31 Thank Yous: 13 Year Old Golf Clubs

In life, there are people, places, and things that have a great impact on who we are and what we do. People/places/things that help define us, guide us, challenge us, and enlighten us.

So, in what will undoubtedly be an action-packed month (following our highest earning month to-date at Proof and moving into our first home), I wanted to follow in the lead of a client/friend and take time each day to thank one person/place/thing for helping me to arrive where I am today, and that will continue to help me moving forward.

I’m calling it “31 Thank Yous” (ehem, 31 days in August, for those of you struggling to keep up) and would love for each and every one of you to participate on your own blog. (If you do plan to join in on the action, leave a comment here with a link to your blog so I, and everyone else, can follow along). Also, if hashtags are your thing, we’ll be using #31ty on Twitter to keep the conversation flowing.

So without further ado, allow me to kick things off…

Dear 13 year old set of golf clubs,

What can I say? We’ve been through a lot together. I remember that Christmas morning when I was 13, looking at you for the first time and thinking, “Why the heck did my dad buy me a set of golf clubs”? You see, I had never been the athletic type. My dad tried to get me into soccer, and put a glove on my hand and attempted to make me the next little league baseball sensation, only to watch me kick the ball into the wrong goal and get stuck picking grass out in left field.

But there you were, shiny and new. And ever since then, well, you’ve become a lot less shiny and new, but you’ve taught me a lot of things about myself along the way (even though being good at golf was not one of them). The most important being:

1) Don’t take yourself too seriously. 13 years later, I’m still a pretty terrible golfer, and you would think after losing countless balls in the ponds/woods/backyards, I’d just say “screw it” and give up. But I haven’t, and I won’t. Golf is an escape for me, it’s a step away from the stress of work, it’s getting away from my desk and spending half the day with family and friends drinking beer and throwing out lines like, “This is why we keep our day jobs”. You, old golf clubs, have helped me stay relaxed and more importantly, remind me to lighten up, even when writing down a 10 on the scorecard.

2) Don’t let the past get in the way of the future. In golf, the only way to play is one shot at a time. You can’t think about the shot you just shanked or the 5 putts it took you on the hole before. One shot at a time, you make your way up the course, and hopefully at the end of the day you end up with a fairly respectable outcome. When you play angry, when you let things get to you, the outcome’s never pretty.

Growing up, my relationship with my dad was stressful, to say the least. Through my parent’s divorce to custody battles to a falling out at my church, there were a lot of not-so-good times. While I wouldn’t call us “best buds” today, there’s something about dusting off you, my trusty 13 year old golf clubs, that brings us together. It may seem like it isn’t much, but those few hours spent with my dad, talking about life, work, and everything in between, means the world to me. Like golf, all of the missed shots and opportunities in the past fade away – we work on things, one shot at a time, and because of this, our relationship’s better than it has been in years.

So thank you, 13 year old golf clubs. You spend a lot of time in the heat of my trunk, but every few weeks I’ll dust you off and we’ll take on another 18 holes together (that is, until I can afford to replace you with some new shiny clubs. Don’t worry, you’ll always have a special place in my heart).

Your long time amigo,