After retiring from triathlon 5 years ago my greatest fear was how would I replace a sport that had given me so much – how would I challenge myself and continue to redefine and shape my desire to grow and seek new fulfilment. Finding a new hobby or sport has proven to be highly rewarding and at moments extremely frustrating. I never saw myself as an endurance athlete as I am embarked on triathlon. I loved being active and the thought of putting 3 sports together in succession was a foreign and seemingly unattainable goal. But years of hard work, good coaching and guidance and most of all the desire to learn and improve soon proved to be a successful strategy.
Most of us tend to gravitate towards things we understand and feel a certain natural affinity for. What I learned was that moving beyond my comfort zone had tremendous benefits and surprising outcomes. Stretching mentally and physically is the formula for change. So when I decided to retire my carbon fibre racing bike, wetsuit and training logs and schedules I felt somewhat naked. I never thought I’d pick up a sport like golf. I did admire the game but couldn’t see myself playing or putting in the much needed time to master this new sport. I watched a few PGA events and became curious. One day changed everything.
A friend who I’ve know for 30 years who was a former competitive runner and my age suggested I come out one day and see what it was all about. I borrowed his clubs and the rest is history. I quickly realized I needed instruction- much like I did when I started triathlon. Going from endurance racing that evolved around speed, endurance and power output and moving your body forward as quickly as possible to standing over a little ball and using a club to make perfect contact in order to move the ball ( not me) forward toward a target was both challenging and rewarding. I quickly came to understand that the golf swing is complicated. The path of the club, the face of the club head, the positions of your hands and the synchronised movements of your hips, shoulders and arms necessitates a very orchestrated rhythmic sequence.
3 yrs into the sport I have managed to put together a decent game shooting in the 80’s – which my golf friends say is solid. Much like triathlon the goal is to score competitively. It is similarly a very individual sport, the outcome impacted by the course, weather conditions and most importantly your focus and mindset.
I strongly encourage all of you to try new things. Find a new sport or hobby. It expands your mind, tests your body and lifts your spirit. If it doesn’t come easy keep working at it. Success will come and sinking that long putt or crushing a long drive will become a great memory.