Today was a tough day. My back, right hip and right leg, which have been bad for weeks, felt much worse today. Hours of sitting in a car, then miles of walking while playing seven new disc golf courses I had never played before, felt like it was going to be the death of me. But how do all those unhealthy gender-reinforced stereotypes that are (or at least were) beaten into little boys’ heads as a child go? i.e. “Man up?” When my body tells me to stop, that just means my brain needs to double down and remind said body who’s boss. 🙁 As stopping would mean that little boy from the 1970s is weak (or will be considered weak by men and women around me), so I push my body to within an inch of its life.

Gutting It Out - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 7 tee at Goose Creek DGC in Davenport, Iowa.

My day started at Goose Creek in Davenport, Iowa. A relatively short course, I played it conservatively, in effort to not risk further injury. But I played okay, to the tune of a -5 (44) and an estimated round rating of 944. Three nice locals asked if I wanted to play with them, but I needed to politely decline, as I needed to make at least Indianapolis tonight, racking up as many courses played as I possibly could. I’ve been “nibbling” at playing all of the courses in Quad Cities over the years, versus spending a long weekend banging out all of the courses in the area. So this was a chance to leave one less course in Quad Cities on my unplayed courses map.

Gutting It Out - Tonn's Travels
Course Map and Welcome Sign at Baker Park in Kewanee, Illinois.

After Goose Creek, it was on to Kewanee, Illinois, to clear-out another region on my unplayed courses map by playing Baker Park (18 holes) and Chautauqua Park (12 holes). I actually played both courses better than I expected to! I managed a -4 at Baker (estimated rating of 936) and a -7 at Chautauqua (estimated rating of 967). Which made my brain tell my body: “See?! Quit your whining!” 😉

Gutting It Out - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 1 tee at Wabash Park in Rantoul, Illinois.

That’s when my body started pushing back. I still managed another 33 holes at Wabash Park, The Links of Potomac, Ellsworth Park and Hub Park before eventually calling it an evening on the Southeast side of Indianapolis! It wasn’t pretty, with estimated round ratings of 899, 958, 911, and 899. But I was in pain. In pain, AND stressing out about hearing that the gas shortage in North Carolina had gotten much worse today. I kept having this nagging, gnawing thought in the back of my mind that I should just turn around and go home. Live to fight another day! But “that’s not what men do.” Which is tough. Knowing what is safe(r)/smart(er) to do…then (often foolishly) choosing to do the opposite anyway.

We’ll see what I still have in the tank tomorrow…pun intended, ha! Assuming my body doesn’t win the argument about (not) pressing onward. And/or North Carolina doesn’t start looking like the gas shortages of the 1970s…

Magic Number = 288 (1,712 Courses Played)

How it All Got Started: Tonn’s Travels >>
A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re out “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.

About Derek

Gutting It Out - Tonn's Travels

Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, Mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. The longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA, the more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that “Steady” Ed the father of disc golf and the modern-day Frisbee vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf, and the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.