Heading to the woods

Intentional breaks are usually a good idea.  It’s easy to get overly consumed when you focus on the same thing every single day and stepping back allows for some insight and perspective.  Mary and I are going on our annual week-long camping trip this Tuesday and I am excited to head into the woods one more time; and think that this is happening at a perfect moment for two reasons.

Last year we camped for a week in Yosemite, hiking about 65 miles over 5 days and seeing some amazing things.  This year we’re planning to drive up to Glacier National Park and have a similar adventure.  Between my schedule and her opening a business this summer we haven’t had much decompression time and have both been looking forward to next week for months.

I’ll miss practice, but right now the going is good and sometimes that’s the best time to step away.  The new swing is finally starting to ingrain itself into my brain and make sense on the course, but the old continues to creep in.  I have a feeling that taking a week off and then approaching practice with the mindset of building a deeper feel for the new will be huge in the long run.

I say the going is good perhaps somewhat out of obligation to remain positive, though.  The truth is, I’ve been swimming upstream for the past few months and it’s beginning to take a toll on my overall energy.  It can be surprisingly difficult to maintain constant positivity and keep high energy on a daily basis when the results aren’t quite there and it is hard to remain faithful to the process throughout such a large change.  But it was never meant to be easy and I am finally understanding just how important this change was.  I would be lying if I said that this summer wasn’t the hardest section of the project to date.  It was the first time that I had to take a huge step back before being able to stride forward.

The meat of this particular task is behind me now.  Not that there isn’t a lot of work to do, but I understand it now and there is a ginormous difference between making abstract changes because you are told to do something different and understanding both the why and feel of those changes as well as glimpsing some of the results.

Another reason that I’m glad this next week is off is a potential injury creeping up.  For the past two weeks my right shoulder has been “crunchy” sounding and feeling.  I figured it would go away and was probably caused by the amount of time I have been dedicating to full swings (and the fact that now a lot of my range work has to happen on mats, which I am reading about and realizing that they need to be avoided so prevent other injuries), but the last two nights I haven’t really been able to sleep well on either of my sides due to shoulder pain and now I am getting some weakness in my right side when utilizing that joint.

From most of the literature I have read about golf shoulder injuries it is inflammation from overuse that can lead to rotator cuff tears if not rested properly.  I simply cannot afford to tear something and go through an extensive rehab and the first step of treatment is to take 7-10 days off.  If it doesn’t get better after that then there may be a small tear and some more attention.  I am almost certain that it is early enough to catch it here and the shoulder will completely heal over the week off.

It’s good to take some time away to rest both physically and mentally.  Then we attack with double force and intent.

To kick off this section of respite, I’m heading to the Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy show tonight.  Here’s one of his earlier songs from about 1994:

I’d be riding horses if they let me
Sleep outside at night and not take fright
I would ride the reigns and never worry
I would disappear into the night

Everybody needs an angel
But here’s that devil by my side
Deaths head ring upon his finger
Poor boy hanging on the light

They’ll be drawing straws inside the courtroom
As the sudden twilight turns to black
Torches burn into the sad eyes
On the wrong side of the track
Make those horses jump through hoops of flames
They won’t kick and they won’t scream
Let the good lord do the driving
Poor boy sinking in the stream

I can smell the camp-fires burning
But I’ll go out walking on my own
By day and night the world keeps turning
Frightened people hiding in their homes

Everybody needs an angel
But here’s that devil by my side
Deaths head ring upon his finger
Poor boy hanging on the light

Should be a great show.  I was in a music video with him about 6 years ago, but that’s another story altogether.

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