Monthly Archives: May 2010

Looking into the mirror

Looking into the mirror

Sometimes I look at her and see a familiar face, the lines of her profile, the shape of her nose.  It is as if I am reliving a tiny piece of my past.  It might be an expression she throws out in conversation. It might be the way she tilts her head.  It takes me back to a place in time.  She is very obviously my flesh and blood, my DNA, my daughter.

Lindsay was my last child,the only girl of the three.  The boys are naturally equally loved and adored, but they do not possess any of my physical traits.  For that I suppose I am grateful.  They are handsome, tall and very loving, genuinely good human beings. My little girl is all of those things, plus a carbon copy of my physical self.

Now, she is not just me.  Throw in some of Dad’s wonderful characteristics, physical, mental and emotional, and you have our daughter Lindsay. She has a strong sense of loyalty, a great work ethic and is basically very honest and highly emotional. She has confidence and an ability to lead.  She is a great mix of us both.

It sounds very much like I am bragging, and I suppose I am.  However, there are moments when I also see my less than positive attributes. Perhaps those are learned behaviors, but they are there non-the-less. The bursts of temper and sometimes a superlative thrown in for measure, just to be certain the point is crystal clear.  She tends to exaggerate like me. She is proof that children emulate our actions… note to self.

The funny thing is, if she walks like me and she talks like me…..she still is Lindsay….not me. She will live her life making mistakes and learning how to achieve her goals and her own brand of personal happiness. She will be held accountable for every decision, just as we all are. But, we (her dad and I) will be there every step of the way, guiding and helping so the mistakes will maybe be fewer, the pain a little less sharp and the happiness and faith a whole lot stronger. What a wonderful gift God gives us in our children, the chance to refine and make life better.

I love looking in the mirror.

Presiding over my domain (taking control)

Presiding over my domain (taking control)

Every once in awhile it dawns on me that  life has spun out of control.  It happens slowly, bite by bite, day by day,  a missed workout here, a french fry there. Suddenly, I realize I am avoiding my daily weigh-in knowing, deep down, the scale has to be tipping in the wrong direction. The bad habits creep into my day:  a piece of cheese in the afternoon with some crackers, or not 1 but 2 Weight Watcher English Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Bars.  Then comes the moment of truth. The bermuda shorts fit snuggly, my tops are bulging. When I twirl around in the mirror, there it is….the dreaded “back-fat”. The slippery slide has taken me down it’s path and I am no longer in control of my weight, one of the important areas I actually can control..

For most of my life I was blessed by being a “thin” person.  I never craved sweets, in fact I actually loved salty and sour tastes. But, that all changed when I met the love of my life who just happens to be Italian. I found myself enjoying long meals and preparing meals myself – meals with several courses,the last course, dessert. Meals became a source of entertainment. Cities were not noted for their magnificent sights, in my world they became known for a famous steakhouse or deli. Slowly my slim waist transformed to a muffin top!  My size 4 body became 6, then 8 and even 10! What was happening to me?

Let’s be honest here. I am not young.  I am even a bit past middle aged.  I would not even qualify for “Cougar”. But, the aging process is not going to stop. It seems like yesterday (age, maybe 26) when I glimpsed the rearview mirror to check myself out and noticed two lines along my neck, under my chin.  It looked like two scars from plastic surgery.  I had not even ever had plastic surgery. What was this?  Then, a few years later I was climbing into the v-birth of my sailboat when I noticed the ever so slight pooch of skin sort of wrinkled and hanging (evidence of child-bearing) where my flat abdomen used to be. These subtle signals were roadsigns that lead in only one direction… toward menopause, the next big milestone, the one that gave me hot flashes and a “men-o-pot”.  The mirror was being avoided much like the scale.  But, then God, in His wisdom, took away my clear vision and left me in a blur. The lines that formed along my mouth became more faint. However, the digital numbers on my scale popped up clearly.  It seemed as if I had gained ten pounds for every decade since I was 20!  The scale did not lie.

Recently they announced a study that said a woman over forty must do an hour of cardio daily to maintain her weight.  That is just great.  That means my vigorous daily walk was allowing me to only maintain? But, I want to lose.  I have a wedding in October.  Those matronly Mother of the Bride dresses are not for me.  I wanted a sleek tight fitting dress. And, I didn’t want to wear a jacket to cover my arms. I had t o step it up… literally.

