Monday came all too quick in my opinion. We spent the weekend in NY visiting my family and doing a lot of this…
We spent the weekend enjoying summer, sunshine, the water, boating, eating and time with my family. It’s always a good time and always makes coming to work on Monday hard.
In addition to being out on the lake we were up early on Sunday morning to get in 9 holes of golf. I decided to start golfing this year after playing a round of golf last summer with Mike and my Dad and really enjoying it. As a kid, I took weekly golf lessons and wasn’t horrible. I was pleasantly surprised as how much I remembered about the game.
In the early spring Mike and I started looking for a set of clubs for me. Since we weren’t sure how much I’d end up playing we didn’t want to spend a ton of money. Mike and my Dad found a ladies set of clubs at a garage sale for $1o that fit perfectly. We searched for a bag online and found a lightweight carry bag with stand and the back pack straps for extra comfort. A quick trip to TJ Maxx for a golf outfit and a stop at Sport’s Authority for a glove and balls, I was ready to go. In all, I was set up for a summer of golf for less than $100. It just goes to show you can try new sports and activities without investing a ton of money right away!
We played the first 9 holes of the season in Maine while on vacation. Thankfully we weren’t in a hurry and surrounded by gorgeous views because the game was slow and frustrating.
Mike gave me a ton of tips on technique and by the end I was really improving. We played the following weekend at a Par 3 course near our house. The golf pro noticed I was making some mistakes and came to give me a few pointers. Then over the weekend my Dad helped to give me a few more.
- Keep your head down and focus on the ball!
- Keep your front arm straight and never let it “break”.
- Follow through on your swing, your shoulders will rotate forward and your back heel will come up.
- Your feet should be shoulder width apart, with your front foot angled open just a touch.
Once, I started to understand all this my game started to really improve! I’ve made birdies on my last two games (a birdie is one under par)!
I’ve learned that golf is just like any other sport, you have to understand the movements of your body. To be successful you need to know where your hips and feet are aligned, otherwise your ball might go into the woods. You need to understand how low to sit in your legs, how tall to stand to be sure the club always skims the ground, how far your arms should be from your chest so you always make contact with the ball and club face. And, you need to understand your own strength in regards to the club. When you are golfing your swing is always the same but the power you apply is what makes the difference.
Every hole in golf is a new opportunity and a fresh start. You are able to alter your stance, or grip to improve your swing. You may focus on driving, or putting or bumping and running but with everything you try to improve, you are trying to better understand your body. This has got me thinking about running and yoga. Every time we lace up our shoes or step on to the mat it is an opportunity to better understand ourselves and our bodies.
So many times I just go out for a run, I don’t have a focus or an intention or something to improve. Often I step on to the mat to escape, to relax, to readjust and then mid-way through my practice I’m reminded to focus on my alignment and my body in space. Trying new sports and activities can not only be fun and fulfilling but it can be a reminder to step back and refocus on the sports and activities we already do and love so we are continually improving!
I’m taking the “lessons” I’ve learned from golf and applying it to my running and yoga. I’m being mindful of my body and it’s movements. While running I want to focus on my breathing and pace and not falling into a 9 min/mile pace just because that is what I normally do. I want to think about driving with my knees and being powerful. On the yoga mat I want to find my strength in the hardest of poses and challenge my fears when in head stand and shoulder stand. I want to be mindful of my alignment and understand where my hips, shoulders, legs and arms are in space.
I’m thankful for a new sport and to be challenged mentally and physically to better understand my body! And in case you were wondering, 9 holes of golfing carrying your clubs is one heck of a workout! It’s a fantastic way to spend a gorgeous summer morning!