The golf shop guy told us all about a golfer friend of his who typically shoots in the 70’s (I am told that is a good thing) and he has cerebral palsy. While he is talking, Sarah Kate is working hard to maintain standing balance and managing to out-putt her daddy on the little practice area in the store. Now, granted, I’m sure it’s probably a little bit easier for little kids to putt in a small area like that, but I was still impressed. Just standing still is tough for her, and to be able to stand still and swing a club was downright amazing.
Sarah Kate finished three weeks of intensive physical therapy on Friday and got a brand new bike – a Specialized Hotrock Girls Model, white with hot pink handles and a basket on the front with daisies. She’s so proud of her new bike that she told everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) about it this morning at church. The bike is a bit of a challenge for her stiff legs, but with some toe clips and a little encouragement she should be able to start riding it for real before long.
The big epiphany for us this weekend, though, was a complete surprise for all three of us. We’re moving, and Mr. Andi already figured out in two weeks of working at his new job that he is going to be playing a lot more golf, whether he likes it or not (fortunately, he does like it). His golf clubs are closing in on two decades of life, and they were a pretty basic set even back when they were new. The three of us (actually four – Daisy went, too) headed out bright and early on Saturday morning to see what kind of dough we could spend on a bag of sticks (I’ll stick to running, thank-you-very-much). We went to a local golf shop – part of our continuing quest to avoid the Big Box stores and patronize the locals (part of the reason we ended up with a Specialized bike instead of a Huffy, but I digress).
Long story short…we left Golf Zone with a new set of clubs for Mr. Andi and a 5-Wood for Sarah Kate (free-of-charge!) She and Mr. Andi teed up at our driving range (a.k.a., the vacant lot across the street) and she hit to her heart’s content, standing for long periods of time while he fetched her balls and tees. It dawned on us that the perfect sport for her might be golf – it’s low impact, it requires you to focus on your balance, and there’s no running or jumping required. Best of all, she seemed to really enjoy it. She probably won’t ever have a “textbook” swing, but if she decides she wants to keep playing, she’ll find a workaround like she’s done all of her life when it came to tackling physical challenges.
We all have a handicap, and I’m not talking about golf scores. Some of us are paralyzed by shyness, some by fear of public speaking. Some people suffer from visible illnesses or disabilities, while others face mental illness or depression. For many of us, our handicaps are not permanent, but transient in nature, but they prevent us from reaching our full potential, just the same. We don’t have to live perfect lives or achieve perfection in the things we do, but we do need to keep moving forward and find our workaround for our personal handicaps.
So, what’s your handicap?