Tag Archives: pro

Forget everything you know about golf

“Forget everything you know about golf,” Mitch told me at the beginning of the one-hour golf-with-a-pro golf lesson I won for free when I dropped my business card into a bowl of business cards at the Kia dealer a few months ago.


“What?” I had to ask the person on the other end of the phone when they called me up to let me know that my name had been chosen as the winner. I didn’t even wind up buying a Kia. And that was a real challenge, walking out of that showroom empty handed. Those guys were out for blood. One of the salesmen was actually walking down the street with me for a few blocks, still convinced that if he could only find that magical combination of words and discounted interior upgrades, that I’d reconsider, I’d turn around and sign my name on that dotted line that was in front of my face even before I’d selected which model would have made for a cool test drive.

“That’s right, you’re the lucky winner of the  Kip’s Bay Kia Golf Giveaway!” And yeah, it’s nice to win something, especially something that you weren’t expecting. I was at work, my phone rang, and the last thing I could have imagined was that I’d win an hour of private golf lessons with Mitch … what was his last name? I can’t remember. He was definitely a pro though. He showed me his pro card before even shaking my hand.

And that was the first thing he said to me, “Forget everything you know about golf.” And I looked at him and said, “Done.” And then I closed my eyes and made an expression like there was something rattling around in my head, and then I opened my eyes and went, “Ding! Golf memories: erased.”

He didn’t laugh, which, I don’t know what to say. I thought that was pretty funny, considering it was totally on the spot. Like I had no idea he was going to tell me to forget everything I knew about golf. And I’m pretty good with jokes, you know, not like a professional comedian or anything, but whatever, mildly funny, that’s probably a fair description. And this was so beyond my regular mild humor, I tried to match his stone cold gaze, but I couldn’t help but laugh a little.

“You done?” he said after a really awkward twenty or thirty seconds.

“Yeah, I’m good, sorry Mitch.”

“All right, well, we’d better get started. Did you leave your clubs in the car?”
“No, I don’t have a car.”

“You didn’t bring clubs?”

“Clubs? I told you I won this, right? At the Kia dealership?”

“But I just thought you said that you don’t have a car.”

“Right, yeah, I just took the subway.”

“So then how did you win this lesson at a Kia dealership?”

“Well, I thought about buying a car, but I didn’t do any research, and you know how the salespeople get you, they sit you down at that desk and start writing numbers down, I knew I was way …”

“All right, OK. How about, I’ll just get one of the loaner clubs from the driving range and we’ll give you like three buckets of balls.”

“And then what?”

“What you mean and then what?”

“What are these balls you’re talking about? Driving range? None of these words make any sense.”

And he looked at me for a second, and then I started laughing again, which, I really wanted to see how long I could keep a straight face this time.

“Mitch, remember? You told me to forget everything I knew about golf?”

And I was smiling and, for a minute, I thought Mitch was going to break, like I’d gotten through to him, like he was going to start laughing any second. But he just looked at me and said, “You’ve got something wrong with you, asshole.”

So he walked away and I didn’t even get those three free buckets of balls. And now Kia won’t stop calling me either, they’re like, “How was the golf lesson? Any thoughts about buying a Kia? Do you want to come down to the showroom and talk about financing? Rob, come on, tell me what I’ve got to do to get you in this Kia. Rob, help me help you buy a Kia. Rob, you’ve got to buy this Kia.” Over and over again, I’m at the point where I’m thinking about getting a new cell phone. But the last time I went to the T-Mobile store I also never bought a phone, and weirdly enough, while I was there I also won a prize, a twenty-five dollar gift certificate to the Sports Authority. That was like four months ago, and those guys just finally stopped calling me. “Hey Rob, how was that gift card? You thinking about coming down and buying a Samsung Galaxy smartphone? We’ve got some great deals on refurbished models that I think you’ll be interested in. Come on down and talk it out. Tell me what I’ve got to do to get one of those smartphones in your hands.”

