Part Three: My Life-Changing Decision At Age 10
Welcome back to part three of my journey to becoming a Black Belt Golfer. My story resumes at age 10, which is when I made up my mind that I was going to become a professional golfer. I announced this to my father, not expecting him to take me seriously at this young age, but fortunately he was behind me 100%.
Around this time, my life was jam-packed with many varied activities and commitments – Hebrew school, regular school and hanging out with friends, as well as immersing myself in baseball, basketball, martial arts and golf. If there was a basketball, baseball or football game going on in the neighborhood, I was there. Every chance I got I would be riding my bicycle with my friends, and I would come home each day with a different wound from trying some new trick with my bike.
In addition to this, my dad was a runner, and I would go on runs with him in the morning. We ran up this hill called “heart attack hill,” so called because if you made it all the way to the top, you felt like you were having a heart attack – your heart was pumping that hard. Think San Francisco, and the very steep hills they have. This one was so steep that it made those hills seem flat, and it went up for about half a mile. My attitude was that if my dad could run up it, so could I – and I did.
At age 10, I could hit a 100 MPH baseball – a consequence of me begging my mother to take me to the batting cages for practice every night. It was ironic that the doctors telling me I would never be able to play sports was one of the reasons that I had so much drive to throw myself into practicing and excelling. I remember practicing free throws for hours during the day as we had a basketball hoop at our home. I would practice swinging the golf club and hitting Wiffle balls all the time. In the mornings, I would practice my kicks, and stretch from my martial art training.
Additionally, I had a tennis racket that I used to hit balls against the garage with. It was cool when the ball was wet and would leave a mark on the garage only for it to dry off within a minute. My first girlfriend was a tomboy, and we used to play tether ball all the time in the playground at school. During the summer time, we spent our days swimming as we were lucky enough to have a pool in our backyard. As you can tell, even at this age I lived for sports of all types. I was even riding motorcycles at the age of 10.
Despite life pulling me in many different directions, the dream I had of becoming a professional golfer was always at the forefront of my mind and something I constantly focused on. Back then (in the days of cassettes!), I would listen to Anthony Robbins on my tape player, and he would tell me that I could do anything I put my mind to.
Even as a child I decided that I was not going to let bad circumstances dictate my life.
I feel fortunate to have had such a great childhood, where I was given the opportunities and encouragement from my parents to follow my passion in life – to play sports. I was lucky to have a father that enjoyed physical activity and did not hold me back just because I had asthma and was legally blind out of my right eye. I guess overcoming adversity runs in the family; my father is legally blind out of his left eye and he went on to become a drag racer.
What some people use as an excuse for inaction in life, others use as the driving force to achieve their dreams.
Be sure to check out part 4 of my journey, where I reveal the choice I had to make at the tender age of 14.
If you are serious about upping your golf game, and want to increase your strength, stamina and precision from the comfort of your own home, then take a look at the Black Belt Golf DVD available here.