Sunday, October 26, 2014

Golf Gypsy: The Evil Twin--Crazy 8

I don't know where this twin came from or why, but I most certainly remember that day nearly 18 years ago when I played a golf course, new to me, called Prairie Dunes.  The Yucca was the name of the women's
tournament.  I played that challenging course watching as my golf ball bounded into the gunch, penalty strokes accumulated, my putts rolled back and forth around the hole, and my sand shot became sand shots.  My handicap hovered around a 9 which meant I should have scored an 80-85, but there was a nervous energy in me that ignited my evil twin.   That day I roared to a 111, and felt thankful that I got off the course before the score rose even higher.  For the next decade I faced-off with that evil twin on and off the golf course.  Then, life seemed to find balance and harmony and the twin faded.

The story might have ended there, but for this last month.   Nearly every day for a month I've walked into my blogger room to write, and just stopped. Detoured by my own mind, my own twin.  I had once called that evil twin the "Detour Queen."  No matter how hard I tried I could not sit down and write. Even crying didn't help.  I searched my heart for answers, but instead found excuses:
     * the death of my mother-in-law's husband
     * funeral events and family tensions
     * nervous exhaustion
     * continual leg cramping and stringent pain in my butt! from inflamed muscles and back issues
     * countless hours at Physical Therapy every week
     * long walks with the dog
     * no golf, no time with friends
     * still searching for ways to make my new house a comfortable home
     * fear of dying or growing old
     * the death of my parents 25 years ago this fall

Then one day the physical therapist thought it might be a good idea that I play a few holes of golf, "Don't over do it.  Just see how the body reacts."  The body was relieved and relaxed.  Hearing Dawn's laughter, lifted my spirits, then the ladies from the Trails Golf Course all seemed glad to have me back among their group.  I even made time to practice my chipping and putting once, which helped to build my confidence.    But lurking, deep down inside of me was that evil twin.  

Our Trails Ladies Club Championship was held this week, and the evil twin laid low till the 10th hole when her high pitched squeal cried, "Come on take a chance.  I bet if you just swing hard you can hit the green.  After all, you just shot even par on the front side...."   The yanked shot started toward the green then skipped into the pond on the left.  A few more missed shots through out the day added up, and the twin seemed pleased with her actions.  I heard her ugly words that afternoon drowning out my mind with, "It doesn't matter....who cares..."   

Still, I slept well and felt good the next morning ready to play the second day of competition.  I should have caught on to her erratic behavior when she detoured me from leaving at 8:25 by suggesting that I wash a load of laundry and leave a note for friends on facebook!   I arrived at the course with barely enough time to loosen up and think golf.  After the short first tee shot and second one that bounced over the bridge, two missed chips, and four putts I heard her voice screaming sweetly from the earth's hollows.  "Oh, well.  It doesn't matter. It's just a silly game, and if you win no one will like you."  

Just like that my heart and head pounded.  Luckily, Dawn and Tammy both chimed in with cheerful notes of "now we've all three had 8's."  "Yeah, those snow bitches really add up."  My pounding nerves turned to a light quiver as I laughed at Dawn's term, "Snow bitches."  Afterall, she explained, "We are not snowmen (a golf term often applied to scores with 8)."  

My head is often crowded with blurred thoughts, but I rather like it, so of course, Helen Reddy began to sing "Heavens no I'm not a man... I am Woman hear me Roar."   I stepped up to the second tee singing and laughing over the snow bitches.  There is something about dropping the shoulders away from the ears and walking with relaxed muscles that make it easier to swing the golf club. Off and on for seventeen holes the "snow bitch" aka "the evil twin" worked at derailing me from an enjoyable day of golf.  Luckily, laughter and enjoyment of my friends and the warm weather won out. 

Crazy 8, You Can't Scare Me!
This morning I sat down to finish this story by practicing Yoga for the Mind--drawing. Like magic, "Crazy 8" appeared before me and came to life on the blank page with colors of flames, grasses, and waves.  She is such a character that I could only laugh at her and at me. How could something like Crazy 8 ever ruin a moment of my life?  I found the key I had lost in the move--laughter inside and outside.