Yesterday, I played in a charity tournament that I have played annually for years. It was the APDA Driving Parkinson’s Away golf tournament. My husband and I started to play this tournament to support a friend who has had Parkinson’s since long before we met him. Yesterday, since our group was short, a young gentleman was added to play with us. He was there as a part of his personal fight against the disease.
As we got to know the man a bit, we saw his pride when he spoke of his family. We learned that he could not work at his profession due to treatments. The treatments that he hopes will restore at least part of what the disease has taken. He had not been out to play golf in seven or eight years, but he was there in spite of it being a cold and windy day. It was a statement that the disease was not going to win.
We saw him commanding his body to hold the club correctly, swing and follow through. Sometimes it involved multiple attempts and repositioning, as he knew what to do and how to do it but the nerves and muscles just did not obey. He had the skill, the experience and the knowledge.
There were shots when everything worked for him and he would exclaim with joy, "That is how it used to be", with high fives all around. As we were coming up on the last few holes we were all tired, but we knew that he was especially tired. He stated that he had used muscles that had not been used in a long time and would certainly face punishing challenges in the days afterward. No matter how tired he was or how much he hurt, you could also see the pride in his accomplishment, finishing the 18 holes. No matter what the score was, he won this battle.
Not only did yesterday make any challenges and complaints I may have pale in comparison, but it also brought to mind many other people I have met in business who fought battles with the ravages of accidents, time and health. Carl, Vinnie, Jim, Gail, Bob, Helen, Bill and so many more with ailments and challenges that most of us will never face. All are lions with a passionate roar, as they made sure that they were not victims but the aggressors. They also have the patience and gentility that we often think of characteristic to lambs. None are victims, casting blame or looking for sympathy. They are never complacent and all thirst for change. They prove themselves victorious in their battles large and small. Their battles are unrelenting; they have to win on a daily basis.
None had planned for the cards life dealt them but each decided to use their strengths to pursue their passion, viability and triumph. They took the cards dealt and used every finesse possible. Their grit shows in a “never give up” tenacity, their resilience in learning new ways to overcome challenges and their fight is passionate with winning being the only option.
We were glad to make a new acquaintance, contribute to the fight in a small way and see a large group with many of our friends sharing their support. I think of all of the teams, we were perhaps the real winners seeing the triumph of the gentleman added to our team.
The question that keeps coming to mind is what would happen in each of our businesses if it did not take a life circumstance to bring out our best? I can only imagine the answer.