I'm writing this while laying on my back because it kills just to sit up.
And that sucks.
If you followed me on Facebook at all, you'd see I had a somewhat disappointing week. That's not to say it wasn't still amazing (because it really really was), however there was definitely some disappointment.
Here's a little history on my health: As I've mentioned before I have a broken vertebrae. It's the one as far down as possible and they call it a spondy (spondylolisthesis but that looks too much like my last name so we'll stick with spondy) and apparently it happened when I was a kid. I used to wake up and feel crippled every single day in my early twenties, until I was about 25. I have since found the right chiropractor who recognized that it was a break and not just scoliosis. It took me eight or nine months of rehab to feel like a normal, healthy-ish 25-year-old. I have since been incredibly happy simply because I'm not in that kind of pain every day. I can't tell you how thankful I am to have found the solution. However, this last week, after changing my throwing form, and not stretching enough, I pulled or squished or injured something, and wasn't able to finish a tournament for the first time in my competitive career. It's a really frustrating thing for me and something I am still mentally struggling with. I'm 27 and in a ton of pain, feeling like my body is 70. Understandably, I'm not so happy about that. BUT I pulled out of this tournament, and it was the right decision, and I can't believe the kind of responses I got from my friends/family. Very quickly in times like these I am reminded how spectacular my support system is, and also how kind and caring the disc golf community is. People I've spent only a few hours with extend their advice and "get better's" and have been checking up on me since the injury. I'm so lucky to have those kinds of people in my life, and so so many of them. I'm constantly blown away by this family. Ya'll are the best. I truly mean that.
As for last week's goings on there wasn't a whole lot because I was hurt, but:
- We launched the website for Women's Disc Golf Outreach, created by yours truly. If you hate it, let me know. ;)
- I did play one round of 27 holes at Buffalo Ridge for the AZ state championship, and played my best golf possible for a solid 10-12 holes before my back started to be too much...it's something...
- Packed my things and drove to Rancho Cucamonga, CA to hang with the Discmania crew and caddied a bit for my new favorite person, Eric Oakley. SoCal Championships were this weekend, and I got to watch a lot of great golf at La Mirada. p.s. California is rad.
- Finished the 15 hour trip to Portland, OR where I am currently typing and awaiting my chiropractic appointment. Then I'm here for Thanksgiving and back down south next week where it's 75 degrees and sunny.
I love being able to travel as much as I do. My life has really fallen into place and I'm so thankful that I can say I'm truly happy with everything happening in my life. Even the bad parts bring out more good...that...is a truly wonderful thing.
Not a lot of photo's this week except Buffalo Ridge, Eric and his new pet Scyther, and of course the AZ sunsets.
Yesterday was the 1 month marker of arriving in Tucson! I can say somehow that it's taken forever and also flown by. Time is funny like that. I feel like I could potentially be all over the place with this week’s post since so many things came and went but I'll do my best to be simple.
My favorite moments:
- Played in the snow, then later that day, climbed some desert hill in shorts and a tank top in 65 degree sunshine.
- Got a cactus stuck in my leg that looked exactly like Herbie (yes, this is a favorite moment ;) )
- Had a very successful Ladies League, new friends and my first #1 bag tag!
- Attended our first charity board meeting with all members. It's really exciting to talk about next years goals and this years accomplishments.
- Got some props on the Smashboxx podcast (HERE) by my girl Zoe, as well as a big shout out for Women’s Disc Golf Outreach. We’re starting to get some attention and it’s really fueling my passion for my work here.
- Modified my golf run up and added a ton of power/distance. Yay learning!
- Sat at a bar with my best friend teaching dudes how to throw a forehand flick using a pizza pan
- And lastly, had a long bonfire discussion on men vs women, form vs force in disc golf with my best friend which will be the topic I will run with.
But FIRST! Bonus video...
I'm not very good at hood, but I tried.
[If you don't frisbee, you may want to skip this]
I’ve watched a ton of disc golf videos this week. Form form form, distance distance, confidence. I’m streaming some Mellow Yellow Challenge @ Solitude videos, watching men park 800 foot downhill shots for a 50 foot putt. I snapped a little bit and just (to my friend) yelled “I WANNA THROW 800 FEET!”. Yeah it’s downhill but it was the beginning of a huge discussion on why don’t I, and why don’t “we” as women (most women)?
I have a few theories, and please, I’d love your input since no one is right and I want to crack the code!
