I’m learning to play golf.
My CrossFit days are now over (although I still weight train) as my 44-year-old, perimenopausal body doesn’t like the impact and stress it places on me.
Some of you will know that we, as a family, love to holiday in North East Scotland. There are some of the finest links courses in the country right on our doorstep up there – although I think the Royal Dornoch is probably a stretch too far for me at the moment!
We thought that golf would be something that Mr M and I could do with our two boys.
We took the kids down to see Elliott at Invictus Golf in Ripponden for them to start lessons. They’re now a couple of months in, and they love it!
With a Scottish father and holidaying in Scotland since he was a young lad, Mr M has grown up ‘playing’ golf and, at 6ft 1, can undoubtedly whack the ball a very long way. The problem is, which direction the ball travels is anyone’s guess.
Let’s put it this way: if you’re within a 200-yard radius of him when he tee’s off, you’re fair game.
I also grew up with golf, with a Grandad who played golf for the West Yorkshire Police Team and a Dad who played with him. Some of my earliest memories are of being at the park with my Grandad and his dog, Cindy, as he practised his chipping. He also used to lay a cup on its side in his living room and practice putting it into it. I used to do it with him.
So, Rory and I decided to have some lessons too – and I love it!
Maybe it’s the physio in me: golf relies on perfect biomechanics and body synergy, being repeated time after time. Muscle memory needs to be strong. I love the analysis of the movement patterns. For example, rotating the knuckles down during the back swing changes the direction of the face of the club and ultimately controls which direction the ball travels. I’m a physio nerd 🤓.
Anyway, it’s going well. The Top distance for me with the seven iron is 125 yards and the driver 153 yards. Not too bad for a beginner. Elliott has worked his magic with Mr M, too, and he is actually keeping the ball (mostly) on the fairway.
The main thing, though, is that it’s fun. It’s great to do something new with Mr M and something we can do with the kids – anything to get them off the screens and outside eventually can only be good.
Learning new skills goes beyond acquiring knowledge – it positively impacts mental health, develops you physically, and introduces you to a new social group.
So, with New Year just around the corner, what new skill will you learn?
Please don’t restart the old boring things you’ve started before and stopped doing. Why would you enjoy them now if you didn’t enjoy them then?
To make permanent changes and form good habits, you have to stick to whatever it is you want to do. Willpower will get you so far, but willpower isn’t enough if you don’t love the thing, and you’ll stop. It’s the same reason why most diets fail and why the ram-packed gyms in January are empty by March.
Make 2024 the year of trying new things.