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A Goldfish in an Ocean of Sharks

I’ll get this little update out of the way first. I’m in Nashville now. After playing a couple events in Kentucky I decided to “treat myself” last night and get a cheap hotel to get a good nights sleep and a hot shower. Unfortunately the hotel might’ve been a bit too cheap, as I was wide awake all night after having my door and windows banged on every hour by some suspicious looking individuals. Eventually the police showed up and arrested them right in front of my door, which was great late night entertainment that I got to watch through the peephole (it sounded drug related from the little eavesdropping I did). I’m in a seemingly better neighborhood today, drinking coffee and hoping the caffeine will help compensate for my lack of sleep. Nonetheless, it’s still a much better Monday than sitting at my office job, desperately waiting for the weekend.

I’ve definitely been a bit slow on the writing side recently and I need to change that. I love to write, it’s become one of the only outlets that truly allows me to express myself and organize my predictably unpredictable whirlwind of thoughts and ideas. When I ponder the reason why I’ve subconsciously retreated from this element of my newfound lifestyle I’ve come to realize that I’ve been accidentally applying some leftover coping mechanisms from my younger years dealing with severe anxiety and depression. When something overwhelms me I’m naturally inclined to hide in my shell and play dead rather than list out the steps it’ll take to get back to a peaceful state of mind. I’ll neglect messages from friends and family, halt all progress on projects and ideas, and essentially try to find things to waste my time and distract myself from facing my obstacles head on. The act of doing this just makes me feel worse and the cycle continues.


So, what I’m saying is despite all the “freedom” I now have, I still feel overwhelmed by something and it’s causing me to not use my time how I’d tell people I want to be using it. I’m starting to realize what it is and the solitude I have today is exactly what I need to re-focus my goals and priorities. The thing that’s caused me to retreat is the fact that I can no longer consider myself “good” at this game. In Illinois I’m loved and respected by so many good people and players. I've proven myself to be a reputable name in my home state. It allows me to make a greater impact on people and it feels amazing. Out on tour, on the big stages I’m nothing more than a goldfish in an ocean full of sharks. The respect I get is minimal (at least in my eyes). I’ve made some amazing friends, but I want more than that. I want to be a shark, not a goldfish. I want to be a threat every weekend. Despite all the free time this lifestyle gives me, I’m still getting beat by the same people every weekend. When I look back over the shots I threw at a certain event I’m baffled at careless mistakes I made. Mistakes that, if eliminated, would make me a legitimate contender at every event. Mistakes that keep me from getting where I want to be in this sport. I’m so close.

It’s easy to say that I’m playing “good enough” to stay on the road for a long while, but I think this mindset is what’s been holding me back. Recently I've been finding myself caring too much about round ratings and comparing my personal progress to that of others, thinking that for some reason if I maintain my status as a “scratch golfer” I’ll stay relevant in the eyes of other people, no matter where I finish each weekend. I always preach that labeling your play as "good" or "bad" is irrelevant and can be destructive, but I'm starting to find myself doing exactly that as of late. None of that garbage matters, it only distracts me from working harder towards what I really want. If someone asked me to write down my current life goals on paper right now, I would write these three:

1) Become a contender to win at every event I enter.

2) Fully buy in to this lifestyle, intending to make a living with something frisbee related for the rest of my life.

3) Connect with as many people as possible who are even more on fire for their profession or hobby than I am.

I know what needs to be done to achieve all three of those but I don’t think I’ve fully embodied the persistence needed to get there as quickly as I’d like. It's time to refocus. After last week’s mediocre performance in Louisville a new fire has definitely been lit. It’s now my job to keep it burning. The Music City Open is next weekend on 3 gorgeous courses and I'm beyond excited. Life is good :)

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