Easy 86.

In that moment, I realized that the achievement was in the progress, not in obtaining the goal.

Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll ever get it right.

I wonder if I’ll ever achieve the goals I’ve set out for myself.

Am I ever going to break 80? Am I ever going to hold a single-digit handicap? Will I ever feel like I hit every shot perfect in a round?

Honestly, some days it feels like I won’t. Like it’s impossible.

Some days it feels like I’m resigned to accept that this is as good as I can possibly be.

I try and try, put my heart and soul into it, and this is as good as it gets. I’m grinding away attempting to nab a particular outcome, and it seems like it just gets further and further away.

Then something silly happens.

I shoot 86 without trying.

I went out, with the intention of just having fun, and I end up with an easy 86.

“86?” you say, ” You’re still 6 shots off!”

The thing is, I remember when it took everything I had to shoot 86.

I remember the first time I broke 85. It took literally everything out of me.

I was grinding hard for that score. My nerves were on edge for the entire second half of that round.

I knew where I was. I knew that that would be my best round ever. I knew how much I would cherish that score.

I was shivering over the shortest of putts. And I wasn’t even close to achieving the original goal I had set for myself.

A few months later, it was like it had never happened. I was right back to where I started and it felt like I would never get close to beating that personal best, let alone break 80.

Then, one good round later, it felt like everything was possible.

86 came easy. Then 84. Then 83.

Somehow though, I always seemed to end up back at 90. The realization that the struggle was real, weighed heavily.

I hadn’t played for almost a month. Life got busy and no matter how badly I wanted to pick up a club, I just hadn’t.

A weekend round with the boys came up. I was itching to get out there. I couldn’t say no.

With what seemed like zero effort, 86 popped up on the scorecard. I hadn’t played, I hadn’t practiced, I had absolutely no expectations.

  1. I was proud. It felt so easy.

In that moment, I realized just how far I’d come.

No, I hadn’t broken 80 and achieved my goal, but I realized just how close I was.

A lot closer than when I was lucky to hit the ball with the clubface.

In that moment, I realized that the achievement was in the progress, not in obtaining the goal. The pursuit of the goal was what gave me the sense of fulfillment I’d been looking for.

It wasn’t the destination. It was the journey.

Now that I’m back to 90 for the time being, I’m not concerned.

I can smell 80 hovering right in front of me.

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