The ocean is just 5 miles from my home.  I love the ocean, I love to bike and I love to walk.  It seemed simple enough.  Just incorporate those loves into a new workout plan.  So, at least three days per week I try to bike to the ocean 5 miles, walk the ocean for 1 hour around 4 miles, then bike home another 5 miles.  This takes me 2 hours.  And, it is rejuvenating to chase the sandpipers walking in the hard sand just beyond the breaking surf with the sun hitting my face and the waves crashing to my side, every passerby smiling and nodding hello. A beautiful workout.

Slowly the pounds are melting away.  The scale is sliding in the right direction.  I monitor my input (eating) and my output (exercise).  The years are slipping by.  The wrinkles continue to appear. That is something beyond my control. But, the feeling I have of being back in the drivers seat is wonderful.  I have more energy and am starting to peek in the mirror a bit more often these days. That long indigo gown should look great by October. And, I don’t think I will wear a jacket or even a throw. Back in control and  I feel amazing.  Mother of the Bride….Judi Z style………

Ours is a “Funky” world

Ours is a “Funky” world

Caddy Mark Long and Fred have been together for nearly ten years.

If I could have written this on Saturday night I undoubtedly would have more vivid memories of the day.  But, I will try to recapture the excitement we felt walking toward the 16th green of the Stadium Course at The Players during the third round. That day Fred bounced back to shoot an unbelievable score fresh off the recovery of knee replacement surgery. Or, as caddy Mark Long described it, “He’s come out of hibernation just in time.”

This 53 year old former University of Maryland golf coach-turned-pro is one of the most beloved golfers on tour.  His ability to remain a regular guy despite his 19 professional wins including the 2005 Players Championship is proof of his humility and strong faith. He is just a good guy who works hard. No other way to describe him.

The gallery was building as our long time friend approached the epicenter of the famous Stadium Course where holes 16, and 17 can be viewed simultaneously. The fans relaxed in the grass, or if fortunate enough to score a ticket to one of the air conditioned chalets, munched on sumptuous snacks and a Sawgrass Splash or an ice cold brew while waiting for the next group to come thru. The giant TV screens announced the golfer on each tee box and provided currents stats. It is the perfect place to watch The “almost major” Players unfold.

No.16 hole is a 523 yard par-5 that sits across the water from the famous island 17th green. Tom and I and many others Funk’s Punks in bright orange shirts escorted Fred as he walked the 16th fairway. You could hear the fans whispers, “Here comes Funk and his Punks”. The fans cheered as he eagled 16 taking back the 2 shots from bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15.  However, lurking ahead was 17!

Undoubtedly the most famous hole in golf, the island green 17 is extremely intimidating with it’s ribbon of walkway to the green surrounded by water. Dreams have been shattered by pin placement near the front of the green on a bottom shelf. Fred managed a two-putt-par and it was now on to 18 with it’s entire left fairway hugging the water.

If you can hold it all together to 18 you must maintain your cool as this hole will test your skill and a stiff  north westerly wind hitting you in the face will cause your knees to shake. The green is surrounded by a sandy bunker on the left and deep pots of grass bunkers on the front that can devour your chances of par in one bad bounce. Fred was fortunate to hit the green with his second shot as the ball raced 22 feet past the hole. But, he sunk the putt which had a left-to-right break for a birdie and a stupendous 6-under-par third round score. We high-fived one another as the goose bumps rose on my sun burned arms. “I love to watch that man!” I shouted. We all watched him climb up the leader board that day as high as 6th place, with 5 birdies and an eagle, a whopping 52 spots ahead of the tie for 58th he posted at the end of the second round.

Sunday round four was a comfortable weather day.  Low humidity and temps in the high 70’s, ocean breezes and sunshine.  But the course held no favor as the scores began to drop from the strong wind.  Fred felt the pressure and did not have his best day. He finished with a 78 tied for 39th place.  But, he stayed the course, as they say.  He finished his round.  He did not retreat.

It is said that the game of golf is a game of inches played mainly in the inches between our ears. Tiger could take a lesson from Fred. He inspires so many to work hard and to keep going. He has transformed his physical body by working out more. He has has reaped the benefit with longer drives and greater stamina. Here is a 53 year old man with a new knee who plays both PGA and Champions Tours and might I say…..very well.  I am proud of Fred Funk for being a strong man who loves his family and is blessed with a God given gift that not only provides he, and others he helps, with a great life….it entertains and inspires others. Keep on going Fred. As one fan yelled out as we approacehed 16 green ….”You still got it”.