I really like talking about theater, and I really love talking about art. All kinds of art. It’s all good with me, if you know a lot about sculpture, I will sit in rapture, even though I barely notice sculpture. I also love disciplines that are treated as art by their practitioners. My friend Ehren, although not technically an artist, is a fellow “enthusiast” (which my wife calls me. Often. As a mild insult…) and I will talk to him about anything.
I should say that I also like talking about sports. When my friends Steve and Deb picked the Tampa Bay Bucs as their team (they live in Chicago, but when they picked teams, the Bucs had just won the Super Bowl) (man, they’re *laughing* now, tell you what…) I started watching a little football, and then when Tampa Bay went in the shitter, I started calling them.
I’ve got some teams I like. Lakers, Nets, Teams With Funny Guys On Them In The NBA, Charlotte… these are teams I like. Boston, Indiana, Teams With Guys Who Used To Be On Sacramento, UTAH… not so much. I loved Andre, hated Pete Sampras. I love Martina, TOTALLY loved Capriati… Etc.
There is no love like the love I have for Carolina. That’s a whole ‘nother blog. I have felt feelings as strong during a play or a movie, but it is a different thing. It’s just… It can’t be explained. It would take me forever. Some of you know. It’s a love unlike any other.
Now, in terms of playing sports, I like to have fun, but mostly at other people’s expense. I have played five sets of tennis in an afternoon, and it wasn’t best of five – I lost every set. My friend Mac (normally that would be a hot link, but he is, seriously, the worst blogger *ever*) and I would play basketball with our friends, which consisted of the two of us standing in the middle of the court talking about movies while eight guys would go back and forth past us.
We sucked. And we quit. I’ve been bad at every single team sport, but individual sports are pretty good for me. I was a good wrestler, an okay bowler, a pretty good, y’know, checkers player, etc. However, about two years ago I took up golf, and I’ve been lost every since.
I’m not good, but the nice thing is that nobody is. Everyone is a crappy golfer, you will very seldom meet someone who will nod “yes” when you say “are you any good?” I don’t hit it very straight, I don’t hit it spectacularly far, but GOD…
I don’t know what to say. It’s white as hell, it’s not great for the environment, and it has a horrible history in terms of exclusion, I know that. That’s not what I’m talking about, I’m talking about the tuning fork that goes off in your soul when you strike the ball. I’m talking about the dance you have to do, the choreographed moment of dance that you have to do right in order to do *anything*.
Again, I could go on and on. But here are some things I discovered about myself while swinging a club.
– You don’t achieve more by trying harder. You achieve more by doing each simple step you need to do, and those steps will come together to make something great happen.
– Every day you will have to remain open to changing tiny things in your habits in order to stay productive.
– Every single moment is an opportunity to do something spectacular.
– Your good moments last only for that one moment. Your bad moments just keep adding up and adding up.
– One bad shot, then one horrible shot, then one bad shot, then one amazing shot is par. One great shot, then a second great shot, then one bad shot is, two shots later, a bogey.
– Every six months someone comes up with some new thing that is gonna make your life better. Sometimes it’s based in science, sometimes it’s a new faith, but they will always try to make you think this is the secret. It’s a lie.
– If you want to go 140 yards, you can whack and top a 9 iron, hit an 8 iron perfectly, hit a 7 Iron nice, take a lot off your 6 Iron, take a half swing with your 5 Iron, tag your 5 wood or wack the crap out of your 9 wood.
(Why do I have a 9 wood? Better question, why do I have a pitching wood that looks like a pooper scooper? And why do I have a 560 cc head driver that sounds like a shotgun blast and hits the ball 285 yards even when I swing it? I have these things because my father in law and brother Ian are a) crazy, b) love me and c) obsessed with golf.)
– Every time I try to do something, it doesn’t work. Every time I just do it, it works. I know, I heard Yoda say it, and I read it in the Tao Te Ching, but it didn’t sink in until I picked up a club.
– The more golf I play, the better I write.
All this, and I’ve only played for a coupla years. I’m willing to bet that everyone out there either feels like golf is better than I do, or they totally hate it. It’s worse than religion or politics, but I just totally adore it.