I am not an athlete

Photo by Kerby Centre

I am not an athlete.

I’m what you might call an indoor kid. The most exercise I get is from throwing dice during a particularly raucous board game.

And yet I found myself at the Kerby Centre Charity Classic, rental clubs in the back of my golf cart.

The only thing protecting me from the beating sun is a baseball hat from one of the sponsors and a thickly applied layer of sunscreen. I would go on to apply the sunscreen three more times over the course of the day.

Like I said: indoor kid.

The day began with a light lunch, registration and folks slowly clambering to their carts and enjoying a cool beverage, lazily floating their way through easy conversation and quick laughter.

Folks next to us ask where a particular gentleman might have gone. They answer in kind that there are no gentlemen here! Only golfers.

Despite not being an athlete, I was one of those golfers. I pulled on my golfers glove, grabbed my clubs and headed out to the greens to see if any of the lessons that I took two decades ago had kept.
Suffice to say, they did not. I had my golf glove on the wrong hand.

After fixing my minor boo-boo, I got up to the first tee box. I straightened my feet, angled my shoulders, and took a couple of practice swings — my driver cutting a sharp sound through the scorching air.

I moved forward. Steadied myself once more. And then I swung.

The ball rolled maybe five inches away from the tee as my club carved through the soft earth. I sent a divot of soil flying, at least several feet farther than I did my ball.

I was assured, through barely held-back giddy giggles and curling smiles to not worry. It was all for fun after all.

But it really wasn’t.

Not to say my lack of skill put a damper on the day.

The day, in its entirety, was joyous. Lots of laughter and smiles, success and — in my case — failures. Challenges to be overcome over beers and cocktails, and a lovely dinner to put a perfect bow on the day.
It was awesome. Tons of fun. But it wasn’t what the day was about.

The day aimed to raise money, specifically for Kerby Centre’s food security programs. We were reminded of it at various points throughout the day’s festivities.

But what does the food security program look like?

To answer that, we have to rewind about a month to another day when I found myself completely out of my wheelhouse.

One of our free food markets — events where older adults can get food items to assist with a world that seems bent on continuing to make things more expensive by the day — needed an additional volunteer to work the tables.

Although I’m a writer and marketer by trade, I won’t ever say no to assistance.
I worked the bread market.

I pulled on two plastic gloves — got them on the right hands this time — and worked at handing out sandwiches and dairy products to older adults who needed them.

It was sobering. The line was out the door, on another scorching day.

The folks who came through our door were in need. We had items to provide.

I had to look at more than one person and say, with great pain, that I could not give them an extra item lest we run out and not be able to serve everyone.

The looks of disappointment I received in return will not soon leave me.

Moreover, neither will the words of incredible gratitude I received, the thank-yous and event silent nods of appreciation.

Yes, the golf tournament was loads of fun. But events like these allow Kerby to do what needs to be done — to help vulnerable older adults.

And for that, I am thankful for every single person who attended.