This is the mantra of my golf buddy. He says “I want to be swinging the same at the end of my round as I was at the beginning.” The first time he said this it immediately occurred to me that of course, he was right. More significantly, I realized that his thought process was a lot healthier than mine. I mean, I was probably concentrating more on when and where along the course I could get a drink than I was about what club to use.
I find that in the last ten years I have given up on other things that I really enjoy as well. I like to shoot sporting clays. I don’t have the worlds greatest eye-hand coordination anyways, the reason I was always on the offensive line and in the scrum, but I noticed that on days following a whiskey night, my scores were poor. This was my norm so usually, my scores were poor. And, not surprisingly I noticed my scores go up when I’d been sober for a day or two. Now, for most people, this introspective gift would result in more sober days of good shooting. But to me, this turned in to anxiety about upcoming days at the range and eventually giving up the sporting clays course and the good friends and good times that went with it.
I like to bird hunt. I have a beautiful hunting dog. She’s high energy and lives to get out in the woods. I used to get her out 4 or 5 times a week for a nice run. Yesterday I took her for a run for the first time since our last hunting trip last fall. When we got back to the house she slept on her bed like an infant in a crib for the rest of the day. She and I were both a lot better off when we got back than before we left. Why did I let that get away? I quit walking with her because I would have a drink when I get home from work most days, then I would have another. At that point I would not feel like walking. Even if I felt like leaving the house, I would not go because the booze made my heart beat faster and my lungs feel spongy. Again, Why not reverse the chronology? Go for a walk and then have a drink. Duh.
I like to play hockey and I love alpine skiing. Because of my lifestyle, I have become too fat to do either. I’m afraid of getting hurt if I fall. I’ve tried to lose weight on more occasions than I’ve tried to quit drinking. Rarely at the same time. It’s impossible to lose weight and drink heavily at the same time. Which have I chosen? The wrong one.
And thus the cycle perpetuates. Until now as I will adopt my pal’s mantra: “alcohol is not a performance enhancing drug.”