I will admit it. My heart is telling me to hit the road and start collecting more courses played. And it was devastating, talking with two friends of mine and collectively deciding to postpone our course collecting trip down to Omaha earlier in March. But “adulting” can be hard sometimes. And I need to set a good example for others, particularly my two daughters. So I have resisted the urge to make the fun-but-selfish decision to do what I want to do, safety and poor example to others be darned.
Not being able to drive for seven months in 2019, due to my epilepsy diagnosis in the Spring, might have been a blessing in disguise, in the sense that it could not have been better training for “sheltering in place.” I went three weeks in December 2019 without even leaving my small community or 2,100 or sitting in a car! Talk about cabin fever! 🙂 And now, listening to a few people threaten to jump out of tall buildings because they haven’t been able to go to Starbucks or the mall in three…entire…weeks (sigh) makes me realize the mental toughness I was able to develop last year.
Course collecting requires both physical health and financial health. But course collecting also requires mental health, mental toughness. The more courses you play? The more expensive it becomes, playing further and further away from home. And let me tell you, as a person who has played more than 100 holes of disc golf in a day more times than I can remember? It isn’t just you (reading this) whose body and brain are telling you to stop because you are tired after 36, 54, 72 holes. 🙂 To this day, I still don’t know how I managed to play 165 holes of disc golf one long Summer day across Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana a few years back! So instead of setting a poor example for others during this pandemic, I am using this time to work on my physical health, my financial health, and my mental health. Working on the mental toughness needed to power through the aches and pains to play a lot of holes in a day. And with one day left in the month of March? I am on pace to average well-over five miles walked per day, every day (rain, snow, ice or sun).
I have also been using this time to try and improve my course collecting experience in other ways (once I can get back out on the course). During my course collecting in Iowa and Nebraska earlier this year, I suffered through wet, cold feet just about every round I played. Standing on two frozen blocks of ice instead of feet doesn’t exactly make the experience a pleasant one, so I set out researching better socks and shoes that I could wear to make playing in the ice and snow less miserable, and came across a company in Steamboat Springs, Colorado named Point6.
Point6 makes base layers, accessories and socks, and has primarily marketed their products to hikers, runners, skiers and snowboarders over the years. I decided I would reach out to them and politely ask: “What about us disc golfers?” Two of their staff quickly responded to my inquiry, saying: “Yeah…what about disc golfers? That’s a good idea!” So I got three pairs of their crew-length socks, and I have to say that they are probably the best socks I have ever played in! Helping to keep my feet both warm and dry in the snow and ice, as well as reducing odor while being incredibly comfortable. Who knew there was such a thing as “sock technology?” But whatever Point6 does, they do it incredibly well. So I feel as though I can check finding good socks off my coronavirus To Do List! Now I just need to find better shoes that can hold up to the constant pressure placed on them near the metatarsals and the heel…
To everyone reading this, I wish nothing but a happy and healthy 2020! We’ve gotten off to a rough start, but “this too shall pass.” So I guess I would ask all of you to be smart, and be patient. We ALL want to get out and have life get back to normal. But the less patient/smart we are? The longer and worse the effects of this pandemic will probably be. But while we cannot enjoy some of the things we like? Let’s cross a few of those other To Dos off our respective lists.
Magic Number = 454 (1,546 Courses Played)
About Tonn’s Travels
How it All Got Started: Tonn’s Travels >> A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re out “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.
Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, Mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. The longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA, the more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that “Steady” Ed the father of disc golf and the modern day Frisbee vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf, and the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.