The stakes are high when you really want to practice intensely and improve your golf game. You need to follow between honing your skills and not overdoing things. This year I've put almost every extra ounce of energy into bringing my game to a new level. Having achieved my lowest handicap ever, this tactic seems to have been fairly successful in helping me reach my potential.
However, there is a fine line between reaching your maximum and not over straining your physical well being. Golf means sacrifice in more ways than one. I really have the urge to play as much as possible, but at the same time I am starting to feel the effects on my body. I'm not as young as I used to be.
To be more precise, it has to do with my left knee which has been getting more and more painful in the last couple of weeks. It started about a month ago after running. So I took a break for a week before running again after it seemed to have disappeared. Then it got so bad that I couldn't stand up properly, walking upstairs was unbelievably painful, and I limp like an old man. I sleep restlessly and am awakened by the throbbing pain.
ITBS - Iliotibial Band Syndrome
So here's the dilemma. If I take a break from golf the pain gets less, but at the same time since I am not practicing my golf game gets worse. If I do not take a break, I can practice more and keep my game sharp, but my knee starts hurting much worse. This seems to me as very ironic. Finally in my life I've reached a level of golf I could have only wished for, and then this stupid pain becomes a frustrating obstacle in my way. Maybe it's some kind of message or something.
There are still a number of important tournaments I want to play in, so I will just have to wing it out and bear with the pain. When winter comes I'll have all the time in the world to rest and recover. Just enough pauses balancing with minimal practice so that my game remains good enough, though perhaps not at the peak possible. Better golf means more pain which means worse golf a hopeless ad infinitum.
As is the best way to go with so many things in life, I will have to find the middle path out there: play good enough golf without wrecking my body.