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Home / Articles / Columnists / Sports Feature /  The Resilience of the Human Spirit
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Monday, May 4,2020

The Resilience of the Human Spirit

By Mark Tudino  
What Now?

That was the question many of us were left to ask following the postponement – and cancellation – of the professional and collegiate sports calendars. Not only were many of us without the outlet of following our favorite teams, our own local activities were curtailed in the wake of social distancing guidelines, which forced the closure of gyms, bowling alleys, most parks and golf courses. But it’s in this last area where the story picks up, at least for some of our South Florida neighbors. Let me explain.

As is the case with many of us, who either by desperation or ingenuity have discovered alternative outlets to channel our restless energies, a new way was found to get out of the house and stay active. Quite by accident one morning, while biking through my neighborhood, I came across a fellow who was monitoring the action at the nearby golf course. Curious, I asked him what he was doing since nobody was playing – or supposed to be playing – during this time of national crisis, and he should not have been working. His answer surprised me, and provided the raw material for this article. Instead of staying home, it turns out folks who live near this local course were still enjoying the great outdoors, albeit in a different way.

“They’re still playing,” he told me, “even though we’re closed, they still come out and play.” I wondered how that was possible and decided to find out for myself.

The next Sunday I detoured from my regular route and rode my bike near the course. Fortunately, there are cart paths on all 18 holes, thereby allowing me to make the ride without too much difficulty, and what I found was illuminating. People were playing!

And not just golf. Yes, I found people playing golf (though there were no flagsticks on the greens, so all you could do was aim at the middle of the green) but they were out in force, either carrying their bags or toting their pull carts. Yet the real revelation came when I discovered that if folks weren’t playing golf, they were finding other ways to enjoy the course. Remember, at its core, a golf course is actually a park, and with most parks closed, families were still picnicking in the middle of the fairway, fishing by the water hazards, walking every inch of the course; one family even got creative, devising their own hopscotch track – on the cart path.

Instead of ruminating over their bad fortune, my neighbors creatively found ways to stay active, while still maintaining the social distancing rules set forth by the powers that be. It dawned on me how cool this was: it didn’t matter what obstacles were placed in their respective paths, people still found a way to get out and enjoy what’s important to them. Now, obviously if the owners of this local course really wanted to crack down, all of these activities would be history; but in a wise move the decision, was made to leave well enough alone. By the way, as far as I could see, people were being respectful of their surroundings, cleaning up after themselves, and being careful not to damage any part of the course.

So it’s in that spirit I made the decision to keep moving forward, to keep trying to find ways to enjoy life and appreciate what we have at our disposal, even in the face of an international pandemic. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for me to indulge in my latest and favorite activity: Felony golf.



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