Lessons Learnt From A Golfer's Elbow
How I Injured Myself While Taking a Clumsy Swing.
The other day, while midway to the eighth hole at our golf course, the ball landed near a stone outcrop in the field. Though something was telling me not to take a swing at the ball from that lay, nevertheless I took a swipe. After contacting the ball, the club head drove into the rock outcrop while my swing was on its “finish” journey. The lower part of the right hand held on to the club firmly, but the upper part was loose, resulting in the forearm bone driving into the upper arm. I was in immense pain immediately afterwards, but somehow managed to finish the course and drive back home.
Lessons Learnt From All This.
So what did I learn from this injury and the treatment that followed?
1. Never be overconfident in whatever you do.
I could have easily removed the ball away from the lay. But no, confident that i was that my swing would not bring the club head anywhere near the outcrop at all, I never imagined that i would end up with this sort of an accident. A temporary fuzziness envelops logic in such situations, and makes an otherwise mature and intelligent thinker and strategist into a dough mix of ineptitude, foolhardiness and clumsiness. I suffered two straight weeks for my wrong decision, a time period that I could have done so much more.
2. Try to be patient.
Had I been sufficiently patient and weighed the pros and cons before taking that swing, I wouldn’t have had to face a situation like this. Patience is the necessity that needs to be ingrained within the mind. Without that, situations like these would be repeated so often that any attempts at success would be marginalized and lost.
3. Try and be accountable.
There is no point in repenting now about the shot I took. I blame myself squarely for that. In a larger context, if we are accountable to ourselves on whatever we do, we can possibly avoid many unfavorable situations. We learn from mistakes. The secret is to avoid repeating these mistakes time and again, keeping track of earlier experiences always in mind. I need to take the responsibility of whatever I do, and base my action on prior failure or success as the case may be.
4. A bit of humility can take us far beyond.
I had thought I had figured it all out in my mind when I took the shot. I never understood the basic essence of the game-the necessity to be humble. A bit of humility can indeed take us places.
5. Tolerance and Discipline.
I needed to practice my swings carefully to get the correct trajectory every time. Every pro player spends a considerable amount of effort and time towards practicing their games. They try and learn the exact impact required on the ball to carry it a predetermined distance, the angle of impact on the ball to make it land at the exact spot, or the bend of the club head to give the ball the desired flight to avoid a roll and make it drop dead at any point. The game also teaches tolerance through ranking of players with their handicap levels. Discipline and tolerance are equally important to live a successful life in the real world, outside the game arena.
So after all this, have I learnt anything? I do not know since I haven’t faced a similar situation after that. If I do, will all the above flash through my mind in a jiffy? Patience, tolerance, humility, accountability and the like? I hope so, at the expense of incurring an injured elbow again due to foolhardiness, this time perhaps even worse with an already injured arm predisposed to greater pain with repetitive injuries.
© 2014 Dip Mtra