The Summertime Shift
One man reflects on his transition from ski season to golf season.
Like Elvis, the last vestige of winter has finally left the building. After an April and May that was constant reminder, there is a reason people move to Florida, the chill that would not disappear, has disappeared. It will read close to 80 degrees today, the grass is as green as an 18-year-old making his first appearance in the 'bigs', the trees are spreading their arms in celebration after an endless hibernation.
Spring has definitely sprung and summer looms.
"But life is all about transitions, the shifting of emotions, as certain as the changing seasons. And for now, my new, old love, has returned."
And my skis have taken up their unhappy residence in my closet. Wondering why they are being treated so rudely, living alongside an old chest of drawers, the sun nowhere to be found, their only companions dull, old, lifeless. I apologize for my ill manners but assure them we will become best friends again one day soon.
But life is all about transitions, the shifting of emotions, as certain as the changing of the seasons. And for now, my new, old love, has returned.
Today my golf clubs live in the trunk of my car. My back aches are now attributed not to a bad turn on my skis, but a bad turn on my back swing. The only white that I now look at is in the sand traps. And my challenge is not getting down without breaking my bones, but getting into the clubhouse without breaking my clubs.
I have spent nearly four decades trying to master the dynamics of skiing, moving from short skis to long and then back again, concentrating on keeping my legs close together and then not, always hoping that by some minor miracle, tomorrow I will become the skier I picture in my mind.
Author Robert Nussbaum swinging into the spring of 1978.
My journey with golf has taken an even longer arc, dating back six decades to a time when color tv was only an idea in someone's mind. Since then, the clubs have changed size and shape, metals have replaced woods and golf balls now travel distances not even imagined decades ago. And yet, much as with my winter love, the secret to success manages to elude me. I chase the ball into places unintended, I curse the gods many times each round, and yet, still I plod on, always hoping that by some minor miracle, tomorrow I will become the golfer I picture in my head.
I am fortunate in that I am able to follow two passions, nearly without interruption.
"Whether it’s golf, mountain biking, camping, hiking, or maybe fishing, we hang up our skis and look forward to the next. Because after all, it's all about the transitions."
My year is filled with the love of sport, whether it be racing down a mountain or driving the ball up a hill. Whether it be remarkably cold or uncomfortably warm. Whether I am a young father on the slope with my two children or a Medicare-aged gentleman in easy banter with friends comparing the inadequacies in our short games. And I remain grateful, if sometimes frustrated, for the continuing opportunities to explore my mediocrity.
And when the greens turn to white and the thermometer announces it is time, I will take my golf clubs from my car and place them in their corner of the closet. And greet my old companions and tell them of the great things we will soon accomplish on the snow.
Whether it’s golf, mountain biking, camping, hiking, or maybe fishing, we hang up our skis and look forward to the next. Because after all, it's all about the transitions.
The course awaits.