This season has started off with a big bang that I wasn't really expecting. My 3rd tournament of the year, and my first tournament playing professional this year, I succeeded in taking 1st place at the Wintertime Open! I did train all winter, I did change my bag to suit my skills better (Discmania all the way), I did putt every single day (except when I was injured) and I knew that would all pay off eventually. But I truly did not expect it to be so soon. I still have a long way to go in my game, there are still many errors I need to correct and I would be kidding myself if I thought I'd be winning often from here on out even in amateur. There will still be struggle rounds and days and tournaments but I'm learning from every experience. This weekend, I learned how to play under 1st place professional pressure, a whole new mental battle I haven't yet come close to. I once again wrote "THE BEST" on my left index finger. Maybe this is a strange tactic to most, that others don't need, but for me, it reminds me when I shank a drive or miss an easy putt, to still play my best. It allows me a few seconds to remind myself that I am REALLY GOOD AT THIS even when I'm not playing like it and I really think it helped me battle back from 2nd place with 3 strokes to make up, into 1st. Many times that last round, I'd step up to that tee pad feeling the stress of every stroke, knowing I was neck and neck. A few times that round, I'd step off the pad, look at my note and take a deep breath, making sure I was stepping up to that shot with complete confidence. And it worked, virtually every time. I had one blow up hole that round and it was the one time I didn't step up with confidence, and didn't take the time to re-center. I learned and I hope I can apply that to future rounds.
Next up - LAS VEGAS! Gentleman's Club Challenge - this one is a 4 day tourney (if I play well) on a ball golf course with 3 different courses. I have a full car for the next 2 weeks with Eagle and Simon in the car to Vegas, we're leaving this morning to practice. Then TOMORROW I get to pick up my best friend forever for life and spend the next 2 weekends throwing frisbees with her. Life is getting better and better (and I think I said that last time too). Bring it on Vegas!
ALSO!!! My photo and an article on the Wintertime Open is in the LA Times this week!!!! CLICK HERE
Love and Frisbees,
AND I'M LEAVING FOR TOUR TOMORROW!!!!!
I wanted to just write that and nothing else, but I suppose there is plenty going on. I've busted my butt on charity items and business stuff the last few days to prep for hitting the road. I had a moment today that I realized I was convincing myself to take a LOT of whale work with me on the road and then remembered I REALLY need a "vacation". So. I will try my hardest to commit to relaxing, playing, and doing a little (actually a lot) of charity work and that's that.
I get to see my BFFFL in just a handful of days, and I also get to see my mister, and a bunch of people I can't wait to play with again. It's somewhat surreal being where I am today, actually taking that step to be away from "home" for weeks and weeks and playing more golf than usual and competing in tournaments that I've dreamt about playing for 2 years.
This is it.
I'm doing it.
Living the dream.
Now, I just have to play my game as best I know how and the rest will fall into place. I had the pleasure of tying for 1st in a tournament last weekend - The Show Low Freeze, but lost the playoff. I've never been in a 1st place playoff before though so I absolutely consider it a win. I played 1 of my best rated rounds to date, and am learning how to compete on top card with that pressure of perhaps taking home the trophy (which apparently causes you to miss 6 foot putts, by the way).
This is going to be a big big year. I can feel it.
Next up - Wintertime Open in L.A.
This is it.
I'm doing it.
Living the dream.
I think I'm finally getting my stuff together for the year! Over the last few weeks I've been avoiding planning the rest of my tour and I'm not one to function well without a plan. But NOW I've got a really good idea of how it's all going down. First off I'm insanely happy to say that I'll be able to see my 2 favorite people (the Erik/c's) at plenty of events throughout the season. That fact alone puts my mind at ease more than I thought it would. This tour is happening a lot differently than I had planned and although I'm more than okay with plans changing, it's been a little intimidating- mainly the thought of living out of a car for months on end. What I've figured out though is I can rely on this huge support system out on the road and that it's growing every single day. I have a few stops on the tour so far that I will be "stationed" in the same area for weeks at a time, and in familiar places which I'm excited for. Namely I will be in the Washington/Oregon area for up to 3 weeks and perhaps up to a month and a half in Minnesota/Wisconsin. There's one more set of tournaments that puts me in Texas for 3 weeks, which is mostly uncharted territory for me. I'll figure that out when we get closer to April. Leg #1:
My first leg of tour:
Feb 13 Show Low Freeze - Show Low, AZ
Feb 20-21 38th Wintertime Open Pro - Pasadena, CA
Feb 25-28 2016 Gentlemen's Club Challenge - Las Vegas, NV
March 2-4 28th Memorial Championship - Scottsdale, AZ
March 12-13 Daniel Boe Memorial - Escondido, CA
March 18-20 St. Pattys Classic - Sacramento, CA
I also Keep gettingThe Whale Biz
Things are going GREAT with the Whale Sacs business! I have a few opportunities to be a vendor at a few tournaments around the US. I've also branched into doing large orders for tournament players which will quickly get my name out into the Disc Golf world! Also, something I've wanted to do since the day my logo was designed, I have Whale Sacs Putters! I have to say it's something I'm ridiculously proud of. Now that I have succeeded with my first year of business, my mind is racing with other entrepreneurial ideas, and also other ways to make an impact in the Disc Golf community. More on that to come but I have a big idea for an organization that can make a huge difference! I also keep getting shout outs from Terry Miller on SmashboxxTV - Disc Golf's weekly podcast for sport related info.
