The First Trimester
A worry that always seemed to be lingering in the back of my mind was whether I could golf while pregnant. This is when I naively thought pregnancy meant giving up all physical activity for 9 months, so when I finally came across a pregnant women hitting on the driving range I was relieved, but also amazed.
We tend to have a little extra trouble when doing a few things at once, but imagine working to sustain life, create life and on top of all that performing one of life's most difficult tasks, the golf swing.
Pregnancy took on a whole new meaning after that and it wasn't until I became pregnant myself that I actually understood that new meaning. Through it all, golf has continued to be the caveat of which I learn and understand more about life, our bodies and our endless human potential and abilities.
Let's start with the first trimester, or for me what was three months of torture. As we know or can assume, all women experience pregnancy very differently. I experienced the beloved first trimester with nonstop nausea and headaches. I had no energy or desire to do anything, except one thing: Golf! That is right, through all the pain and discomfort I still managed to fully utilize my will power to get to the golf course and play or practice golf. Once I had a club in hand everything changed. The nausea or headaches did not go away, but my focus changed. I was no longer concerned with the throbbing headache, but the initial movement of my body, the swiftness of my follow through and the pureness of my shot.
I exerted more focus on my stance, posture, grip and swing than I ever had before, mainly out of desperation to rid myself of feeling so awful. The side effects of such focus was something I could definitely handle, an improved golf swing and a better understand of my approach to the golf swing. At some point it dawned on me, this is the focus needed for great golf. A focus where everything is set aside and one thing and only that one thing matters; utilizing the club properly to hit a golf ball. It is such a simple idea that we often allow a deluge of information to flood our mind and derail our focus, I needed this single minded focus. My sanity depended on it. By default I re-learned or rather remembered the most important aspect in golf and in everyday life, where we put our focus matters. This is also directly associated with mindset, which is another topic altogether.
So it is important to remember on the golf course and the driving range to prioritize our mind to focus on the right things. Away from pain, negative possibilities and solely and completely on the task at hand. It is not an easy feat, we all know that, but it's one that is worth putting some effort into. I guarantee it will pay off birdie-fold.
The Second Trimester
After I ventured into the second trimester and the nausea stage was over, I had a new obstacle to overcome: golfing for two. It was simple at first as the other person is the size of a golf ball or two. But it quickly becomes a thing. Imagine swinging a golf club with a 1lb bag of sugar secured around your belly. Then imagine that bag of sugar is a living, breathing little one that you want to protect at all cost. It definitely adds an entirely new element to the golf swing, and of course to life. Honestly though, it is not as difficult as golfing with a bag of sugar. Once I overcame the fear and anxiety of squishing or hurting my baby it was back to full send again. But this time, with an added degree of focus. Not the focus away from sickness but the focus on my body and its every movement. You tend to be a little more cautious and, by default, more fluid with the swing. It's not just about you anymore, it is now the two of you, and that takes a little more balance, fluidity and focus. My body is not only my temple, which we so often neglect to realize, but it's the everything for another human being.
I started to proceed with a little more caution and awareness and it definitely resulted in some golf swing improvements. It caused me to be more aware and critical of my posture because it was now that much more important for the physical health of my body as well as necessary for me to use my strength and balance effectively to make a swing. It lead to a more fluid motion because in the back of my mind I didn't want to jolt the baby. Although I have learned that is not possible, the subconscious mind still acts as if it's a possibility. Again, it helped improve my focus, making me aware from the mechanics of the golf swing or fearful possibilities on the golf course and bringing me right back to that very moment of the swing. I became empowered, all things were possible and fear was no longer an option as I transition into becoming the protector of this beautiful child.
Overall, what truly changed and is still changing is my awareness of what is important in life. I initially noticed this as I became slower to anger at poor shots (at least for now), partly because I do not want this innocent little one to know anger before she must and partly because it didn't really matter. The latter reason was always something I understood and agreed with in theory but had not full adopted. As life is growing within me my perspectives are also growing and changing. It is a constant reminder to see, appreciate and enjoy the life right in front of me. It's a new lens of beauty that radiates on every moment. And it is yet another spectacular example of the lessons and growth we received from golf, when we are open to them.
I have not yet started the third trimester, but stay tuned for the updates as I continue to grow and my swing continues to adapt and hopefully improve.
For tips or questions on golfing while pregnant, please feel free to leave a comment or email me directly.