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Back in the saddle again

One of my favorite movies, Sleepless in Seattle, features the Gene Autry tune, Back in the Saddle Again, as the widower Tom Hanks decides it’s time to start dating.

The phrase reflects one’s desire to get back into doing something you had before, whether from injury or self-imposed time-out.

In my case, both apply.

My last post reflected my overwhelmed state of mind. I wrote it on the heels of our 18th annual Claire’s Day and several months filled with various writerly and literacy advocate commitments.

I was burnt out and felt a need to recharge.

Well, it’s interesting how life just kind of helps you figure things out.

In my case, it all began over the Fourth of July weekend. My right foot began to bother me. It started to nag at me, a dull, continuous pain. Then it began screaming after walking the golf course in bad shoes.

The timing couldn’t have been worse.

My husband, Brad, had presented me with the gift of playing in the Marathon Classic pro-am the Wednesday following the holiday weekend.

Understand that for me, playing in a pro-am was one of ten things I wrote down that I wanted to accomplish years ago during a team-building exercise during my sales management days. It was on my bucket list before there ever was such a thing. It represented my desire to get my golf game to the point that I could hold my own on the course.

The LPGA Marathon Classic supports charities that benefit children. Last year a portion of the proceeds from the tournament were given to Claire’s Day. As our way of showing our gratitude, Brad purchased two slots in the pro-am at the tournament host course, Highland Meadows.

But I had this throbbing foot. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to play, to fulfill this dream I’ve had for years. I called a friend of mine, a retired podiatrist. We both kind of figured that it was a stress fracture, brought on by bad shoes and over-exercising. His advice? “Get a golf cart if you can, wear the most supportive golf shoes you have, and have fun.”

I didn’t sleep well the night before the tournament. I felt like a kid going to Cedar Point amusement park the next day. I finally got up around 4:30 a.m., made myself some coffee, and sat out on the deck with my confused four-year-old Labrador, Luna. As I sipped my coffee and iced my foot, a sense of calm came over me. I knew that it was all going to be okay. I knew I was going to play well. And I felt so grateful to have the opportunity.

The experience was surreal, from the moment I met our pro, Mirim Lee, from South Korea, and our playing partners. When I got up to the first tee, I took a deep breath, settled into my stance, and struck the ball perfectly. The team used my drive, as they did often that day. And, as I was lead putter, I sank a number of putts, saving the team from having to do so. We ended up at a respectful 13 under.

Later that afternoon I got the official diagnosis, a boot, and the prognosis of 6-8 weeks of heeling from my new podiatrist.

So, I’ve spent the last 7 weeks icing, elevating, and hobbling along in my boot. I’ve been humbled by being pushed around in a wheelchair at our zoo and museum during a family visit. I’ve not been able to golf, walk my dog or bike.

Brad calls me his “Energizer Bunny.”

My batteries didn’t die. They were cruelly pulled from me.

For those of you who know me, it’s been hell.

But, for those of you who know me well, you know that I didn’t just sit.

I reflected. I meditated. I healed. And, I must admit, I binge-watched This is Us.

I wrote.

Through this process, I’ve discovered a subject that is so perfectly reflective of my experience that I can’t wait to share it with you.

But that will come in time.

For now, I’m celebrating being back in the saddle again.