Thursday, January 30, 2014

Don't look now, but I think this may be a lifestyle

By Kyle O'Neill

First things first, let me introduce myself: my name is Kyle, and I’m addicted to Disc Golf.

Hello Kyle

I realize there are worse things to be addicted to, but it’s tough to argue this point with my wife. There’s no faster way to receive a round of eye rolling than asking “would you rather I be addicted to crack/smack/gambling?!”

That being said, I’m not ashamed of my addiction. I actually hold it as a point of pride. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to share the story of how I got to this point. I would imagine that there are quite a few readers who can relate on some level.

A bit of history. As a youth (I’m old, but that still sounds weird to say out loud), I was very much into team sports such as soccer and basketball. I enjoyed the competition, but I treasured the camaraderie. There was nothing like getting together every afternoon for practice and catching up with my friends. We had a common bond in the sport, but it went beyond that.

As I got older, my body began to revolt against the activities. For some crazy reason, my knees weren’t really down with playing 7 ½ straight hours of basketball. I stopped joining indoor soccer leagues and playing pickup games at the gym, and my overall physical state suffered. In a way, my body still craved the activity, but couldn’t bring itself to attempt to relive former “glory.”

Throughout my life, I’d heard about Disc Golf. I think I may have even had a vague idea of how it’s played and the equipment one might use. But I liken it to when someone asks you if you’ve ever tried edamame. “No, I’ve never tried it, but I’ll totally look into that.” Yeah right.

When a good friend of mine finally got me out on the course, and I hate to be so dramatic, but it was like the clouds parting and the sun shining on my face (groan). Not because we were outdoors and the sun was literally shining on my face, although that had something to do with it. But because I found friends who were secretly hiding the fact that they played Disc Golf (like some sort of horrible addiction!). We now had something we could partake in together that didn’t involve lifting pints at the local watering hole.

It was also something I was moderately good at, and I hadn’t found something that combined these particular aspects in quite some time. Another reason I began to enjoy it so much is because the strangers I met on the course, they were like me! They had relaxed attitudes and didn’t take themselves too seriously. For the most part, they enjoyed a spirited round with some good-natured ribbing to boot.

I started doing research, I got better equipment, and I sought out new and more difficult courses. I discussed Disc Golf with people who didn’t want to hear about it whatsoever, so I found people that did. Sometimes I now catch myself wondering if this is a healthy obsession, but then a colorful piece of plastic or a shiny metal basket catches my eye and it’s quickly forgotten.

I remember those first heady days, where I would smile to myself and realize how lucky I was to have found something that I enjoyed so much, while being with my friends in such beautiful surroundings. I still find myself doing this on occasion, but it’s good to take stock sometimes.

Mostly, I realize that I’ve settled into something of a lifestyle. Will I ever be a professional Disc Golfer? No. Am I okay with that? Absolutely. Will I play this sport for the rest of my life? I certainly hope so, because it keeps me in contact with the friends who truly matter, and I keep meeting more and more every round I play.

8 comments:

  1. Yes, a familiar story Kyle, thank you!

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to read it Paul. Keep an eye out for my next post. :D

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  2. Thanks for reading it Kevin. I think a lot of DGers can relate, as they're mostly just looking for cool people to share their major interest(s) with.

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  3. Love the blog! Totally relatable too! I just wishthere were more courses locally for me

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and giving it a read Bryan. Whereabouts do you live?

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    2. Kyle will stop by and give you a rub-down. Be careful with sharing too much Bryan, I've seen it happen.

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    3. That was one time! I'll never live that down. Anyways, I was going to suggest a site like DGCR to find some good courses in the area, and Jason had to make it dirty.

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