Back in the day, I worked at a golf practice facility and golf course, actually for nine years. On the side, I could hit the ball around the course ok, but nothing really good. But I had a few friends that could really play, and I would caddy for them in the Rockford City Open, and I also dabbled in caddying for a couple of club professionals in the IL PGA events. I loved it. I often thought, would I rather win a major golf tournament as a player or a caddy? Nine out of 10 times it was as a caddy. I loved being that person to carry the bag, get their head up, and focus.
Then, while living in Sweden, I got the opportunity to coach a high school girls basketball team, the Karlskrona Marines. Again, I could play a little hoops back in the day, but nothing that would get me in the starting lineup for Rockford East. I loved the coaching of it. I was not good enough to make too many plays for them, but I was much more into the strategy, preparation, physical and mental training, and helping them on gameday. The path the girls and I took together from them initially asking me to them taking me, Erin, and Maja out to dinner before we left the land of all my grandparents, it was literally one of the best experiences in my life.
Well, the Minnesota Kubb Loppet Tournament was this past weekend, and I couldn’t play. Before the games started, to be honest, I really didn’t know what I should be doing. It felt very strange. No reason to warm up, no tournament organization to do. I found myself explaining my wrist injury several times and then all of a sudden, 26 pitches had games on them.
After I found out that we were not going to be able to play with me playing left handed, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to walk around and promote the game, but at the same time, I wanted to stand next to my Eau Claire brothers and sisters and improve their game just that next level. That level from not being able to compete against a team to competing against a team. And perhaps, even help a team in a match from just competing against the other team to getting in a position to win. And also, of course, to help lighten any sort of situation and help them have fun.
So, that is what I did, and I fell in love with it. I have been working with Aaron Ellringer from The Ringers on a new 8 meter throw a couple of times over the past 10 days at his house, and we focused on that. I pretty much jumped on 10 year old Sam and gave him a concussion from Team Kubboom after he hit a king shot to beat a good Pitch Slap team and move on to the round of 16. I found my way over to Kubb de Grace and The 3 Kubbateers and (I think their team started as) Team Dynasty. All five are just a portion of the little Berserker Kubb thing we have going on. I also made my way over to Eau Claire’s Kubby Doo, which is an off-shoot of Kubbsicles.
When the day started, was I a little disappointed that I could not play? Yes, I actually felt a tear in my eyes. At the end of the day, was I at all disappointed that I could not play. NO. Not at all. And, to be honest, (in addition to passing out Kubbnation Magazines, US Championship shirts, and tournament information) I felt like I had the opportunity to play with six different teams, and that was a blast. What more can a person ask for? On Saturday, nothing. I had a blast.
New kubb loves keep on coming, and I am really enjoying it.