame thrower and go scorched earth.
It took me a long time to wrap my head around this. It’s an ongoing process to actually do it. I’d be lying if I said that the bag of Oreos didn’t occasionally (OK, daily) call my name. A guy I listen to on the radio every once in a while, Dave Ramsey, has a saying. “Children do what feels good. Adults devise a plan and follow it.”
Well, I have a plan and it involves the Glass Blown Open. It involves my performance being at a much higher level than it is now. I hope yesterday was the only day that I miss practice and that it doesn’t happen again. Realistically, though, there’s a good chance I might. When and if that happens, I don’t get off the wagon. What I need to remember is that I need that wagon to get to Emporia, and there’s no room in my Grip for a flame thrower.
As always, thanks for following along on the road to the GBO. What’s that? You haven’t subscribed to the blog yet so you can get these super groovy updates automatically via your in box? Well what the heck are you waiting for? Enter your email below. In return, I promise to never sell of spam that puppy.[wysija_form id=”1″]