This last week, I posted about golf. Many readers shared how they could relate. I’ve mentioned a number of times how much I enjoy writing. I didn’t realize that it would help my golf game also.
For the last 30+ years, my arch-rival on the golf course has been my former partner and close friend, Jeff Fourman. For those that don’t know Jeff, he is a good athlete, with an innate ability to see and do things on the golf course, that the average player doesn’t see and is unable to regularly do. He is, and has always been, a much better golfer than I am.
The handicap system in golf, allows players of different skill levels to play together and compete – and compete we do. Both Jeff and I are pretty competitive people and neither of us like to lose. Unfortunately, as it has proven out over the years, I’ve had to learn how to handle losing, especially when it comes to competing with Jeff on the golf course. Our competition on the golf course has always been rooted in good sportsmanship, fair play, good friendly competition; of course with a reasonable amount of money at stake.
I can’t even begin to calculate what my losses to Jeff have been on the golf course. There was a time when I thought I should send a 1099! There have been glimpses of times when I have had the upper hand, but they have been so few and far between. He wants to beat me as badly as I want to beat him – he never tires of beating me and I never give up chasing him.
It was several months ago when I was flipping through the channels and happened to see the old Road Runner cartoon. It was then I realized that I am Wile E. Coyote. For those that haven’t seen Road Runner, there are two characters – The Road Runner, which is a really, really fast ground bird of some type and Wile E. Coyote, a coyote. Wile E. Coyote is always chasing the Road Runner. It’s his life’s calling. The Road Runner is evasive, always outsmarting and outplaying Wile. It never fails that just at the moment that Wile appears to be catching the Road Runner, BOOM – an anvil falls out of the sky and lands on Wile, or Wile runs blindly off a cliff. Wile can just never catch the Road Runner, and I can almost never beat Jeff.
So on those days when I am able to catch Jeff with his guard down, catch him a little off his game and win – those are great days! Today, was one of those days and I find it very interesting that it comes just after writing the post about Golf. I shot an 81, which is by far my strongest round of the season. It’s the kind of round that might happen once or twice a season for me. Golfers – every one of us – will say that it was just one great round, not to be repeated. We might even believe that, but inside, we fantasize that this is our new standard. That typically lasts until the next round!
Of course, Jeff shrugs off the loss, he knows even Roger Federer can lose occasionally. He handles it well and when paying his losses; knows it’s just a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’ he’ll see that money again. If he wasn’t such a nice guy, it would be pretty reasonable for him to go Ray Zalinsky (Dan Ackroyd’s character in Tommy Boy) and say ‘Savor the Flavor, cause it sure the hell won’t happen again’!
So today…I savor the flavor!