Two Courses in Two Days

Getting out of town for the fourth of July was amazing. Something I haven’t been doing in the last couple years. We traveled up into the mountains and spent four days at Suncadia. For many reasons, Suncadia has been one of the most special places in my life. A true place of healing for the challenges faced. Until the holiday weekend, my trips to Suncadia were only day trips. Heading up for a weekday afternoon of golf. The afternoon usually used as an escape to get my mind back on track. The trips have done wonders for my emotions, as the summers have past. I was thrilled at the prospect of spending four days in the mountains. Providing the opportunity to experience the special place from a different perspective. There are two golf courses at the Suncadia resort. When I first ventured up there more than ten years ago, there was just one. Prospector was the first course open to the public at Suncadia. I remember the instant connection I felt playing the course on my first trip. It was at one of the low points in my life and immediately relieved some emotional pain. The second course came a few years after I began driving up to the resort for golf. Rope Rider brings me peace, but not to the same degree. It opens a month before Prospector in the spring, after the snow melts. Giving some of the connected feeling I have grown to rely upon. 

The weather was playing tricks during the weekend. The forecast might provide one prediction. But, might change in the middle of a day. We had managed to stay clear of the course on the first afternoon. Trusting the predictions and the darkening clouds drifting over the mountains. It appeared like the second day might provide our only window. The temperatures were a touch below ideal and the wind was predicted to gust. However, the rain was scheduled to hold off through the afternoon and evening. Another issue we faced was the forecast for our third day. They were projecting rain for the following afternoon. Leaving a feeling, like this might be our only opportunity for the weekend. So, we decide to give golfing a go in the mid-afternoon. Playing the Prospector course, in case it turned out to be our only day to play golf. The first section of the golf course turned out nicely. The sunshine provided some warmth without the wind causing havoc. From the middle section, onward to the finishing hole of our day was different. The wind blew at a steadily intense pace. Taking the pleasantness of a sunny afternoon and giving it a windy bite. The remainder of the golfing evening carried a coldness. Becoming challenging to play in at moments of the closing nine holes. 

Everyone made it through the round and enjoyed playing that afternoon. Since returning home, I have thought about the day of golf at Prospector. Playing under those adverse conditions without the desire of calling it early. Keeping in mind we were less than five minutes from the warmth of a home. I think spending time out in that weather makes me stronger. The opportunity to spend time in adverse weather doesn’t seem to arise much. Usually, I will shy away from time of inclement conditions. Vowing to take on whatever activity I was planning at a later date. The thing is, handling the challenges of cerebral palsy doesn’t have a later date. When I wake up and venture out into the world. My disability doesn’t take days off, it’s always there. My hands will tremble trying to get something accomplished. The spasms in my body will act up unpredictably and usually at the most inconvenient times. There will be moments during the day when I struggle with my steps and body movements. The unpredictability is everywhere and I’m required to approach it to the best of my ability. It doesn’t feel much different from a wind-swept afternoon in cold temperatures. Similar to how my life can feel, I have to find the courage to grind out the day. And when I manage to get through an adverse weather day like that, it helps me with the courage to get through normal days. Knowing I have the strength to take on adversity and make it successfully. Understanding the act of not giving in when it gets rough, equals success. All that being said, I don’t know if I could have done it the second day. Luckily, I didn’t have to make the attempt. The weather forecast was incorrect. 

I sat in the backyard on the night of our second day. Warmed up from the golf played in adverse conditions. The gas fire pit was helping light the evening. It partnered with the string of lights bordering the back of the home. I was sitting next to the fire among an atmosphere striking me as special. The homes across the fairway were lit up, one right after the other. With people like me, enjoying the weekend escape from life. Looking above at the sky struck me as curious. It was crystal clear for the first time during the trip. The half-moon could be seen just behind a towering pine. I wondered how it could be that clear with the rain being forecasted for the third day. The thought was filed away, as I must have been missing something. The clouds might be rolling in overnight. One of the things I love about the mountains is the quick change in weather. Everything could look different from the morning breakfast table. When I awoke on the third morning at Suncadia. The weather had not moved in during the night. The sky remained crystal clear and was now brightening the day. As the morning wore on, the rain predicted in the afternoon slowly disappeared from the app. It might just be a good day for some golf. 

In fact, it turned out to be a great day for some golf. The temperature continued climbing and by the time we began, the weather was comfortable. We started under brilliantly sunny skies that kept us warm throughout the afternoon. Not much wind to speak of during the third day. The second course on the second day of golf was Rope Rider. Our home for the trip was positioned just off the twelfth green of Rope Rider. An ideal spot, in the middle of the round for a pit stop. When we arrived at the twelfth, there was plenty of time to stop in for whatever was desired. But, the day was great even before getting to the twelfth, and it continued on after a quick stop by the house. The differences in the two days felt pretty stark. The wind was down and the temperatures were elevated. Leaving my body feeling different from the previous day. I was able to move with much more freedom. The warmth from the sun allowing the tightness from cerebral palsy to relax some. Even though my body will always struggle with tightness. The warm weather has always been helpful. With the added freedom, my swing was more fluid. I hit the ball better on that second day of golf. Feeling blessed that the weather forecast was incorrect. Giving way to a wonderful day for golf. 

The days of challenge always seem to highlight the good ones. There was a pretty real contrast in the two days of golf. The temperature difference felt like it was over ten degrees. Most of the variation probably brought about by wind. But, the accomplishment of finishing on the chilly first day helped. It helped me appreciate the conditions of the second day of golf at Rope Rider. The experience of staying at Suncadia over the holiday weekend was fun. Getting the opportunity to drive back to a home after finishing the round of golf. Until then, playing golf at Suncadia meant driving for just over an hour, playing golf, and driving home the same distance. Even though, I knew from going up there, I loved the mountain resort. I had never gotten a glimpse into what life up there was truly like. Over the weekend, I learned it was better than I would have imagined in my mind. The slowed down pace of the small towns that surround Suncadia. Along with the peaceful flow of life inside the resort community. The weekend never felt boring, more like an excellent escape from the speed of life in suburbia. I didn’t think it was possible to become more connected to the place. Though I haven’t made the trip up again, since being there over the holiday weekend. I have the feeling, Suncadia will never quite feel the same. The thought feels positive. 

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