Prior to COVID-19, Selena Costabile (Thornhill, Ontario, Canada) was not only prepping for the 2020 Symetra Tour season, but also planning a charity Pro-Am event for Alzheimer’s research, a disease that her grandmother is currently battling. While golf plans have been altered, Costabile has been at home in Canada for a month working on a few skills not connected to her day job.
Nearly every day for the last four weeks, Costabile has picked up old hobbies that filled her time before golf dominated the calendar. Those hobbies include rekindling her love for the piano and Japanese studies.
“I started playing piano when I was 5. Music was a big part of my life before golf,” said Costabile. “This time has helped bring back a little of my childhood and learn some new songs. I play close to two hours per day now because I find it relaxing and very therapeutic. Coming back to Toronto from Florida, and all the courses are closed so I’m trying to keep a routine and make the best of my time."
Her favorite memory of playing piano came several years ago when she fully memorized and performed the third movement of Beethoven’s famed Moonlight Sonata.
“I worked so hard, a little bit each day, and when it all came together, it felt so beautiful,” Costabile said. “If people want to start playing piano, you don’t have to try a big song. Simply start wherever you are comfortable and just keep practicing.”
Costabile also suggests taking up a new language for those looking to learn something new in their free time, but perhaps not musically inclined. She grew up in a bilingual household speaking Russian and English. With eight years of French immersion at Woodland Public School, as well as extracurricular activities with Spanish and Japanese, it is no wonder Costabile has a fascination for expanding her vocabulary in a new tongue.
“The languages not only help me speak to more people but allow me to learn and relate to different cultures,” said Costabile. “I am lucky my mom taught me another language when I was growing up. Not only did it feel normal [to learn both languages] but I also got to experience the Russian culture through the language, even while living in Canada."
Fluent in the English, French, Russian and Spanish languages she learned growing up, she is now on her way to mastering Japanese. Costabile takes lessons via Skype with a teacher based in Japan, whom she found using the online tutor platform Italki. It is something Costabile greatly looks forward to using when playing a full Symetra Tour schedule, as she meets and connects with a diverse group of people.
"Find something that maybe you enjoyed before, but you didn’t have enough time for,” Costabile added. “I feel like a lot of hobbies are put on hold, and now is the best time to do something therapeutic and relaxing to turn our minds message from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘I can now do this where I wasn’t able to before.'"