The words never came. If they did, they never felt quite right.
Our am-tour championship came and went, and as it became painfully clear: I was not ready. Something wasn’t working in my game, in my mind, and especially in my motivation.
Where at one point this year, I was consistently working on my game, all of that fire had burned out. I was left with little ashes of my effort.
Without a shadow of doubt, the day of our championship was the most trying time in my golf “career”. Once I was home, the wave of struggle and helplessness overwhelmed and broke me. All of that effort, all of that pain, for what?
I didn’t want to write, or play, or workout. These are the closest moments to bouts that leave me tattered and apathetic. Even when I zoomed out to look at the progress I made throughout the year, it hardly seemed worth the time away from those I care most deeply about.
So I didn’t write. I didn’t play. I stopped working out and dieting. I tried to convince myself I was refilling the empty bucket of my will, but in actuality I was running from failure. The bad thoughts seeped into everything, and the last thing I wanted to do was to shine a light on my excuses.
Slowly the pain wore off. With the help of friends and an unbelievably supportive love, things started turning positive. I can’t say I’m the same or back to where I was, but I’m better.
Last month I turned 30. I managed to avoid the traditional fanfare that is associated with such milestones and have mostly escaped the inevitable “what am I doing with my life” self-talk that haunts another decade around the sun.
With the courage building I did one thing I wasn’t sure I would ever do: hire a trainer.
For the past month, I’ve been working out with a golf-specific program and by the time the weather starts to get nice again, I hope to have new tools to develop.
I booked another swing lesson, and we found such an ugly trait that had seeped into my game that my coach described it as something that belongs in the “bucket of top five things that are the hardest to change.”
I’m falling behind. I started late, and now I have to work harder than before.
To begin the year, I need to step back and reflect on what worked before. Where did I see the most progress and dedication? What were my motivations? Why was I able to convince myself to get to work?
My next article will cover the benefits of journaling, and with just a quick peak I can tell July was my best performance month. June was my best practice month. And at the end of May I wrote myself a note to work harder. None of that seems like a coincidence.
At the end of the note I wrote the most powerful word I know, “again.”
If you did it wrong, do it again. Do it again until you get it right. When you do it right, do it again. Put it in concrete and continue until it sets. Do it again until you can’t get it wrong. And then you will. So do it again.
It’s an ethos for grit, perseverance, and tenacity. Today, it’s the only word that matters. We’ll worry about tomorrow when it comes, but for today: again.