Ok, tonight I’m going to go somewhere on the blog that I haven’t been before. And that’s sharing with you all a little more of my story and going beyond just the workouts and golf. It’s so easy on here just to put out information, but I realized that I haven’t really shared my back story and how I got to where I am today.
There’s quite a few things I’ve been through in my life that have lead me to where I am, but something I rarely ever talk about is why I’ve ended up as the injured mess I am most days. Yesterday I talked a little about my residual car accident injuries, and yes, those have definitely been the more recent additions to the list. But in reality, this all started back in college, maybe even a few years before when I developed an addiction to exercise. I know I know, how could that be bad? Well, that’s the tough part with this particular disorder. No one will ever question your behavior when you exercise so it’s hard to ever get help. And at the root of the issue is someone that was desperately seeking control over their life and someone that was really unhappy with themselves.
Yes, that was me throughout college. I used exercise as a way to deal with the unrest I felt all around me. To those on the outside, I had perfect grades, volunteered, didn’t party or drink, worked hard in they gym and on the golf course, I basically created an illusion of perfection. But, what was really going on is a complete breakdown in self belief. The one place in my life where I wanted to see success was on the golf course, and I just wasn’t getting it there. So to deal with it I turned to exercise to make myself feel better and in a way because it was the only way for me to feel in control.
To give you an idea, I was doing 2 a days, sometimes 3. Running 60 plus miles a week and lifting weights in the gym. Every time we travelled for a golf trip, I got up early and ran. One time in particular, we had to leave pretty early for an event and I remember waking up at 4am and going for a run in 10 degree weather on nothing but ice. It’s amazing how something that is supposed to help you feel empowered, just left me feeling completely weak. And the weaker I felt, the more I exercised. That’s when the injuries began to slowly creep in.
The breaking point for me was when my college coach sat me down after my junior year after I missed traveling to the conference tournament due to shoulder pain. He said the words to me that have stuck with me every day since “I’m proud of you for being able to go to sleep at night knowing the best you will ever be is average.”
Just writing these words down for the first time, it feels like a dagger to my chest. At the time I was working so hard in all areas of my life to be the best, but at the end of the day I was falling short on the golf course. The reason my golf game was declining was because my body was in a constant state of fatigue and injury due to too much exercise. And for the first time, here was someone telling me that I was no good enough and I had to face the truth. Who was he to tell me I was just average? That I could never be more than that? How did he know what I was even capable of? Those were the questions going through my head.
But the answer to everything was that I had to face the facts, I had literally destroyed my body trying to achieve perfection and control. The more I didn’t achieve that on the golf course, the worse is got in the gym. And that was the day I knew I couldn’t live this way anymore. I had to let go of the control and be ok with whatever would happen as a result.
I will write more about the specifics of that on another day because that’s a whole other story, but I can tell you that allowing yourself to just be ok is really difficult and something that I may have to work on for the rest of my life. What really happened though is that I decided I needed to be a coach that day and take what I’ve been through and help others. And every day since I have worked to make an impact on those around me and have been so blessed to have the opportunities to be a part of so many peoples lives both in the gym and on the golf course.
I would love to hear from you if you’ve been through a similar experience. Sometimes it feels weird to talk about this subject because I feel like it will just be laughed off. What’s so wrong with over exercising? As I sit here tonight dealing with one of the most painful flare ups I’ve had in over a year, I wish so much I could go back and make better decisions. But I also realize that if I had not been through those dark moments, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Goodnight friends, S