Advice for avoiding injuries on vacation: Quit showing off for your kids
Does anyone else recall how Tom Lehman’s 1998 season was hobbled by a dislocated shoulder? Lehman was attempting a handstand for his kids while they were on vacation when he suffered the injury. He eventually needed surgery to repair the damage.
Last week in Southern California, as I was visiting various golf resorts, my family joined me for a few days. One sunny afternoon, we all headed to Venice Beach to see the sea and watch the waves of often eccentric humanity collected on that sunny shore.
Of course one of the things Venice Beach is famous for is Muscle Beach, where hulking, bulging men and women pump iron and perform feats of strength that would have earned them demi-god status in past millennia.
As we approached Muscle Beach, I saw a young man climbing one of the two 15-foot ropes there. His buddies and a couple of young women were cheering him on, and applauded loudly when he reached the top.
Well, 20 years ago, I could climb ropes hand-over-hand with my legs straight out in front of me. I hadn’t climbed a rope in 20 years, though.
But what’s 20 years? A man’s kids need to see him do stupid things and succeed now and again (as opposed to the usual abject failure they normally witness).
I could feel my wife’s eyes drilling a fiery hole in the back of my skull as I sauntered over to the rope. Clad in sandals, cargo shorts, and button-up shirt, I was a far cry from any of the buff dudes milling about, and I could hear a couple of chuckles as I grabbed hold and hoisted my pale carcass upward.
About half-way up, they began cheering despite the fact that I was reduced to using my feet a bit after the first 1/3 of the ascent.
Near the top, they called out that I should do a pull-up on the bar when I got to the top.
And I considered it.
Then I remembered Lehman, and realized I had a lot of golf yet to play on this trip.
I reached for the bar at the top, slapped it, and made my way down as carefully as possible, to the applause of the young folks.
My wife and kids just stood there, staring.
“I haven’t done that in twenty years,” I panted toward the group of locals once I was safely back on the sand.
“Come back in another twenty,” responded one of them. His girlfriend, though, elbowed him and said, “He did that really good, even wearing sandals.”
No injury, thankfully.
But two days later, at Temecula Creek Inn, let me tell you, I felt every inch of that rope on the first tee.
This isn’t me (my wife didn’t think to take out the camera – she ws too shocked), but these are the ropes I climbed on Muscle Beach, jeopardizing both my golf swing and my pride.
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