The sport I love is saving my life. Disc Golf is played in parks all over Southern California. I am now a regular player. Most people call me by the nickname Big Joe. I don't mind the new handle. Big Joe and Red have been with me my whole life.
I watched the Golden State Classic this past weekend at La Mirada regional park. It was amazing to watch, but boring to the uninitiated. The ability to control a disc may seem easy right up until you try to throw it 450 feet. Becoming skilled at the sport I love required a lot of practice. And this is why I say it saved me life. I play all the time.
I started playing in 1975. It was a thing Walt Pitman taught me to do. He was the Youth Pastor at my church. La Mirada park is right across the street from Biola. We played all the time in those day. It was disc golf, then church, then more disc golf. I loved it.
Things change as you age. I lost the buzz for the sport. I started playing again three years ago after a 30-year on again, off again relationship with the sport. Around last November I got serious. I realized I loved playing disc golf. Walking through a park with a disc in my hand is spiritual thing. I don't use the word spiritual lightly.
I grew fat over the years. Obese is such an unkind word. In my case it is a fact. I was considering gastric banding surgery. I was scheduled to have it last October. There was a problem with my insurance so it did not happen. I filed an appeal and waited. In the interim, I started playing disc golf every chance I could, sometimes even two or three times a day. My game improved.
Last week my surgeon called to say everything was good for the operation. We were going to do it this Thursday. I went in for my preop evaluation. When I weighed in the scale showed I was at the my lowest weight in 10 years. I nearly fell over. Over the course of a year I managed to lose 62 pounds. 25 pounds alone were shed since last February. I was stunned.
I started playing disc golf for exercise. When I started, a single game would leave me breathless and spent. I did not realize falling in love with the sport would start my weight loss engine. For the first time in 16 years, I started to lose weight without a diet.
My doctor said I would be a fool to go through with the surgery now. I agreed. At this rate I'll have lost all the weight I want within 18 months.
A postscript - I played disc golf today after work. It was my best game ever. Life is too short to live fat.