It's how the incomparable Alex Honnold viewed the free-soloing of El Cap, in Yellowstone. Much like you and your loved ones may view that Thanksgiving dinner table tomorrow, full of its sweet and savory treats.
SO MUCH you can take away from this young man - and what may very well be the greatest athletic feat EVER. For your golf, and that other game you play on a regular basis: life.
First course: click on AH looking downwards, up top - and catch a little Robert Palmer tune, to lift you up, before the powerful messages come your way...
Secondly, click on that bird and its neighboring fixins to watch the trailer for the extraordinary film Free Solo, that tells Mr. Honnold's story.
Alex's words when he reached the top of the 3,000 foot granite monolith... not "relieved" - but delighted. You, when you place that ball upon the peg on the 1st tee, during your stroll in the golf park, and when you pluck the nugget out of the 18th hole? Or are you angry, frustrated, disappointed, full of 'shoulds' and 'what ifs?'
Pre T-Day mindset "tips" (just like at Churchill Downs), that'll rock your mental world next time you tee it:
* Remember how downright fortunate you are to even have the opp to play this game. Those fellow humans just looking for a warm meal on Thanksgiving are not.
* After one of those less-than-perfect shots, keep in mind that this game ain't supposed to be easy - otherwise everyone would be good at it - and what would be the fun in that? You want a challenge, or a cakewalk?
* Faced with a 'scary' shot? One where confidence is not quite flooding your mind/body system? I understand. Print and laminate the image just south of here on your screen, and hang it from your golf bag. Take a quick glimpse next time you get the heebie-jeebies; might just infuse you with a splash of courage, grit and inspiration...
"Right now, you're afraid of so many things: strangers, girls, vegetables, falling to your death. That's fine; fear is a perfectly natural part of life. You will always feel fear. But over time you will realize that the only way to truly manage your fears is to broaden your comfort zone.
You will always find purpose in exploring your own limits. Don't let anyone else's opinion rein you in. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks: live your life in the way that you find most fulfilling."
Alex's words as a 33-year-old, penned to his 18-year-old self.
Wow, if that doesn't hit home like a flushed iron shot for us golfers... Broaden. Your. Comfort. Zone. Got it? Or, you can stay mired in mediocrity, pretending you want to improve, yet deathly afraid of taking the first step to do so. Same can be said if you are choosing to hide in your safe, secure and unfulfilled life sit. Time to embrace, and manage, those fears.
And, someone else's opinion reining you in? Re golf swing (the SM splashing trends never end, do they, despite the utter lack of science and experience?)? Maybe how, or even why, you play the game? Or lead your life?
Take a page out of Alex's mom's book, in regards to her son. It's around the 1:45 mark of the trailer:
"I think when he's free soloing is when he feels the most alive. The most... EVERYTHING. How can you even think about taking that away from somebody."
Amen, madame. Merci.
What makes you feel the most alive? Whilst swinging the crooked stick? On those daily sidewalks of life? What fulfills you? Someone, or something, trying to take those away from you? Have you conform to their reality? Perhaps it's time you find something simply irresistible.
Quick side-note: do you think Mr. Honnold's footwear was at all important to his success? Silly question, eh? Just as it is for your performance on the links, boys & girls. Click on our radiant climber above for some offerings from my peeps at Nike Golf.
Coaching & Guidance
I'm here to help. On my home turf at Eugene Country Club, or a golf park near you.
"During all the easy terrain, in the middle, through the Monster and up to the Spire, I was thinking about random stuff—the whole village of people who have supported me on this. I got an email from (friend and climbing partner Conrad Anker) this morning. So I was thinking about Conrad and his whole ethos of ‘be kind, be good, be happy’."
-- Alex Honnold, when asked if he was thinking about anything other than rock climbing during the ascent
Be kind, be good, be happy,
~ CS ~