Our playing editor tells why ticking off a bucket-list item and escaping from reality was important for him.
This issue’s column might not seem the most golf-orientated, but stick with me because it does have relevance. In the first week of April I crossed off a bucket-list item. I really do wish the item I crossed off was a trip to Augusta National and The Masters, but unfortunately it was not. Next year I hope to set the record straight in that regard.
Instead of going to Augusta, my brother Jarryd and I went to WrestleMania. Now, I sense many an eye rolling back at that, but first hear me out.
My brother and I have been watching wrestling since we were kids, and we still love it. So when I turned professional I put together a list of 43 ‘things’ I’d like to do. WrestleMania is one of the 43. So when my schedule finally allowed for me to fulfil this, I jumped at the opportunity.
There are some ‘normal’ items like sky diving, bungee jumping and such activities which a lot of folk regard as ‘must-do things’ before they are no longer able to do so. There are also extremely private items that are a lot tougher to cross off. But as I sat there, sharing one of my bucket-list items with 80 000 people, it made me think about how important these small things are to us all in life.
Sometimes, being able to turn away from your job and indulge in something that’s so left field it sends a shockwave through your system is exactly what’s needed. It rocks the order. It refreshes the world, or at least your perception of it.
Whenever I find myself becoming totally absorbed in my work, I see myself tangibly withdrawing from the rest of the world. I become fixated on what I’m trying to achieve, and if something doesn’t help me reach that goal, it immediately becomes irrelevant and I don’t give it any more time. That’s why I am where I am today. Because of this obsession. It’s part of the job of being a professional golfer who has to pay the bills from performance earnings.
Over the past few years, however, I’ve felt unbalanced, like I had no release. The Covid-19 pandemic, which basically changed our lives for some two years, is one of the reasons for this. But not having something to distract me when I’m away from the game has definitely had an effect on me.
That’s why, after last year’s season came to an end, I reflected on all of this and decided to make a conscious effort to regain my balance.
I really do believe I’m not alone in this. I believe we’ve all lost our balance to varying degrees. But, like I stated before, I’ve made a conscious decision to regain my own balance. And I urge you all to do the same. I am not saying you need to go to WrestleMania; not at all. Is it sport, is it entertainment, or is it both? That doesn’t really matter. It’s an escape from reality and it’s desperately needed. You know what you need, as I do for myself.
If for me it means I need to eat overpriced hot dogs with 80,000 Americans, that’s what I’m going to do. Like Jana Kingsford said in her book Unjuggled, ‘Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.’
– This column first appeared in the May 2022 issue of Compleat Golfer magazine. Subscribe here!