White Ball Therapy for the Soul
I recently competed in the U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier, and although I did not qualify, my stellar 87 was the best bad round of my professional career.
It capped off a five-month journey to reclaim myself after a long season of loss. What I discovered was the power of golf to bring healing to a disengaged soul.
My white ball therapy all began with a phone call from my friend and colleague Jon Corliss.
“Veronica, I think it’s time for you to pursue a championship,” he said. “It’s been a while since you have set a golf goal and gone after it.”
I hemmed and hawed about past failed attempts. “The only way to work through a failed championship quest is to enter another championship,” Jon said.
His words rang true. I’d spent a decade trying to move forward with my life, but never resolved my own twin towers falling, which included life losses and disappointments well beyond my golf failures.
“Your focus this time will not be the result, but the process,” Jon said. “Your goal is to fully engage your heart in the process of preparing for a championship.”
My new goal changed my perspective. “If I see the process as the goal, I cannot fail,” I thought.
Defining success at the start of any goal-setting is key. My heart leaped with a fresh inhalation of life as I responded to Jon’s challenge, “I’m in!”
Jon continued, “We begin by identifying the processes you will need to practice and have in place for your tournament. To walk 36 holes in one day, you will need to be able to walk 14 miles. Walk an hour a day and add one minute on each day. Do 150 lunges and 150 twisting motions. Hit 50 good short shots, 50 good long shots and 50 good putts each practice session. Focus on one swing change only.”
All of a sudden, my mind had a structure to engage in.
Kelly Mitchum helped with the severe “across the line” position, and I began to execute my new move in just a few lessons. It gave me fresh hope.
Then I met Scott, a golf-specific trainer who was great at helping me release pent-up stress in my muscles — a must for an “over-50 player.”
White ball therapy was taking effect — setting an achievable goal, directing my mind to a target, creating physical strength, developing a support team of mentors and cheerleaders, who would cheer me along the way. OvaJean was my chief cheerleader.
The two months I spent coming to OvaJean’s on the weekends brought tremendous emotional healing to me. Other special people offered their cheers all along the way too. This was a great blessing after being relationally disconnected for so long during my caretaking years with my late mother. Golf was ushering me back into the fairway of life.
At one point, I lost my motivation when I realized that my swing change was going to take longer to implement than I thought. When I wanted to quit, a friend handed me a scripture that gave me fresh faith. Then, Dr. Richard Coop, a noted sports psychologist, helped me get my head into play mode.
Alan Dirk, ace golfer and whiz on his home course knowledge, offered to caddy for me. My wonderful support system also helped me to press through the setback of a kidney stone condition, which greatly affected my preparation.
Come qualifying day, I knew I had gone through a personal passageway of healing. Even though I lost the chance to qualify on the first day, I captured a life win just from engaging my heart in the process of preparing for a championship. I felt no letdown whatsoever.
Afterward, I reflected on my own struggle and contest. Just eight months earlier, I was in the hospital due to a total breakdown.
The doctor wanted to put me on drugs, but I knew the answer for me was rather a new reality of community, connectedness to vital relationships and getting unstuck from my old patterns of thinking. I was determined to not stop at the struggle and contest, but to get through all the way to the conquest.
I am grateful for discovering the power of white ball therapy to put my soul back into proper alignment with my life, making the best bad round of my life a meaningful one. Today, I am healed.
Check out Karaman’s blog at veronicakaraman.com. A speaker, certified life coach and golf professional based in Cary, Karaman is now offering white ball therapy to others. Her e-mail address is email@example.com
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