Last week, I picked up a heavy bag of long handled sticks and spent a few frustrating hours zigzagging my way around a large swathe of perfectly manicured green grass. I was attempting to play golf, although I’m not entirely sure my swing and general technique allows me to cite what I was doing as “golf.” Despite my frustrations, my wildly and sometimes dangerously inaccurate drives down the fairway were given nothing but positive encouragement. “Oohs,” “ahhs,” and “nice shots” were liberally handed out. Even a desperately scrambled hack from a bunker was awarded a gentle round of applause. In fact, one of my shots that sent a ball into a bunker was deemed to be unlucky. It wasn’t bad luck, though. It was the simple; I’m rubbish at golf. Still, the sentiment was nice. I should’ve thrown my clubs into the lake and laughed off the course just before being told never to show my face around these parts again. Instead, I’m going back next Thursday.
My experience on the golf course led me to believe something like this would never happen in the water. These days, positive words of encouragement are rarely offered in the lineup. Surfers are often miserable bastards.