A Moment of Gratitude

To this day, I really don’t know what happened. I’ve heard some stories and have a few paper trail type details, but that’s it. After a string of 2,000 mile weeks, a notable in the golf world fumbling the ball and blaming everyone else including me and a bunch of other little and big things, I started not sleeping. For me, that’s nothing new. I’ve not really been into sleep that much and for what it seemed, my body didn’t need much.

But then came one big hassle after another and not only was I not sleeping much, for about 7 days I didn’t sleep at all. That program might be OK for some crazy backwoods tweaker who has nothing to do but shoot at stumps all day and has the help of meth to make the body do things, but for me, I continued to work and didn’t supply more than the usual foods to my system along with a bunch of coffee and some Red Bull. When the rubber band snapped on this program, I found myself now not knowing who or where I was. Actually, I didn’t find myself, others found me.

It’s been 12 months since all of this went down. I get what happened now and have heard most of the stories. Some much needed time off and some good treatment and things got straight pretty quickly and I emerged a different person. But taking a little time off during August is kind of one of the things that lots of Turfheads, myself included, don’t really like to do. But in this case, I didn’t really have a choice.

“What I remember most about that time, is the outpouring of love that I received from my friends. Most of whom are Turfheads. Because, that’s who I usually choose to hang with.”

What I remember most about that time is the outpouring of love that I received from my friends, most of whom are Turfheads. Because, that’s who I usually choose to hang with. And without fail, each and every one of them asked me why I didn’t speak up or ask them for some support. Truth? When you are in the middle of the pickle jar, you don’t know you are really the pickle. And that’s the truth. I didn’t ask for support, because well, I didn’t know I needed it.

There’s not a day that goes by that I’m thankful for the community that I’m fortunate enough to call myself a part of. I’ve seen the folks in our business go far out of their way to take care of each other. A lot of that comes from the fact that when you spend most of your days working without a net, it feels good to help someone else. That’s not rocket psychology, it’s just a human truth.

Every one of us has experienced some kind of life drama. Everyone does. And everyone discovers surprising and unknown facts about themselves. That’s what revelation is. I consider the revelations that came to me in a very difficult time to be of huge value. I learned a lot about Dave Wilber. Some stuff I didn’t want to know and other things, surprisingly wonderful.

It’s August. And most of us know that August has an ass-kicking way to teach us things. If you’ve grown grass at any level and haven’t had some kind of lesson in this form, then it’s really not a matter of “if”, it’s more about “when”. I’ve gotten more than a few of those experiences. The technical lessons are there. Don’t ever spray that again… etc. But the emotional lessons are a bit harder to see. There isn’t a winter turf conference for these lessons to be examined. So that’s why I’m grateful for my friends and my support network and the Great Mystery of Faith. Therein lay the education that I most often need.

If your world and your August are giving you a beating, there really isn’t any shame in reaching out for support. I wish I had known this. But at the same time I’m eternally glad for the lesson and humbled by the opportunity to share it here.

3 Responses to “A Moment of Gratitude”

  • Hey friend,

    We Turfheads are meeting at Loomis Basin Brewery for some pickle juice today (Aug 24th) at 3pm! Please come and talk turf with us.

  • Kevin Breen:

    Amen brother Dave. One year ago represented another life for a lot of people. The simple investment we make in others, whether it is family,friends,community,co-workers or possibly someone you don’t know puts this crazy world into perspective. I am unendingly apprecitative of those relationships. To put it into agronomic terms, relationships are the carbon of humanity. Without them, nothing else works.

  • Dave: We haven’t talked for a while but I have followed your columns avidly and continue to respect your soils and turf industry knowledge from afar. I have always wished we could come to grip with the pressures of our profession in a better manner. Yes, we have one another but, often have to wait for the collapse before we know that help is there. Unlike large corporations we just don’t have the support systems in place that would help us all. Thanks for sharing your experiences and I hope it will help others to reach out before too late and also persuade some of us who may see problems to react appropriately. Thanks. Ted


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