Maintaining is better than needing to completely overhaul

It’s been nearly a month since the TrackMan unit arrived and I am happy to say that everything is finally up and running and ready to hit the range tomorrow.  Quite a bit of road blocks presented themselves along the way, and it was a comedy of errors in trying to figure out the best machine to put the software on, but all the kinks are finally worked out and I’m excited to get it cranked up. I hope to have a combine score posted soon as well as some concrete swing numbers and data.  This is an exciting new step in the scientific aspect of The Dan Plan and I know that there are a number of stat people ready for the info to start coming it.

In other news, my teeth are pretty good.  How’s that for a segue?

I went to the dentist for the first time in 11 years last week and to my surprise there are no cavities.  But, the place I went to was like the Jiffy-Lube of dental practices (they offered a $19 x-ray and exam to get new customers in the door then go for the up-sale) and they wanted to do a $650 deep cleaning.  I don’t know anything about dentistry, and the doc at that practice had me worried that I needed some massive procedure done in order to keep my teeth from falling out.  Luckily, a lot of dentists golf and I happened to play with a couple over the week since then who assured me that there was nothing ominous looming in my mouth.  So, I scheduled another appointment with a dentist that I met through The Dan Plan and he examined my x-rays and mouth and feels confident that if I normalize my cleanings (twice a year instead of once every 11 years) that all will be fine.

There is a point to this, I promise.  A couple of points, actually.

First off: always get a second opinion if you don’t completely trust the initial source.  Whether it’s a coach, dentist, doc, tax preparer, architect or undertaker, make sure your source is an expert in their field AND has your best interests in mind.  A lot of the time you get what you pay for, although price doesn’t guarantee service and just because someone charges a lot doesn’t make them good.

Secondly: maintain, maintain!  Don’t forget to take care of yourself and do a little bit every day to insure your future you.  The project is built around 10,000 hours of deliberate practice and why it will be successful is because that is the requisite amount of focussed time you need to get really really good at a specific task.  It’s a daily grind of improvement that is constantly building upon itself.  And, it’s just as easy, if not way easier, to chip away in the wrong direction.  If I hadn’t been so ritualistic in my tooth brushing I could easily have needed gum surgery and a root canal after 11 years of not going to the dentist.  It is the same with any habits, whether positive or negative.  Don’t put things off and think that you can fix it down the road, just do a little bit every day to move in the direction you want to eventually be.

This reminds me of a former coworker and friend who decided one day in August, 2009 that she wanted to change her lifestyle and lose weight.  At first it was a tiny bit a day, but she was relentless in sticking to her new routine.  It began simply with a daily walk and a healthier choice of lunch.  She stuck with it and chipped away and a year later had lost more than 90 pounds.

We’ve all heard stories like that and whether or not you think it’s inspiring is besides the point.  You can improve the quality of your life and maintain the positive aspects with a little bit of effort every day.  I learned my lesson and realized that certain things should not be put off and two days a year can keep my teeth chomping for decades to come. It’s much easier to stop by the dentist twice a year than waiting another 11 years and having some form of major gum surgery.  One motion at a time, always in the right direction.  In life, as in golf.

Is tooth care too personal?  I wonder sometimes where to draw the line, but so much influences The Dan Plan that it can be hard to separate life and blog.  Leaving the dentist today I had many thoughts on how small actions can create huge outcomes.  What I learn in every one of these 10,000 hours, and every hour of life, is influenced by and based upon what I did during the previous ones, but I can’t break one specific day or hour out of the project and say that it had more importance than any other hour because they are all related to one another.  This isn’t 10,000 building blocks stacking upon each other, but drops of water filling a tank.

Sometimes even a trip to the dentist can be inspirational, I suppose.

On the golf scoring side of things, this past week I saw my first ever hat trick of rounds in the 70s.  I shot a 75, 74 and 79.  It felt really good to have some consistent rounds back on the books and my next 18 out was a 77, too.  Scoring comes in waves and golf can be pretty streaky, but this a new level of consistent good play.  It’s these types of weeks where you can really see how the practice is paying off.

A large part of the reason for these new low scores is a reconstruction of my swing that Adrian is helping me with.  I’m quite enjoying working with him and excited to see where things will be this Spring.

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