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This place sucks and I think I love it.

“Stand up comedy is a shabby business, made up of shabby fellows like me who cross the country, stay at shabby hotels, and tell jokes they no longer find funny. You show up in a strange town, and next thing you’re gone. Then another town, and another, and another. Then a thousand more. Then another. You’re moving, always moving, like a criminal drifter, getting what you can from a place and getting out. You’re never in one place long enough to experience anything but the shabbiest of love.”

-Norm Macdonald, “Based on a True Story”

I went through a bit of an emotional funk recently and this quote sums it up perfectly. For a bit I lost track of my purpose on the road. For a bit I got lonely. For a bit I felt like an outsider no matter where I went or who I was with. For a bit I felt my depression from long ago trying to crawl back. My performance at a couple events suffered because of it. It’s been a while since I’ve had enough alone time or motivation to write. Luckily for me the couch I slept on last night was short and awkward, so here I am writing as the world around me begins their day. After some meditation and re-centering of my priorities, I feel like my mindset is back on the right track.

I’m in South Philadelphia at the moment, watching cars go by behind the foggy glass of a coffee shop on this dreary morning. There’s a long haired man standing outside who’s had a smile on his face for the entire time I’ve been in here and I love it. Philly has a strange charm that brings a comfortable, nostalgic feeling from my pseudo-hipster years in college. When it comes to humor, art, and fashion, mediocrity and gaudiness have always had a weird appeal to me. The neighborhood I’m in is exactly that. It’s dirty. The buildings are old and almost entirely made of brick. The people are oddly plain and seem to have a humble, friendly demeanor from knowing that they can’t really afford to scare people away. The roads are narrow and jammed bumper to bumper with parked cars from all the free parking, and residents sometimes need to park blocks away just to find a spot to leave their cars.

This place sucks and I think I love it.

I’m here for the Stafford Open this weekend in New Jersey, an A-Tier on a short, wooded track with numerous blue level par 4’s sprinkled in between the no frills par 3’s. With all the talented pros playing here this weekend, it’s going to be a unique challenge to stay focused for all 54 holes of this birdie fest. Practicing the course has been promising, since bagging a Comet for the first time in years I’m throwing more and more finesse backhand shots and I couldn’t be more excited. In 2017 I was nearly a 100% forehand player in the woods no matter the shape of the fairway, so beginning to be able to play holes more optimally from both sides is really exciting and fun for me. I’m in this interesting phase where I’m scoring pretty similarly to last year, but my decision making on the course is growing much more mature. I love the feeling of stepping up to a familiar hole and your gut instinct is much more simple and refined than it was in previous years. It’s one of the beautiful, artistic things about the flying disc. I’m confident that as my skill set and decision-making abilities continue to improve, lower scores will definitely follow and I’ll get to where I want to go as a competitor. It’s been a joy to remain a student of this game and let things naturally evolve how they’re supposed to. I want to keep this going for years to come.

As my first season on tour winds down, I have to begin making decisions I’ve never had to make before. Where am I going to live this offseason? How am I going to make money? What will the 2019 season look like for me? Normally there was never any sort of transition like this in my adult life. Time used to just pass me by, waking up to the same alarm five days a week, begrudgingly getting out of bed and mumbling some sort of self depreciating comment to myself, day in and day out. I didn’t like that.

I like change. I like progress. I like dumping the figurative Lego blocks of life onto the ground and throwing away the instructions. This week will involve me having to make some tough decisions and a couple important phone calls to determine what the off-season and the year ahead will look like for me. Oh, and winning a tournament doesn’t sound too bad either.

Life is good.

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