Men vs Women
I’m a lady. I get complimented on my form all the time and I always say “that’s all I have.” I’m a little girl with comparatively small muscles but there are still small men out there, that aren’t putting in training time, throwing 200+ more than I can without much effort. So why? I’m passionate, I’m taking the time to learn, I’m not convinced that I CAN’T throw that far…or am I?
I have a theory that there’s a lot of simple subconscious going on here that’s keeping me from throwing even 500 feet. Considering I choke while competing (for seemingly no reason) and can’t throw shots I KNOW how to make, I feel like there’s definitely something there. There are 2 sides to this that Erika and I discussed.
1. How far do we ladies NEED to throw? What I have works for me and I can keep up with my division throwing 315 feet... I think there’s a stigma in the sport right now, but it’s mostly due to lack of competition. Let’s grow the sport to 50/50 women/men and see if 315 feet will do me any good. I think not.
2. How far do we think we CAN throw? This is a tricky question that I'm sure is different for everyone but I'm guessing we're working inside a box. Paige Pierce is our prime example, and a damn good one, but look at the men's field with Amateur players still tossing 600 feet.
Anyhow, I don’t want to settle where I am, I want to learn, and I want to be a big arm no matter my gender.
So that cover’s a small portion of men vs women…how about form vs force, very similar but different?
Form vs Force
I’m the first to admit I’m not the most ladylike lady I know. I’m crude and like getting dirty and play with the boys better than I do with the girls in most things…but I’d still describe myself as dainty.
I have a small delicate frame and I care about not breaking my body. Granted I have a history of literally being broken (a vertebrae to be exact) so this may apply to me more than others. But as my friend Erika and I discussed; day 1, you put a frisbee in a girls hand and she tosses it gently with only her arm (I take full responsibility for generalizing). Now do the same with a boy and he throws it as hard as possible putting everything into it. I think this is a huge factor in women’s learning curve in disc golf. Maybe if I’m more willing to sacrifice that daintiness/caution that I play with, I’ll figure it out. Being somewhat wreckless might be a good thing in disc golf.
I have a lot of work to do, but little mental blocks like this seem to be my main struggle at the moment. Sorry to get so technical but frisbeelife will do that to a person and 6 hour frisbee conversations are my favorite.
I’m planning on doing a "beginner tips for women" series, hopefully sooner than later. I’m super analytical and I love teaching. Even while not being the BEST golfer myself, I understand golf and frisbees plenty. So my first tip (videos to come) is analyze your throw. Have a friend film you and dissect it. Watch a few pro videos online and see what you’re doing differently, or see if there’s some tiny piece of advice you can apply, one thing at a time. It’s crazy how much can improve by putting your foot in a different place, or moving your thumb over or using the tee pad differently. But in the wise wise words of Tim Skellenger, “Just try everything, if it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. But try it.” That’s not a direct quote but it’s the idea. Also shout out to all you pros that keep throwing SUPER helpful advice my way. I feel like I’m in frisbee college and I love it. You know who you are, and I really appreciate it!
AZ State Championships in Phoenix, AZ this weekend!
Immediately driving up to Portland, OR to see my other disc golf family
Stop in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Eat a ton of turkey.
Continue being really happy!
Love and frisbees, ya'll,
Last note: check the side bar for new goodies. Video's links to other things frisbee/Tina
This might be one of my lengthier posts, it's been a rough one. I feel like I was doing great last week. Lots of things were trying to take me down but I tend to be able to see things in a positive light and get over it. But, a girl can only handle so much before losing it. This week was a huge mix of great's, bad's and god dammit's. Monday started out with that doctor's appointment for my hurty foot, then a flat tire (replaced the other 3 too), then one of my worst rounds of golf - tournament or otherwise, and now a cracked windshield I'll have to replace. Somewhere in there I broke a little. Money money money!
Money stuff is much harder to deal with than it was when I had full time income. Knowing that I'm running off of a smaller budget in savings makes these unexpected expenses a lot more scary than they were before. I know I'll be fine, but frankly I didn't budget for an extra $700+ of expenses for my first month of "unemployment", and I absolutely let it get to me.
