Eye On The Birdie – Post #28 Achilles’ Heel

Categories: Blog

Hello! I have what I hope will be an interesting post planned. I would like to begin, however, with a brief update on what’s been going on in my life. Winter break is coming to a close, and I frankly don’t know whether to be happy or sad. I miss my friends, don’t miss my homework, will miss my family, and really can’t wait to get out of the house. I have ruined my sleep cycle (not that I had much of one), but I have finally caught up on sleep. I have turned fifteen and written ten thank you letters in three days. Also, I went golfing for the first time in three months. (Wow, that looks even worse in writing.) As such, I owe my coaches an apology. Sorry. But… I am not completely terrible at golf now! I mean, you’d think I would have regressed, which I have, but not as much you’d think! So… yay? Anyway, to get to the point, when I was golfing at Civitan with my father and brother (the one my readers know as Eagle) a couple of days ago, I started thinking about times when golf has made me unhappy. Then I realized that almost all of the times golf has made me unhappy have certain things in common. And ta-da! A post is born.

The reason I began to reflect on times golfing has put me in a bad mood was because golfing seemed to be trying its best to do just that. Before I continue, you must understand that when I set out to improve in some way, my first action is to come up with a cause, be it real or imagined. Therefore, I started looking for something that could be provoking me, and found one… in my brother.

I know some may look at this say, “Well, duh. The older sister is blaming the younger brother because they’re siblings,” or something along the lines of that. They might be right. Maybe I blamed my brother because he was such a handy target. However, I have another step to my solving problems/improving things process, and it is to find a pattern. Is there something that consistently has a certain result? I thought back on all the times I have golfed with my brother. I found no association between golfing with Eagle and bad moods. I did find a connection between my brother’s scores and bad moods. It was that the closer he came to beating me, the more defensive and competitive I became.

Okay, let’s all take a moment to reflect on what a bad person I am.

(In my defense, I knew that the problem was me, not him.)

Enough reflection time.

To be honest, I never honorably overcame my flaws and came to terms with the fact that my little brother can be a better golfer than me. Instead, he got two sevens and a nine and I beat him by nine strokes. (Factoring out both of our mulligans, that is.) The result was that I learned a fact about myself. I can try to become used to the fact that he will beat me someday before he really does become a better golfer than me. It also made me realize that there are some conditions that mess with my mental game like nothing else—an Achilles’ heel of sorts. After some thought, I realized that I have had a golf-related Achilles’ heel ever since I have figured out how to avoid getting upset about everything golf-related. (Basically, my Achilles’ heel has been whatever bugs me most.) When I began golfing, it was mostly a way to spend time with my dad. When I played, I played to impress him. If I felt I was not playing “impressively,” I was miserable. Later, I would try to impress other people, as well (coaches, relatives, friends, and the like). Therefore, from ages nine to about eleven, if I was playing with people I was trying to impress, things would go varying levels of badly. When I was about ten or eleven, my brother began. Quite honestly, I felt quite superior for about a year. I was a benevolent role model—a master they would always look up to. Then Eagle figured out how to hold his feet in one place while hitting the ball, and suddenly he was pretty good at golf. Also, he decided that his goal was to be able to really, truly, be as good or better at golf than me. I (for some strange reason) was taken totally by surprise. My new pet peeve was the fact that he was someday going to beat me at golf, and I had no doubt then, nor do I have any doubt now, that it is only a matter of time.

Of course, I want him to continue to improve and become as good at golf as he wants to be. I just want to be better. And yes, I know that it is a petty, silly way to feel. However, I’m human, and as such I can’t always control how I feel. For now, I’ll just have to try my hardest to support Eagle. I’ll keep trying to change my feelings, but I doubt I’ll be able to truly change until he does beat me. Then I’ll realize that the world hasn’t ended, and it’s actually kind of cool that he can play at the same level as me. I suppose I got a little off track with this post, so in case my point became too convoluted to understand: I have a weak spot when it comes to golf. It messes with my head and makes it hard to enjoy myself. I can’t magically make it go away, so I have to learn to live and cope with it. Maybe we all have one. Maybe only some of us do. Either way, I guess we all have to learn to compensate for our weaknesses.

 

-Birdie

 

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