Waking up in the pitch black, to the sound of rain pounding hard against the windows is never a good thing. My body, my mind and my spirit were all telling me that they needed more sleep and that this interruption was unjust and unwelcome … very unwelcome. It took me several minutes to gather myself, and adjust to these unfamiliar surroundings. As I stumbled across the room, I located a wall and began the arduous task that I have faced so many times before.
For what seemed like an eternity, I scrambled … up and down, high and low, stretching, straining, digging deep into the depths of my already strained senses, searching for something that had to be as close as my fingertips, but yet somehow seemed miles away. I was beginning to lose hope when finally a light from heaven burst into the darkness and illuminated this pathetic and dismal scene. OK it was actually a fluorescent light and it didn’t really “burst” into the darkness because one of the ballasts is bad, but the point is this … I had found the bathroom light switch!
The fears of a tornado, monsoon or hurricane had been relieved. It was raining and it was cold, but there was no imminent danger to my family or my home. Sarasota, Florida, does not usually see temperatures in the 40’s, but it was becoming obvious that it was going to be one of those days. It didn’t take long after that to get myself dressed, put together and out of the house. Ibuprofen was calling my name, and although I was running late, I took a minute to answer that call. The cold air and raindrops knifed at my face as I made my way to the car. There was not one spec of light to be seen and although I knew the sunrise was coming, the night seemed to be holding on with everything it had. I had to go. I had no choice. Now was the time and if I didn’t leave that instant, it would be too late.
You see, my tee time was at seven o’clock. (Dum Dum Dum … Insert dramatic theme music here)
My wife will never understand the difficulties I am willing to endure and the sacrifices I will make in order to make my tee time. Frankly, I can’t really understand it either. As I pulled into the parking lot at the Waterleafe Golf & River Club, I remember being relieved to see that I was the first one there, and was only slightly disturbed at the realization that I was the ONLY one there.
Three hours and 18 holes later, I had no regrets. There’s just something about the game of golf that truly motivates and inspires me. As I sat back with my buddy chowing on a wonderful chicken Caesar salad and side of cheese fries, I found that we weren’t talking about the wind, the rain, the cold or the conditions. We were talking about the punch shot I hit on the 4th hole and the 20 footer he sunk on 11. Golf brings out the optimist in me and at the conclusion of every adventure, I just can’t wait to get back on the links!