Note: This is part 13 in a series of posts which make up the chapters of a tongue-in-cheek look at the game of disc golf and why we love it so much, despite the lack of reciprocated affection. It is not actually intended to improve your game…unless it does…in which case we’re happy to take the credit.
Chapter 13 – Maintaining Relationships Outside of Disc Golf
As you find yourself magnetically drawn to disc golf at every free moment, throwing plastic around the wonderfully diverse terrain of courses near and far, you might want to take a minute (between rounds, of course) to consider the important people in your life who do not play disc golf. If you can’t think of any such person in your life, then I’m uncertain whether you are blessed, or cursed. Most likely, there is somebody you love who is elsewhere, wondering where you are…wondering what you’re doing…wondering if you’ll be home for dinner…wondering if you love them anymore…and wondering if it’s worth the wait.
Let’s assume that this non-disc-golf relationship is important to you. Perhaps it is a wife, husband, or significant other. Or perhaps it is a mother, father, or longtime friend. Or perhaps it is a sadly neglected and starving pet. As much as you love disc golf, you can’t let a game become the catalyst for the destruction of every other important relationship in your life.
I know, it’s hard to believe, but some people can actually have other interests and pastimes. As much as you want to include them in your disc golf excursions and adventures, you’ll find that they often are uninterested. I tried to get my wife and all of my children interested in disc golf, but only my one son has been converted, and he started playing on a whim the same time that I did. The others simply weren’t interested, except in fleeting moments when appropriate bribes were offered as incentive.
I remember playing with a good friend once. He looked at me sideways while I bemoaned my failure to interest my wife in joining me for casual rounds.
“What? Are you crazy? Why would you want your wife to play? I play disc golf to get away from my wife and kids! It’s MY time!”
I was a bit shocked at first. But after more consideration, I was somewhat impressed by his ability to separate his disc golf life from his family life. He had severed them so cleanly in his mind that they could no longer occupy the same space. Maybe that was the solution to ridding myself of guilt. It wasn’t a matter of unwillingly and sadly excluding my family from disc golf– it is a matter of intentionally escaping the obligations and oppressive ties to my loved ones! Wait…what am I saying?
I still can’t help but wish that everybody and everything that I love could fit into the same space and time. Imagine the euphoria of having the people you most care about joined together with you in addictive matrimony to the game you love. Such heaven! Or at least, all guilt for negligence of one or the other would be washed away!
I read a zen-like quote about disc golf which basically said that we should leave all of our baggage in the car, because on the course it would be a distraction. Does that mean that I need to leave my worries about familial neglect in the car so that I can play a better round? I certainly know that I possess such baggage, because every time I tee off on the next hole I’m worrying about that dinner that was lovingly prepared for me that is now getting cold. I’m imagining the sadness that my loved ones are feeling in my absence. I’m wondering if I’d approve of the replacement parent that my children might have adopted by now. I’m trying to remember if I fed the parakeets this morning, or yesterday, or any time during the last week. It’s all baggage, right? Leave it in the car!
I believe that the true solution to the conundrum of finding the time to play disc golf and to interact with the rest of the non-disc-golf world comes with balance. Face it– disc golf is taking you away from home for long stretches of time. There needs to be a more equal dedication between home and the course. So, bring the course home! Find a way to purchase as many portable baskets as possible and place them in your yard. That way you’re never too far away to hear the call of “dinner’s ready!” You’ll never miss the desperate cry for help with math homework. Plus, your dog knows where to find you and can chew up your discs if you neglect their instinctual needs. Problem solved!
“Hey, honey. I was thinking it would be really romantic if we lit a few candles tonight, set them out in the yard, snuggled up under the stars, and I could practice my putting. What do you think?”
Chapter 1 – Why Do We Play?
Chapter 2 – Be the Basket / Be the Disc
Chapter 3 – It’s Always the Disc’s Fault
Chapter 4 – Achieving True Disc Lust
Chapter 5 – The Need for Companionship
Chapter 6 – Rules of Communication
Chapter 7 – Keeping Score
Chapter 8 – Disc Golf and Sports Injuries
Chapter 9 – Disc Prejudice and Brand Elitism
Chapter 10 – Golf with Frisbees
Chapter 11 – Properly Marking Your Disc
Chapter 12 – Crash Course Course Design
Chapter 13– Maintaining Relationships Outside of Disc Golf
Chapter 14 – How to Carry Your Plastic
Chapter 15 – Are You Ready for Tournament Play?
Chapter 16 – Pros are People Too
Chapter 17 – Loving the Hazards
Chapter 18 – Coping With Loss