What Disc Golf Taught Me About Success

What Disc Golf Taught Me About Success

First of all, let me express to you how much I hate waking up early. Apparently this is something in my genes, because I’ve always been this way and whenever I try to fight it and get up early, I simply can’t sustain it and revert back to my late night ways. When I was an infant and toddler, my parents called me the “third shift baby” because I wanted to sleep all day and party all night. (Sorry, Mom and Dad!!!) If I don’t set an alarm for myself, I naturally wake up around noon.

I’m writing all this to emphasize how significant a sacrifice it is to me to get up early for something. To be successful at something worthwhile, we have to make sacrifices and changes to our behavior, and I’d like to tell you a story from my life regarding that.

Back in graduate school at The University of North Texas, some friends and I discovered a cheap, fun game that we could play to get away from our music studies for a while and get some exercise outdoors as well. We started playing disc golf at a few nearby parks. Disc golf is a game where you throw a “frisbee” into a metal basket from long distances.

Like many who play regular golf, I became hooked on this game. I found myself practicing my throw often to try to shave a point or two off my score, learning the various ways of getting the disc to curve right or left, and perfecting my putting technique.
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My friends and I played on weekends since we didn’t have time during the busy weekday schedule of lessons, rehearsals, and classes. Soon I i found myself wanting to play a lot more than that. I realized that I couldn’t build my skills consistently just playing a couple times on the weekend. Unfortunately, my schedule didn’t allow games in the afternoons or evenings. I could only play very early in the morning because I had to drive out to the park, play 9 or 18 holes, drive home, shower, and get ready to go to my first class in the morning.

It was only because I really enjoyed the game and realized I needed daily practice to improve that made me willing to make sacrifices I normally wouldn’t do. I woke up excited and energized because I wanted to get out to the course in time. It was shocking to me that I would be so willing to get up early and have that kind of energy. But when you become passionate about something, it can do that for you.

We played for quite a while before losing interest in the game and moving on to other things, but I learned a valuable lesson from the experience. When you are excited about something, you will happily make sacrifices and changes in your life to get to do that activity.

I want violin, viola, cello, or double bass to be that passion for you and The String Club can be a daily part of it. Too often musicians start with a sense of excitement and join the orchestra or start private lessons, but soon lose that initial motivation. Sometimes we have to study music that isn’t fun or exciting to us, and its nearly impossible to keep that fire going to get us up early in the morning. The String Club can help you bring that fire back! We make it easy to learn fun music that you love and share it with others.

I want you to think, “I really want to learn that piece and make a recording I can show to my friends. I won’t be able to get it done unless I wake up early, stay up late, skip that TV show, or skip browsing Facebook posts.” If you have that attitude over a long period of time, you will be successful and become a great performer.

What songs are you excited to play? What pieces would you be really proud to show your friends and family? With a paid account at The String Club, you can learn it by starting slowly, making sure you match the pitch and rhythms accurately and gradually speed up to performance tempo. Please do a search for any music that you are excited about and let me know if you would like me to add something. Make the sacrifice for something you are passionate about and keep that fire alive in you!

Todd Markey

Todd Markey

Todd Markey is an active orchestral performer in Georgia, frequently heard with the Johns Creek and Carroll symphonies, as well as the Tango Orchestra Club Atlanta. He received a Master in Music Performance in double bass from the University of North Texas in 1997 and taught at Valdosta State University from 2000 to 2004. Todd has a wide range of musical skills, including performance in classical, jazz, and rock styles, as well as composition and music theory. He teaches violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, and ukulele.

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