It ended up being a much more emotional day than I ever expected when my alarm went off at 5:20am. I received the amazing news on Tuesday that I had been selected to represent Washington in the very last USGA Women’s State Team Competition! The past two years has been a continual battle towards making this team filled with highs, lows and the never-ending mission to play my best golf. So why on earth was today so tough?…..
Last week I played in the USGA Women’s Mid Am qualifier and managed to snag one of the three spots. The hard part about this qualifier is that I knew the likelihood of me actually going was small if I qualified. With my positioning on the State Team list and a lot of changes going on with my business as well as Seattle U coming back into season, it was just going to be too much. So while I was excited to earn a spot, this put me in a tough position to figure out what was best for me, my business and my responsibilities.
This right here is the reality of Mid-Am golf.
I’m asked all the time what mid-am means, and the easy answer is anyone above the age of 25.
But here’s the truth: A mid-am is someone who loves the game, played it at a high level until the day they started working full time and then began trying to balance a life of wanting to compete, but needing to focus on a career.
My mid-am career really didn’t begin until 2011 when my very supportive fiance (now husband), encouraged me to play in the USGA Mid-Am qualifier. Two play off holes later I was booking a flight across the country to venture out to the biggest tournament I had ever played in. The next thing you know I found myself going to the 18th hole in the round of 16 against the tournament medalist. And that is where my inner drive to compete returned and hasn’t left.
Since that tournament, I have experienced more through the game of golf than I ever thought imaginable. But there is always a price both literally and figuratively when making the decision to compete. Time away from my husband, away from work, lost income, finding someone to watch my dog, needing to pay a mortgage, the cost of travel, oh and the biggest issue, when you work 60 plus hours a week it’s pretty hard to keep your game at a high level.
So this morning I was faced with a problem, State Team and the Mid-Am are back to back right in the heart of my husband traveling, work being busy and my college coaching duties returning. In a perfect world I would do both and not think twice about it, but this year I knew it would be impossible. But it wasn’t until I picked the phone up this morning to let the USGA know I was withdrawing from the Mid-Am that emotions got the best of me. This is the very last year of State Team and representing my home state means so much so the decision between which event was easy. The hardest part was admitting to myself that I am not superwoman, nor am I at a place in life where I can just take off for weeks at a time playing golf tournaments to my hearts content.
For those wondering what it’s like to compete as a Mid-Am, this is it. And I have never felt it more than I do right now.
But I am thankful everyday to have the ability to compete as much as I do and have opportunities like the one coming up in a few weeks where I will join teams from all over the country coming together for one last time with a mutual love of golf. This feeling of gratitude is something I will hold onto for a long time, and I will do my best to savor every swing, missed putt, birdie, smoked drive, snap hooked iron…..pretty much whatever the game throws at me, I’m going to smile.