Women's Disc Golf Outreach
We did it! We officially are a registered Non-Profit Organization! The Charity can now start taking donations that are tax deductible to the donors and we can grow our cause exponentially! In the last month specifically, we've seen a big increase in women's participation in the area and I know it will continue to grow itself while I am out on the road. I'm sad to say my time in Tucson is almost up (for now), but I'm thrilled for the next chapter and I will continue to be involved with the charity while I'm out competing. Please visit our website and if you can make a donation to better women's disc golf, THANK YOU!
In closing, my life is better than ever, and it was already wonderful. Disc Golf has given me a chance at being truly happy and independent and I am forever grateful. I have a dream that when I have the ability, through my business or otherwise, that I will be able to give back to this sport tenfold what it has given to me.
Love and frisbees,
P.S. I'm working on re-vamping this blog to be an all around information hub for all the things I'm doing (Tina's Life Plan if you will):
Beginner Disc Golf tips
Growing the Sport for Women
Owning a Business
I'll make an announcement when it is finalized!
First off, I want to say that I am incredibly thankful for my current situation and I am not trying to complain about it. However, I HAVE developed a problem of sorts with my work habits.
Last year I decided to work my butt off so I could pursue my dream of becoming a professional disc golfer. I was completely okay with pulling 15 hour days with 9 of that being my full time job and the rest being side jobs and the Whale Sacs biz. Now it's 2016 though, and I succeeded in getting myself financially and situationally in the right place to be living that dream (though I struggle with calling myself a professional golfer, more on that later) and those 15 hour days haven't worn off. It is a fact that most of my "work time" is spent doing things I like, including sewing, networking, web design, marketing and some disc golf events for the charity. There are, however, plenty of pieces that fry my brain but I have this terrible habit of waking up at 6 am work work working and then boom it's 10:30 at night and I have barely taken a break. I'm productive as hell, but I don't think it's really healthy anymore.
Last week I had a minor "melt down"- very very minor, but it happened either way. I was hoping to get out of town for the weekend because that's pretty much the only way I allow myself to take a day off. That didn't end up happening and it hit me harder than I expected (how little I let myself relax on a weekly/monthly basis). My girl Erika used to joke and send me examples of "how to relax" but it's not really a joke anymore. Something I will work on. I never as a kid, or high school student, or college adult pictured myself as a workaholic, frankly I didn't like working very hard at most things. But here I am, filing my first "Self-Employed" tax return and disc golfing and working with an amazing charity to grow the sport and I'm almost as stressed out as I was working at the bank.
But here's where I turn it around. Remember that amazing sport? The one where you go to a field or a course and throw frisbees as hard as you can? The one that is better than any therapy I could have ever gone to? Disc golf can be such an amazing healer. The day of my baby melt down, I remembered around 4pm that I hadn't gone and thrown yet. I went to the course - now a mile and a half from my house and I threw a round at Santa Cruz DGC by myself. I started off grumpy and frustrated with life but a few holes in (and with some help from Mr. Eric reminding me I'm always happy), all of a sudden, I was on top of the world again. My drives were connecting, I was throwing further than ever before, smashing putts like none other and parring holes from the long tee pads with drop in putts. Smiling, skipping, happy happy happy. I guess what I'm getting at is this sport has saved me so many times and I really don't know what I would do without it. This passion is what fuels my need to #GrowTheSport. I want the world to understand how healing and positive it can be. I want everyone's struggles to melt away the way it can for me. It's simply magic.
Ok ok, I'll get off my soap box now. Thanks for listening if you are and even further, for understanding.
Last note, remember when I said "more on being a professional disc golfer". Well I'm in a weird transition where I am completely living that Pro Golfer life, and finally starting to play like one. Everything I do for a job (or otherwise) has to do with disc golf and people outside of the PDGA consider me a professional golfer...so what about on the inside? I'm currently signed up for 3 open events in the next 3 months, I'm registered as an amateur player and plan to play mostly AM events this year. People keep referring to me as a pro and I always feel the need to correct them. Generally I just say "all I do is disc golf, but I'm still playing am events". What do YOU think?
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