Workout pro

When I started working out last month, I expected to get some results, eventually. I mean, this is all so new to me. Just basic techniques like stretching, how to correctly handle a small dumbbell, these were all foreign concepts to me. Push-ups. I started doing push-ups and I could barely get to ten. And I’m sure my form was way off, my back arched, by the sixth or seventh, I couldn’t really tell if I was going all the way down and up.


But that was just a month ago, and it’s like now I’m already a completely different person. I can’t even begin to think of to what I can attribute my rapid success. It’s like, week one, I was terrible, I was sore, I couldn’t do anything. And then immediately into week two, I somehow transformed into this workout pro. I don’t know how to explain it.

Like the push-ups. Remember how I said I could barely do ten? Now I have yet to find my upward limit. The other day at the gym, I was almost getting frustrated. What turned into a pre-workout warm-up wound up consuming the entirety my afternoon. I said to myself, you know what? I’m just going to do as many push-ups as I can.

I lost count. It was somewhere around four hundred when my mind couldn’t keep up with the monotony anymore. And by the time I looked up at the clock, not only had I gotten lost in my physical routine, but I’d completely lost track of time. I was only supposed to be there for an hour, but the gym guy had to tap me on my back, he was like, “Hey bro, we’re closing.”

“Closing?” I couldn’t believe it, “You mean I’ve been doing push-ups here for six hours straight?” Shit, I thought, that means I definitely must have missed work. What was I going to tell my boss, that after only six days of starting a New Years workout resolution, I’ve somehow made enough progress to where I’m able to continuously do push-ups, one after the other, with no sign of ever needing to stop, even for a small break?

“And the craziest thing is, I never even felt tired!” I tried telling my boss, who, it’s not just that he was skeptical, it’s that he wasn’t interested in even entertaining my story. “It’s true,” I tried to catch his attention again as he turned away, “I’m telling you, watch, look, I’ll get down right now. One. Two. Three. Four.”

But he was just like, “Get off the floor Rob, you look like an idiot. I have a restaurant to run, I’m not going to sit here and watch you do push-ups. Just … if you miss one more shift, that’s it, we’re going to have to let you go.”

And right as he was saying that, I got this idea, like fine, I don’t need this stupid job anymore. I could work for the gym. I could be like a personal trainer. So I said, “How about I let myself go,” and I threw down my apron and stormed out. And I went straight to the gym.

“Hire me,” I told the guy at the front desk, “I want to work here at the gym.” And the guy said, “Well, I guess we could use someone to make sure all the weights go back on the racks after people are done using them.”

I said, “No, I don’t think you get it. I want to be a trainer. I can do like an unlimited amount of push-ups.”

And he said, “Well, that’s great, but you know, you have to get certified to be a trainer, and even then, you’ve got to build up a clientele, so if you bring say, ten or eleven people here, get them a gym membership, I mean, we could give them a preferential rate, then maybe we could talk about giving you a cut.”

“Wait a second,” I told him, “Client base? Do you want to see me do push-ups? Seriously, ask the guy who closed the other night. He had to kick me out. I was doing push-ups for like six hours straight.”

“Look, that’s terrific, really, but this is a business, so unless you can somehow make a successful business model out of those push-ups … well, like I said, you’re more than welcome to start part-time racking weights.”

And that sucked, because it was only like seven an hour, and I had a lot of bills to pay. My old boss wasn’t that forgiving either, he let me back, but I had to start over as busboy, which meant a lot of hours for a lot less pay. In fact I was spending so much time at the restaurant that I didn’t have any time to work out, I barely had any money to pay for my gym membership.

By the time I found an hour to sneak away, it was like months later, all of that muscle I’d built up, well, if you don’t use it, you lose it, right? And so I was back to square one, I couldn’t even finish ten push-ups. And of course, guess who walked by right as I was struggling around number seven. It was the gym owner.

“Keep pushing there buddy, you’re doing great.” Why couldn’t he have walked by when I was at the top of my game, huh? Because I don’t think he believed me, if only he could have seen, I was just cranking out push-ups, I could have powered a small city just on upper body strength.

“Keep pushing!” he wasn’t even talking to me anymore, he was just walking around the gym, doling out generic motivation to everyone in the room, “You’re doing a great job!”