Saturday I played the Phoenix Ladies Open in the pro division and I played on a card with my BFF...and Catrina Allen, for a player as new as me, she's a little intimidating. I'm a low rated player even for the advanced field and I had a hard/impossible time shaking that from my brain during the first round. Anyone who has seen me play wouldn't recognize me either and it was somewhat heartbreaking for me. Frisbees are my life right now and it's such a heavy/unpleasant feeling when I can't preform even close to where I can. The bigger let down to me though is my poor attitude. I pride myself for being the positive energy on the course despite missed putts and bad drives, but after 12 holes of the same disappointment, every throw, I let myself get down and that's where I stayed. Erika pointed out to me that my face, after a bad drive, shows all of those other things I'm dealing with. There was way more going on in my head than just golf. I'm learning to play with that pressure and it will get better but it's a longer road than I thought and I have to be okay with that.
Here's where I turn it around as usual. This weekend taught me a lot that I don't think I would have figured out if things went differently. For that I am thankful. Erika reminded me I've got a lot more going on than just that field that day. And that I'm a new golfer. I've got a lot of the mental side to work on, and that's my next focus. But outside of that, I'm a business owner, I'm following my dream and I want to be an inspiration to other women and that is WAY more important to me than one tournament.
Why are we so hard on ourselves?
To touch on the brighter notes, two of my favorite people were here in Arizona with me last week. Zoe Andyke and Erika Stinchcomb (mentioned above). They both played amazingly this weekend and it's so much fun to watch. It was incredibly nice to have some of those Pacific Northwest vibes down here. That'll hold me over until Thanksgiving for sure, when I go back to Portland to visit. I do miss home but I can finally say I'm settling in well. I do love it here, I love where my house is, and I'm starting to feel more of a part of the community. The mountains are beautiful and the weather is really pleasant. I'm in Flagstaff, AZ right now and it's supposed to snow, then we're heading back to Tucson and it will be 80 degrees again...how cool is that? Aaaaaaand I get to keep Erika until Saturday! Happy.
Thanks again for all of your support, and for joining me on my journey! It's been a whale of a good time so far.
Please enjoy this giant photo album from this week.
This last week has been another interesting one, but more of an internal battle than anything. I've got to admit, although I'm thoroughly enjoying my new lifestyle, I've struggled with parts I didn't think I would. I've worked full time for 8 years, with disc golf and Whale Sacs on the side. I'd say I easily put in 13-14 hour days, sometimes more with those 3 things. Now? I wake up when I want, I golf when I want, work when I want, wherever I want...sounds TERRIBLE right? Don't get me wrong here, I'm incredibly thankful and enthusiastic that this is my life now, however it hasn't come without a struggle.
Change can be hard. I've lost a ton of sleep the last few weeks and found my biggest transition to overcome (other than missing my favorite people) is giving myself a damn break for NOT working 13 hours per day. I had grown accustomed to working my ass off. I'd wake up at 4:30 am, sew some whale sacs, go to my banking job for 8 hours, putting practice on my 1 hour lunch break, then on to league for 3 hours after that, and quite possibly finish up the night with some more sewing or working on my website. It's so nice knowing there's time for the things I enjoy now but I'm still feeling the weight of my previous life pushing down on me. I finally had a chat with my sister and said "I think I need to stop being so hard on myself." and that's really all it took to get myself to take a breather. We all deserve a break from our own criticism. Breathe.
I've adjusted quite a bit more since last week and am settled into a new and beautiful location in my RV Elizabeth Trailer. Today on the way into town I got a flat tire, and what went through my mind was this:
"Well that's annoying...but I'm not in a hurry...dang, I wish I had my practice basket while I wait for AAA"
And that's about it. Life has lost a ton of stress, and that...is fantastic.
(P.s. if you've been waiting to buy a Whale Sac, now would be a great time ;) )
I'm really really happy.
On a related happy note, I shot one of my best rounds, in a very very long time yesterday- 1 under par, with a possibly fractured foot might I add. It's amazing what happens when you convince yourself that you're good at what you do. Hopefully I can keep up with that this weekend at the Phoenix Ladies Open! There are more than 80 women competing at this event, that's so rad!
As for the charity, we have some really exciting things a-brewing. We have a website to release in the vert near future, we're discussing ladies coverage and women's insider stories for the 2016 Memorial Championships and we're working on an event aimed towards local women's ultimate teams. I can't wait to get deeper into the planning for this (likely January).
Wish me luck at the Phoenix Ladies Open this weekend! And also to my home girls Erika Stinchcomb and Zoe Andyke!!! They're flying down here to compete in Open with me this weekend!
Love for everyone,
I've taken up drawing for disc stamps. It's a scorpion...not a lobster...OR a crab...
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