Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Words Of Encouragement

After I had been playing golf for about a year I went to a demo day. This was a big event with nearly every major club OEM that had a large selection of lefty clubs to try out. At this point, I hadn't really tried to hit hybrid clubs. At one of the tents I found some lefty hybrids and decided to give them a try.

I set up on a mat with a hybrid club and set up. Not really confident of what I was doing I topped the first ball. I tried again with the same result. It was after the second ball I noticed the three gentlemen behind me. Both times I had missed the ball they roared with laughter as if they had just heard the best joke of their lives. When I looked in their direction one grunted, "It's happened to all of us, sweetheart!" I had never met these people nor did I have any previous conversation with them.

Over the weekend I went to try out a new surfboard. This one is shorter and lighter than I normally use. Knowing I would likely wipe out and look a bit kooky at first I chose a less crowded span of beach with smaller waves and a lifeguard on duty. Sure enough, I was wobbly on the new board and spent some time paddling around to orient myself. I only ended up catching one wave and didn't get a full stand going. I did, however, have one pretty big wipe out.

Telling the story about it later was pretty funny. I had misjudged the power of a particular wave when I went to duck under it. I didn't duck as far as I should have and got knocked off and held under a bit. The funny part in the retelling was that it was such a forceful wave that it tangled my hair up into a nest.

When I had finished I went to the car and put my board on the rack before I went into the ladies room to rinse off and change. When I came out a guy that had been on the beach asked me where my board was. I said it was already on the car and he smirked, "Oh, I thought you broke it." I had never met this guy nor did I have any previous conversation with him.

I guess I'll never understand why people make snide remarks to complete strangers. At some point most everyone has been a beginner, changed equipment, or practiced when recovering from an injury. There are a lot of reasons athletes and amateurs make mistakes from time to time. The only way we can improve in a sport is by practice. There will always be someone more skilled than I at whatever sport I try. Simply because some smarty-pants decides to heckle me doesn't change that nor will it stop me from practicing.

You can read about golf etiquette here and surf etiquette here.


Lindsay said...

Those examples you mentioned are very reasons why people are afraid to try new things. Because people will and do make comments like that! You seem to be better than me at not caring what other people think. I need to get over it and not care as much.

Wiping out or totally screwing up is part of getting better!

Apryl DeLancey said...

Yeah, I really don't allow what others think to inhibit what I want to do. Those who are the most judgmental are usually the most insecure also.

I try to keep in mind that you have to fail or take missteps in order to succeed. For example, we all remember that John Elway won 2 Super Bowls at the end of his career. Did you also know that he also had a HUGE number of passes intercepted? I think he once had the record.

Lisa said...

I don't know why people say suck mean things! Your Elway comment reminds me of someone telling me how many times Edison had to try to make a lightbulb before he succeeded. It was a lot!

I also believe in Karma. You get back what you give. When people give encouragement and show kindness to others, that is what they get back. And when people put others down and are mean, well, that is what they will get back.

Apryl DeLancey said...

You are so right! I mostly feel sorry for people that have to lash out at strangers. Their lives must be pretty miserable and/or they are terribly insecure. I can't think of any other reason to be so rude. I like to encourage everyone to succeed - I find my own success flourishes this way!