Hello, and welcome to my thirteenth post! I have a topic that is very dear to me this week—the San Juan Open. I have volunteered there for the past three years, and I have learned a lot and met wonderful people. This post will focus on how I’ve grown since I started volunteering and persevering (my favorite core value!) even if something scares you.
To begin, I’ll go back about two years to a meeting with the volunteer coordinator (VC) for first time volunteers. For privacy’s sake I’m not going to use any names, but the VC was and still is a very kind man whom I like very much. He told us that we’d be ball spotting and asked us if we had any questions. I (and I assume the other kids as well) had no idea what ball spotting was, but I was initially too shy to ask. But as the seconds ticked by, I realized that nobody else was going to say anything and that waiting until the actual day of the Open to ask would be even more awkward. So I asked, “What’s ball spotting?” At that, the other kids seemed to relax, and the VC gave us an in-depth job description. (The ironic thing is that I ended up with a completely different job!) After that day, I was finally convinced that people really don’t bite if you talk to them!
The San Juan Open is held at the Country Club, and since my family does not have a membership, that was the first time I had ever been to the Country Club golf course. I was quite intimidated at first and had no idea where anything was. Since I was taking an afternoon shift, there was already quite a lot of activity. As my mom put on my sunscreen, she gave me a pep talk. Then she left me in the care of the VC and went home. After a delicious lunch, I was shown what to do. I quickly got the hang of it, and it’s my favorite job there to this day.
As a result of my great experience in 2015, I was much more confident in 2016. That year, I took a morning shift and an afternoon shift. The morning shift went great. I have two memories of that shift that make me feel happy to this day. One is of saying hello to a pro who was passing through and asking him how he was. He told me that although he was not playing very well, he was happy to be there and to be playing. I thought that was pure genius, and took it to heart. It is one of the main ideas behind my mental game. The other one is of working up the courage to thank one of the people maintaining the lunch buffet for all that she was doing. What makes this so memorable is that a couple of minutes later I heard her telling someone that that was the first child volunteer to speak to her all day and how nice it was that I said thank you.
However wonderful the morning shift was, the afternoon shift was a disaster for me. I have mentioned that I get chronic bloody noses in a previous post, and shortly into my shift I got one. I hurried to the golf shop to find someone to tell so they could find someone to take my place. The first person I ran into happened to be a nurse, so she got someone to take over my job and then helped me with my bloody nose. After a while, it stopped and I went back outside. However, it started again within minutes. Again, it stopped after maybe ten or fifteen minutes. At this point, the VC had been notified, and he told me to sit inside where it was cooler and advised me to call my mom. I did not want to leave, so I told my mom what was happening but did not ask her to pick me up. Then I went back outside. It started again. At this point, I was miserable and the VC was getting very worried. On top of that, my bloody nose was intensifying. When it stopped, I told the VC that if it started again I would tell my mom to pick me up. I hadn’t been outside for three minutes before it started again. Dejected, I went back to the women’s locker room and called my mom. I felt so humiliated. I suppose this is an example of perseverance, although possibly not wise use of it!
This year, I volunteered again. One reason I did so was so that I would not be remembered as the girl who got a bloody nose that one year. (That’s not really a good reason.) I also wanted to volunteer again because I love doing it. However, I was terrified of getting another bloody nose. Although bloody noses themselves don’t scare me, getting one in public kind of does. It stresses me out when people are disgusted or worried by them, and the more scared, stressed, or worried I am, the more likely I am to have a long-lasting nosebleed or to have one start in the first place. Anyway, I was worried about getting a bloody nose at the Open, so I kept getting bloody noses in the days preceding it. That, as you can imagine, did not calm me down. Last Friday I got up early and headed to the Country Club. In the car on the way there I got another bloody nose which, blessedly, stopped as we pulled into the parking lot. There were no reoccurrences. I had a wonderful day helping out and hanging to with friends of mine who were also volunteering. The next day the same thing happened. I got a bloody nose shorty after I woke up that stopped very quickly. Then I went to the Country Club and had another great day. The only problem was that one of the flags used to signal other volunteers mysteriously disappeared halfway through the day!
This year was very different from the previous two years of volunteering at the San Juan Open. Since the Farmington High School golf team holds practices at the Country Club, I could find my way around easily. I was more confident in my knowledge of the jobs I had to perform, and I wasn’t shy at all. I learned a lot about how to handle myself in situations like the Great Bloody Nose of the 2016 San Juan Open. I’m certainly not the same kid I was two years ago! Also, I’d like to think that I showed perseverance by volunteering once again. I’m sure I’ll be at the next San Juan Open, too!