WIth storms in the forecast this past Sunday in Augusta, tournament officials decided to move up Tiger’s tee time over 5 hours to 9:20am. Tiger was just two shots behind the leader heading into the final day of play and when asked when he’ll set his alarm clock to prepare, he said, “I’ll wake up around 4 a.m., maybe 3:45 a.m… Start the process of getting this body ready and get after it.” I understand Tiger’s 43 years old and not 23, but it’s a glimpse into his approach. It is not talent. It is discipline, preparation, remaining consistent, and focusing on the controllables.
Pursuing excellence is honorable. Achieving greatness is rare. Accomplishing what Tiger Woods has in his career is nearly untouched. And yet his greatest performance is what we all just witnessed this past Sunday.
Has anyone in any field ever risen so high and then fallen so low? But to have the resiliency to pick themselves up a decade later and resurrect to the pinnacle of their profession once again? Tiger’s historic fall from grace was exposed for all to see. Not one part of his life – physical, mental, relational, professional – was spared.
Tiger changed the game of golf and people loved him for it. But was it harder to relate to him before his downfall? We saw him dominate and make it look easy. Red shirt. Fist pump. Repeat. He was so far ahead from the rest that it was natural to believe pure talent is what got him there. There’s another story to be told on Tiger’s insane work ethic from a ridiculously young age. To note, I believe his rise to the top was always more personal drive than divine gifting. His fall allowed us to see his humanness though. His struggles allowed us to relate more than ever before. And Tiger’s comeback? It gave us hope.
No longer did we see a supernatural being. We saw a human like us who…
- Struggled and screwed up his life.
- Let many people down, and mostly those closest to him.
- Repeatedly fell short.
- Endured criticism at every level in every aspect of his life – year after year
And through that, he showed us how to…
- Admit our mistakes
- Face our own demons.
- Pick ourselves up
- Overcome adversity.
- Re-commit to relationships.
- Re-dedicate to passions.
- Have the courage to enter back into the arena.
- Remain true to the process that greatness requires.
Witnessing greatness is captivating, but it’s tempting to think it’s not for us. Tiger’s redemptive journey is more than entertainment. It’s the most inspiring moment of his illustrious career…