When I'm not programming, you can probably find me on the golf course. Golfing is something that I don't do quite well, but for some strange reason I happen to enjoy it. I've been contemplating why I find the activity so enthralling, and I came to the conclusion that it is one of the few (if the only) sport/activity that pits you against yourself. And that is the reason golf is great. You don't need to get 15 other people together and find an open field like baseball. You don't need to find 9 other people and hope that you can get some time on the blacktop. If you have the equipment, thats all you need.
Every Monday, I volunteer my time with the Special Olympics. Technically, I volunteer with NEDSRA (North-eastern Dupage Special Recreation District) but on a more general scale, it's the Special Olympics. I'm whats called a "Unified Partner", meaning I play golf with an athlete and we play alternate shot. He takes a swing, I take a swing, so on and so forth until the ball gets into the hole. Sounds easy enough but Special Olympics Golf has a few problems. One of the problems being the Special Olympics play by the EXACT same rules as the professionals. Now, if your a golfer or if you have every golfed in your life you know that the rules of golf are somewhat asinine. Now try having Downs Syndrome and remembering all of them. Or a physical disability and playing by all of them. Okay, everybody has to play by the rules but sometimes you need to make exceptions.
Anyway, working with the Special Olympics has made me figure out why I love golf so much and why, sadly, (for some of these kids/adults) golf is something that they can never excel at. Golf requires you to fine tune specific muscles so that you can tweak any part of your swing at anytime and it requires you to develop a perfect understanding of where you are and where every part of your body is at any point in time. If you take the clubhead away at a strange angle, you need to adjust. If you overswing, you need to adjust. The problem is, you need to be AWARE of what the club is doing at any particular point in time at any particular point in the swing. This is something that I am not that good at, and frankly, neither are a majority of the general population. It becomes quite difficult and quite frustrating when my partner hits a bad shot, looks up at me hopeful that I can tell him something that will fix it. I've made quite good progress with him, but lately I've been hitting a dead end. I'm not sure what else to say, or what else to do. It's just aggravating to not be able to help.