When I was young I played little league baseball. I was one of two girls on our team. Laura Feldman was the other girl. She was an amazing baseball player. That was until we turned nine. When we reached that age we were informed we could no longer play Little League, only boys could continue. I was devastated. I threw my glove into a closet and was prepared to never have anything to do with the sport of baseball again. It seemed so unfair. Both Laura and I could throw, catch and hit as well or better than most of the boys. Plus Laura was the regular clean-up batter on the team because she could gracefully hit a home run almost every time she came to the plate!
Around the same age, I heard from some ‘reliable’ source, that if I could successful kiss my elbow I would immediately turn into a boy. I must confess, that well into my twenties, I would secretly attempt this ‘kissing of the elbow’ behind closed doors. I truly believed life would be better and offer more opportunities, in the areas I excelled at, if I was a boy.
My project since those earlier days has been to embrace being a girl. In many ways the project was mostly focused on making the best of a difficult hand of cards. I did not appreciate nor believe there to be many perks in being girl. May be if I had given birth to a child it would a significant exception to that belief. But having had cancer early, resulting in knowing I would never give birth, I sort figured that the best and most recognized skill set for females, was off the table.
I know now there are many other perks, but it has taken me a while to fully embrace the possibilities, and many are not areas where I naturally excel.
Well, I started playing golf more seriously just over a year ago, and when I would go out to play, I was frequently put into a group of men. Many of the male golfers I played with were solid golfers with long drives and interesting strategies about the best approach to most greens. These strategies rarely related to the fairway, but seemed designed to be efficient or demonstrate one’s ability to hit through obstacles while getting to the green ‘quickly’.
It wasn’t until I joined the Ladies Golf League that I got introduced to a different style of play. Most of the ladies were not as strong off the tee as even I was at that stage. However, I quickly learned that these women were very, very consistent, played the fairway and had a solid short game. They were rarely looking for short cuts and did not seem to be overly concerned when their fairway shot barely skimmed the ground. Most likely because it was almost always moving up the middle of the fairway. Their game may not have reflected long balls or ‘tricky’ outs, but their scores were much better than mine.
So I decided to take some lessons from the golf pro, Chris Newton. Chris is now my model for ‘golfing like a girl’. She has a natural, easy swing. It is like the old days, when I would watch Laura Feldman come to the plate and hit the graceful home run that would bring in all the boys on the bases. Chris’ shots are easily on par with any of the men I have seen play. I can only hope to discover that grace and ease. My goal these days is to use the fairway and build a solid short game! In other words, play like a girl and be awesome!!
You may be wondering what’s with the ‘Like A Girl’ theme of this post. It comes from watching an interesting by-product of an ad campaign for Always. Take a look. I came away convinced not only to embrace how I am like a girl, but to promote ensuring young girls today don’t feel the need to ‘kiss their elbows.’