I’d say “living the dream” is probably one of my most used phrases. (“One latte please” is unquestionably number one in that category). It gets said to me just as much; phone conversations with family members, comments on social media, envious club members listening to my latest adventures. As players, we probably use it ironically more often than we should, but to be fair to us there is a very very unglamorous side to tour life too. A lot of people only see the highlight reel – as with so many distorted life summaries through the social media lens – but the crowd cheering chip-ins and par 3s running alongside beautiful beaches are the pinnacle, rather than the norm. (As further evidence, I’m writing this from the top of a bunk bed). There are a lot of lonely moments and a lot of sacrifices, but for every bunk bed week; for every cold, wet Sunday night searching for your car at an airport while you trail your golf clubs behind you with the strap cutting viciously into your hand; for every alarm when it’s still dark outside and for every six footer that slides past the hole… there are immeasurable moments that outweigh them.
We are living the dream. I am living the dream. But not necessarily because I’m a professional golfer getting to play sport for a paycheck, but because I get to do something I love. I love golf so much I keep it quiet for fear of sounding insane, but it’s true. I like forcing myself to get to the course early because I know I’ve done that extra bit of preparation. I like dragging myself out to practice in the rain because I know I’ll have that extra bit of confidence if I’m in contention on the final day and conditions are tough. I like struggling with a practice drill because I know when I eventually make the breakthrough it will feel even sweeter. I love what I do.
And you know why that’s so important? Because life is too short not to. I’m incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to do something I love, but I think everyone can have that opportunity if they look hard enough. And it’s more than that; it’s about being the person you want to be, day in and day out. There is no time to put ourselves on hold; to assume that one day we’ll get around to maybe taking up that thing that we secretly kind of enjoy, or reaching out to someone we let things end badly with, or trying to learn from people we look up to. My heart breaks for what’s happening in Las Vegas right now, but the scariest part is that events like this aren’t as shocking as they should be. But if we become numb to horrific events like this shooting, or the Manchester bombing, or the France terrorist attack, or the infinite number of other tragedies… we lose our own power. Our power to make every single day worthwhile. To make every single day mean something. Because we don’t know how many of them we’re going to get.