Well, the season has basically come to end. Once the LPGA Tour Championship in Orlando happens the first week in December, the season will be over. After that, I will head back to Q-School the following week to try and retain my card. At the beginning of the season I feared having to go back, thinking it would reflect poorly on me as a player. However, now I'm excited to return and am embracing yet another opportunity to continue following my dream, passion, and career. I am simply approaching it as a "year-end review" that many people go through in jobs throughout their careers.
I can't believe how quickly this past year has gone. In some ways it seems like just yesterday I was driving back from Daytona Beach knowing I would be playing on the LPGA in 2010, and in other ways, that day seems many, many moons ago. I can't begin to tell you all what an amazing journey it has been over the course of the year. Thank you to all of you who have checked in and read these blogs throughout the season!
I'd like to first share a couple stories of what I did between the last blog and now, and then simply share some reflections on my year as a whole. Over the course of the second half of October and first half of November, I went to Asia to play in three events co-sanctioned with the LET and LAGT (Ladies Asian Golf Tour). We played in Sanya, China, Suzhou, China, and wrapped up the events in New Delhi, India. The golf was great and the people of their respective countries were amazing. Everyone was so welcoming. Over the course of the four weeks, I learned a new card game (Liverpool) and began learning how to play Scrabble with a bit more strategy involved. I have always enjoyed playing Scrabble, but when you lose by over 200 points, it isn't too much fun! However, I'm happy to report I am steadily improving! The coolest adventure I took was actually in the Philippines on our off week. Myself and the three girls I traveled with around Asia took a little trip to see an active volcano in the middle of a lake near Tagatay. The trip included a winding car ride down a mountain followed by a small boat for a 25 minutes across the lake to the island where the volcano is located. Once we reached the island, we took a mule straight up the mountainside. I was a little worried mine wasn't going to make it with me riding it! We all had guides and at the beginning of the trek we were led through the small village that lay at the base of the volcano. While riding through the village, the simplicity in which people live was truly amazing to me. I wish I could express what I felt, but it made me realize the extravagance of life we lead in the States. There is no wrong or right way to live, it's just about how we approach and perceive it. I felt as though they were happy to be doing what they were doing. My guide, Rose, was so proud of her four sons and five grandchildren. She didn't speak much English, but when we did speak, the emotion in her voice while she spoke of her family conveyed all one needed to know. It made me appreciate what I have and what I am doing for a profession. Sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in all the "stuff" surrounding our profession and forget why we do it. For me, it's simple. I love the game of golf and what it stands for. I love that I have an opportunity to play with the best in the world week in and week out. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I'd be playing golf and traveling the world with some of my best friends as a career.
As the trip in Asia came to a close, I was determined to use every form of transportation I could think of before returning to the States. Since we had a sixteen-hour layover, Libby and I jumped on a train and headed into the city to do some sight seeing. So, my goal was complete...I rode planes, trains, subways, taxis, buses, cars, and even a mule. I found that pretty neat.
One of the funniest stories of the trip occurred when we landed in New Delhi. We were supposed to have a shuttle pick us up, but since our flight was so late, we ended up having to take a taxi. Little did we know, the only way we would be able to get to the hotel with all our stuff and ourselves would be to tie the golf clubs and one suitcase on top of the taxi with ONE rope. It was at least a thirty minute venture, in a city where they drive like maniacs (there are no lanes on the road), with a cab driver who wasn't entirely sure where our hotel was located. A few years ago that would have stressed me out to the point of frustration and bewilderment. But now, it's laughable and much easier to take in stride. Of course, I still get a little antsy here and there, but who doesn't? And as we rode through Delhi with our clubs tied to the roof of a small cab, I joked with Libby saying to her, "What's the worst that can happen? The world could end..." Golfers have entered a life in which everything is always changing. We can think it is all planned out and executed correctly only to have it go completely wrong. It happens on a golf shot, it happens in life. All we can do is adjust to the situation and approach it again.
That last sentence has been the most important piece that I have learned from my year. What has happened has happened and we must face what lies in front of us. I was listening to a song on the way home that had a lyric something similar to, "you haven't failed if you've taken away the lesson." Entering the Tour in March, I was about as green as they come and I think the green is starting to fade. But, I still have many years to stumble, pick myself back up, learn from what has happened, and continue to adjust and improve with every new situation I face. That makes me smile. That gets me up in the mornings. I love that my days are never quite the same and the people I meet always have something interesting and important to share that I can take away with me. I get to share my journeys with family, friends, fans, and strangers. Walking down the 10th fairway during a practice round last week in India, my playing partner, Libby, sighed and said, "Ahhh, I could do this everyday. Oh wait, I do!" I looked at her, laughed and said, "I agree with you there! That's what I admire about you. You still have the love for the game and that's pretty special. You get it." I can only hope that I continue to feel the way I feel about this game today, many, many years down the road. It's a pretty remarkable game and an even more special career that I have the opportunity to be involved in. As I tell some of the kids I work with back in Albuquerque, "If you want it badly enough (whatever it is, golf or otherwise), don't let anyone or anything stand in your way. It's your life, your dream, and your passion to pursue. Do it!"
I'm excited to see what lies ahead of me and will embrace whatever it may be. I hope you all have enjoyed what I have written throughout the year. I know I have enjoyed experiencing it all and writing about it. Having graduated with a degree in English, the inner nerd in me loves to sit down and write all this out, which is probably why they tend to be a little on the long side. Thank you all for your support of the LPGA and its players. We, as an organization, would not function without you! I want to thank my friends and fans as well as my main golf support system back home in Bill, Ingrid, Laura, and Shauna. And of course, a HUGE thank you to my mom and dad, Phyllis and Chris, my sister, Kosh, and the entire rest of my family who continues to support me throughout this career path I have chosen. I would not be where I am today nor the person I am continuing to grow and become. Thank you!
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