Viet Nam News
by Robert Bicknell
There comes a time in every player’s life when you have to just pick up your ball and call it a day.
The biggest problem in professional sports is that many competitors stay on well past their prime and either get seriously hurt, or they become a shadow of their former selves. It’s even worse for the truly great ones who just cannot let go.
A good example of this would be professional wrestler Rick Flair.
For decades he was known for his amazing talent and ability to get a reaction from the fans. After WCW folded he made his way over to WWE and eventually retired. However, his retirement didn’t last long and was soon seen in a competitor organization looking for a few more glory days and a few fat paychecks.
He finally came to grips with the simple fact that he couldn’t hang with the younger guys and was becoming a joke out there. This is a terrible ending for a guy like that.
Some would argue that Frank Sinatra was another one who didn’t know when to hang it up. It was at the point where he was actually forgetting the words to his own songs and even with the lyric prompters running, he still ended up going awry. A tragic end to a stellar performer.
Now we look at Tiger Woods…
There are a few diehards who hope that, despite all evidence to the contrary, Tiger will play in this year’s Masters tournament.
Sorry folks, that just ain’t gonna happen. Even Tiger’s agent came out with the statement that Tiger isn’t even considering it and is just trying to get through therapy on his back every day.
I said for a long time (years) that Tiger was finished, but nobody seemed to agree with me on this. It’s not a matter of not wanting to see Tiger come back because like many people, I enjoyed watching him play and respected his talent, even if I didn’t like him personally, but I knew what he was going through with injuries and, having experienced many myself, I knew it would be next to impossible for him to reach the level necessary to compete on the PGA Tour.
Those guys are the best in the game and if you’re not 100 per cent, you just cannot hang with them.
When you play at that level, one mistake can mean the difference between winning and finishing 10th. Two good mistakes can help you miss the cut and put you out of the tournament.
So, as I said before, I don’t see Tiger Woods coming back at all. I think at this point quality of life should be his biggest focus.
We need to remember that he’s still relatively young and money is not a problem. He can do many things, including golf course design and lending his name to many different products. We don’t have to feel sorry for him.
I can easily relate to his situation, but on a much smaller scale, of course.
I have arthritis in both feet and hands. Swinging a golf club like I used to do just isn’t in the cards anymore. I have pain 24/7 and have learned to deal with it. For me, surviving 18 holes is a victory, but there are days when the frustration of not being able to do what I used to do really shows.
That pain is worse than the physical pain in many respects.
Yet, I get up and go to work every day because that’s what my family expects me to do and someone has to pay the bills. For me, quality of life has replaced any dreams of playing events and shooting low numbers.
Far too many people lose sight of the actual goal in life which is happiness and focus more on amassing material things, or short lived glories.
The bottom line in life is being happy and you cannot buy that.
Being in pain and trying to do things you are no longer able to do is both physically and emotionally exhausting. It takes the joy out of everyday and you end up frustrated. You simply cannot enjoy your life, or what you already have.
There are times when you just have to pick up your ball and say “enough.” — VNS