My brother has a saying that he relays to me in good times and bad: “It’s all copy.” Every moment, every success, failure, hurdle, and every detour is copy for the story of our lives. It’s a perspective that, as a writer, can be so refreshing. With copy, there is never a definite period, we can erase and put a comma or hit enter to start a new paragraph. When all else fails, we can exit the document and start anew on a fresh page.
About two weeks ago, I had the difficult decision of how to navigate my shoulder injury with the postponement of Q-School. My original plan was to push through the end of the year and fight to find a way to contend in Stage II in October. After that, I’d reevaluate and have six weeks rest until Q-Series. Like many things in life, things don’t always go as planned. Hurricane Ian devastated the west coast of Florida, requiring Q-School to be postponed and a quicker reevaluation of my plans than I previously imagined.
In those moments, I wrestled with the short-term ramifications. The youth in me said I could still find a way. The older and wiser part of my mind spoke softly to my gut that in the long run the benefit was so small. If I didn’t sit back and heal this problem would roll right into the following year and potentially the rest of my career. A true test to see if I trusted everyone telling me that my patience would be rewarded.
I was able to forgo my instant desire to act and trust that if I healed now, my career in the long term would reap the benefits. With the decision to sit out, I was offered the opportunity to write more stories for the Epson Tour for the whole week of Q-School. I’d mainly write features on other players and their unique stories.
As I read through my interviews and let my fingers type the journey of others, my brother's phrase continued to reverberate in my mind. “It’s all copy.” It wasn’t until I zoomed out and magnified other stories that I really understood what he was saying.
Our lives are this blank page. Between society and our own minds we place deadlines and outlines that we try to squeeze our stories between. However, as I wrote the stories of Hannah Gregg, Virginia Elena Carta, Kim Kaufman and the six player/caddie duos, I realized the true gift in life is the freedom to ignore those deadlines and pre-written paths and to instead create our own. Everyone is unique in their approach, developing an authentic story that inspires others to take over the steering wheel of life.
One of my favorite songs is “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. The lyrics throughout the song would prove to inspire us all, but these few words in particular ring true to those trying to carve their path this week at Q-School.
“Regrets, I've had a few / But then again, too few to mention I did what I had to do / And saw it through without exemption / I planned each charted course Each careful step along the byway / And more, much more than this / I did it my way”
To the players this week who are celebrating their successes or trying to swallow the pit in their stomachs from failure, I’m here to remind you that this is just a paragraph in a small part of your copy.
I’ve stood in your shoes. I know how heavy the pressure can feel. This year, from the outside, I see it all so differently. We can write the copy and set the tone of the story. But the timing isn’t in our control. Whatever the result was last week, take those sentences and set the mood to be inspiring. We can always write another sentence, add a comma or turn the page. I’ll leave you with a few more words from Sinatra.
“I've lived a life that's full / I traveled each and every highway / And more, much more than this / I did it my way”