Yesterday I had my first in-water therapy session for my back. I’m a little stiff today. Following a recent MRI I was diagnosed with arthritis, narrowing of the gaps between the vertebrae and a couple of discs slightly bulging. Somewhere in there a nerve pinches once in awhile and puts me down with massive back spasms and insane stabbing pain.
My latest back doc recommended aquatic therapy for the back, to strengthen my core and help relieve some pressure on the lower vertebrae. It was an interesting session. I was in a small pool with a moving floor. The doc had me do core exercises like walking in the water, forward, backward, sideways. He even turned on jets to provide more resistance. I also did some kind of water weightlifting and resistance training.
At the end I did a relaxation session where I floated vertically to let gravity help the back loosen. It was not a difficult session and I had to remind the doc that when my back isn’t tweaked, I’m pretty much 95% and no pain. That said I can have some stiffness in the morning or after sitting for a while. The doc told me I did great and can “take a lot more” than most people, so he will be working me harder in the next session. Bring it on.
He also said if I tweak the back to call or text him and get in the water right away. He says some water therapy can get rid of the spasms quickly. I have my doubts on that, but the next time I tweak it I’ll be giving that a shot.
Greetings from Singapore. As mentioned a in the previous post, a family emergency has brought me here. Things are going well and according to plan so all is good on that front at this point. I hope to return home Thursday or Friday.
For breakfast I asked the hotel if they had pimento cheese sammiches but this was as close as they could get.
I do have some Masters Tournament posts coming down the pipe so stay tuned.
My 3-year-old’s clubs as seen this morning, as one inch diameter snowflakes fell in the back yard.
Note: Above is a Twitter post embedded. Follow me! Also, the cover pic of the deep snow is a HOG “file photo.” There’s only an inch or so on the ground right now.
The end of the season? Perhaps. Looking back over my yearly golf records the season’s last round is usually in the first week of December. The first spring round usually March. I won’t cry a river of tears if it is the last of 2015. I’ve struggled this year and look forward to a mental break, and coming back fresh in the spring.
Then again, the temps should reach the 50’s by the weekend….
My golf game has suffered this year. That’s what having a 2-year-old son, a lovely bride, several jobs, a new hobby (hopefully business) passion, and about 20 websites will do. For many years I’ve managed to be able to squeeze in four rounds of golf per week during golf season here in northern Utah. This is about half the year. At four rounds per week I can get enough reps (me and Tiger) in to get my handicap to around the one range.
Lately though, I’ve been at one nine hole round and one 18 hole round per week. Yes, cry me a river. First world problems. No need to comment.
With that little play or practice I can’t expect to play at the highest level. Today I played 18 holes and tried to keep that in mind, not getting too mad if I didn’t hit as many solid shots as normal or score as well as I want to. I shot five over with six bogeys and one birdie. My short game, especially with so little practice, is a sieve of leaked strokes. I think that’s pretty average and what I can expect from my ability level with not many reps.
This brings up a point I’ve talked about previously, which is whether I can find enjoyment in the game if I’m not able to play at the level I want to. Golf takes a lot of time, money, practice, resources… Knowing these things, and knowing I likely will not improve makes me ponder if it is worth continuing. Today I enjoyed playing with a couple of long time pals, and was into that more than counting strokes.
Strangely, I’m looking forward to winter here. That’s a first. Never happened before. I plan to use the time off from golf to really evaluate what I get from the game, what I want from it, and what it keeps me from doing or achieving. Come spring perhaps I will have reached some conclusions and have a sense of direction, and better place golf (or not) in my life.
I may not have typed all this drivel if I would have just made a couple more birdies today…
Yesterday (a Monday) I had a couple of hours to spend with my little guy, a 2.5 year old full of energy who loves putting with his plastic Little Tikes putter. I usually go to my more upscale course, but this time I decided we would visit the “neighborhood” course. This course is a lower end executive type course, a par-68 with short holes, a super modest pro shop, and a crowd more unique and authentic than I could have imagined.
The vibe of this place is super casual. No collared shirts required. Cargo shorts okay. In fact, I don’t think they’d care if you didn’t even wear a shirt as long as you were there.
Junior Golf Lessons
My boy and I were putting for a while. A group of kids started converging for what obviously was a group junior golf lesson. As it turned out I actually knew, and had had some previous lessons from one of the instructors. It was great to watch these kids on the range and on the putting green learning the golf swing and the game.
The very working class parents sat in chairs under the shade of a big tree watching their kids hit balls. There was a UPS guy, moms and dads of all types… All this while a guy on a golf cart was playing guitar, harmonica, and singing. More on the live entertainment later (really, keep reading). What a cool scene.
Guitarist in cart on left while mom walks son to junior golf lessons…
My boy and I started to get quite hot and I remembered I left some bottled water in the car. So we went back to the car for a drink. While we were standing by the car I noticed a man carrying a woman in his arms from the driving range, while escorted by two other people. The man set the lady down in the shade and they were very concerned about her. I thought maybe it was a heart attack or heat stroke until I saw them icing and attending to the left side of her jaw. She’d obviously been hit by a club. What a bummer and that’s certainly a big point about golf injuries. Most golf injuries are not from players being hit by golf balls. Rather, the majority of golf injuries are the result of someone getting hit by a club during someone’s practice swing.
Takes Strokes Off Golf Lessons!
Breathless Live Entertainment
My boy and I went back to the practice green and hit a bunch more putts, then he took his plastic putter to the range stalls and started taking his first full swings. He had been watching those kids and was mimicking them. It was cool to see and he was knocking real golf balls a good 20 yards with a plastic putter. While he was hitting I thought I’d say hello to the guitar player.
As a former professional musician who made a living for 25 years playing music, I’m always interested and want to say hello to other musicians. I thought it was pretty cool a guitar player would bring his guitar and perform for the people at the course. How cool to sit on a golf cart and play guitar! He was very quiet and I could hardly make out what he was playing or singing from more than 5-10 feet away though.
Me: “Can you play Flight of the Bumble Bee?”
When I got close enough to talk to the guitarist and ask his permission to take a photo, I realized he was on oxygen. That explained the quiet vocals.
I grabbed my boy and brought him over to listen to the music when I realized something odd. He was capoed up about 5-6 frets, using no pick, and not really doing anything with his left hand other than muting some of the strings randomly. It only took me a few seconds to realize that this guitarist was not playing any chords at all and was making up lyrics which he talk-sang as he chicken-plucked.
Bless this guy. He didn’t know how to play guitar or sing, but it was still cool. Nobody noticed because he was so quiet.
It will not soon forget my odd Monday evening at the “neighborhood” course. It was authentic, tragic, entertaining, heartwarming, and breathtaking all at the same time.