I took an afternoon off in the middle of golf season.

That sounds really simple. It’s not. It isn’t.

Taking time away from my responsibilities as a golf coach is not an easy decision to make. I am completely dedicated to my job, the team and the development of the young women whom I coach. I believe I need to show up my best every single day. Admittedly, each day looks different and I work my ass off to show up as my best. And I do. Again, and again, and again.

So, last week when I was in my office after having gone to a mandatory compliance meeting and I suddenly felt hot, my hands got clammy and a wave of exhaustion came over me, the internal conflict kicked in. I ask the team to push through the tired and the stress. I ask the team to get to the gym after a poor night’s sleep. I also ask them to listen to their bodies and if they are injured, not feeling well, have anxiety or sadness to pay attention to that as well. I tell them it is okay to rest. It is imperative to take time off.

Why is it so difficult for me to do the same?

I went to the training room and got my temperature taken. The thermometer read 98.6. “There is nothing wrong with me,” I thought. I am fine. But I didn’t feel fine. I sat in my office and reasoned with myself. I had a flight to Southern California the next day to speak at a seminar about mental health for student athletes and two days after that was a five-day team trip to New Mexico where I needed to be on my game.

I slowly began to realize that the afternoon practice could be handled by our team captain. The team would be just fine on their own. In fact, they may enjoy a “players only” practice. First, I called our captain and put her in charge. With confidence that they were in good hands, I texted the team to tell them that I would be taking the afternoon off to rest. I went home and took an amazing nap, drank a ton of water, took vitamins and took a hot shower. I had some soup and got into bed early.

I took a day off during the golf season. I could have gone to practice that afternoon. I could have pushed through. I am sure that I would have been fine – right? But taking that afternoon off was best for me. It was the best for my physical health and my mental health. It was the best for my coaching for days to come and I am proud that I listened to my own advice.

Kindness comes in many forms. Kindness to yourself is the most important form, yet one of the least practiced. Let’s keep practicing!

sara doell
Sara Doell is a CLCC certified life coach, Division 1 college golf coach, Class A LPGA member, co-creator of the Best Parts Podcast and is now a freaking published author. She is a three-time Big East coach of the year, 2015 LPGA National Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Gates Chili High School Hall of Fame in Rochester, NY in 2016. Sara believes in the law of attraction, that the toilet paper goes over and not under and that Charleston Chews should only be eaten straight out of the freezer. She has an irrational fear of frogs, is a loyal fan of the musical “Rent” and thinks olives taste like feet smell (you will never convince her otherwise). She lives in San Francisco with her wife, Caitlin and their rescue dog named Mr. Harvey Milk who spends his time barking at the toaster oven, peeing on every third tree on dog walks and defending his moms fiercely from squirrels and the mailman. Her future dreams include owning a home in a sleepy beach town that is within an hour of a major metropolitan airport, visiting all 50 states before the Big 5-0, petting a sloth and learning how to play the guitar. You can connect with Sara on her website.

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