“My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.” -Hank Aaron
On the day that we missed my son’s golf practice on account of making a U-turn to get my cell phone that I forgot at home, my son learned a valuable golf lesson.
Tardiness in not acceptable in my son’s golf program. “If you’re playing in a tournament and your late, who knows what happens? Right….you can’t play,” were the words given during the program introduction meeting that let us know “Be on time.”
So with those words embedded in my memory and remembering the parent and child who were turned away from a class because they arrived to class 15 minutes late, I got off at the next exit, looped around and decided “We’ll just go to the driving range that we went to last week.”
At the golf course, I got out of the car with book in hand expecting to read a chapter of “Twitter for Dummies” in the same scenario that I’d experienced on our previous visit, a view of Stone Mountain in front of us, a view of the lake behind us and peace and quiet all around.
Instead, there was a tennis tournament going on from which I could hear cheers and applauses from over the boundary of bushes. There were men dressed in khaki shorts and collared shirts, chattering as the drove by in their golf carts. And unlike before, there were other golfers on the driving range, one whom I will remember for a long time.
After hitting about 15 balls, the gentleman who was practicing next to my son, kindly offered him a basket of golf balls that had been left behind. My son accepted and continued practicing, hitting some, missing some.
When I heard the gentleman ask my son, “What’s your target?” I knew that, despite the fact that I had lowered my expectations of having peaceful reading time to having a quiet moment to enjoy the view of the mountain, we were in the right place at the right time.
In addition to the extra balls, the gentleman gave my son tips on how to grip his club, how to switch irons during his practices and he offered him words of encouragement. “Keep swinging, just keep swinging, you’ll find your rhythm,” were his final words before he wiped his clubs, packed them and left. His words reminded me of the phrase that I have so often said to myself when I have missed life’s target, “Keep it movin’, keep it movin’.”
My son continued practicing, still hitting some and missing some. And finally, down to the last four balls, he found his rhythm.