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Teacher Talk

I played golf today, or rather a version of what I can play. Limited to three clubs, my putter and two wedges, my A (Attack) and P (Pitching), I had a wonderful time chipping and putting at Turning Stone’s Sandstone Hollow, a nine-hole, all par threes, splendid walk-in-nature golf course.

A month ago, this delightful excursion wasn’t possible; my left shoulder was still recovering from Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty (RTSA), a daunting term to read, write, and endure, and I hadn’t received medical and physical therapy clearance to even attempt it. Now, with almost two months of PT working its magic, consisting of 57 consecutive days of exercises to stretch and strengthen the shoulder, I feel encouraged in a way I haven’t since March 6, 3:30 p.m. when I fled from an attacking dog, slipped on an icy snowbank in my frenzy to escape, and suffered a catastrophic fall, complete with broken shoulder, broken humerus, and pulverized rotator cuff, resulting in the RTSA two weeks later.

Today’s promotion at PT from wielding one-pound weights to two felt like quite an accomplishment, as absurd as that may sound, and yet, it meant a lot to me, indicating that I am making progress as incremental as it is.

As a passionate and totally obsessed golfer for the past 28 years, I’ve always played as much as I possibly could, whenever and wherever I could, especially on bonus days that extended the season into winter or began the new one as winter withdrew for a few glorious days in December, January, February, or March. Ah, those are such special days when a golfer senses and hopes that today could be the day to play again before winter wins, or when the gift of playing is yours before the course officially opens again.

Wool vests and sweaters, turtlenecks and long underwear beneath corduroys are accompanied by a ski cap and a jacket that you take off for swinging and then put right back on as you happily stride toward your ball, anticipating your next shot. Sometimes, you know it’s your last round, but even when you do, you still hope that there’ll be one more day in the high forties before you really can’t play again this year.

And now, for the first time in 29 years, I can’t play an actual round of golf; I can’t hit a ball with a full swing or even try to, and it’s been hard to even imagine being able to do it. I never really thought about it before or had to; instead, I hit that Pro V1x as hard as I…


The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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