March 10, 2020
After a long, stressful few weeks, I am back to talk about them. As many of you know I competed in the Mackenzie Tour (PGA Tour Canada) Qualifying School last week. Let’s just say it was not my week. It was my first time competing in Q-School, so as you can imagine nerves were at an all-time high. I was fortunate to have my dad on the bag the entire week, which definitely helped make the week easier. Today, I will be talking about failure and how important it is to learn from it, pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.
Last week was the first time in a long time I felt like I truly failed, and to no surprise, I was beating myself up over it for the days to come. I thought the tournament week was the end all and be all of my golfing career. I felt that I needed to qualify on my first time because if I didn’t it would be the end of the world. While it felt like the end of the world initially, I finally began to understand that it was not even close to the end. Things only end if we want them to and let me tell you I am just getting started.
I think failure is one of the most important lessons we can learn as people. It is not only humbling, but it allows us the opportunity to view specifically the aspects where we need to improve. When we fail, we instantly think that we are failures, but there is a vast difference from failing and being a failure. I failed last week because I did not win or qualify, but I am not a failure, because I am not giving up on myself or journey. When the tournament came to an end, I immediately was down on myself, frustrated and questioning myself, dream, and goals, which is normal. The pain of failing can sometimes consume us, but it is vital that we try to move on from it because the more you hold on to that failure the longer it takes for us to unlock our true potential. This past week was a very humbling experience for me, and obviously wish the outcome was different. I honestly, and truly believe that I needed this week to grow as an athlete and person.
This next portion of the blog is about how a random stranger’s kind words of encouragement gave me the strength to keep going and believe in my golf game. Moments like this sometimes have a deeper impact on a person, even though you hear the same words of encouragement and support from loved ones or friends. This gentleman did not know me, he did not know what happened on the course, the only thing he saw was a young golfer that was hurting.
It was after the last round of the Mackenzie Tour, and a brutally rough day on the course. I was sitting on a bench next to my dad, with my face in my hands. I was emotional and disappointed in myself when a stranger approached me and through a laughing smile said, “tough week out there huh buddy.” I answered with “yeah it was super shitty honestly.” He asked me my name and I told him, “Mike Winter.” He said, “Mike don’t let this be the end.” It was quite a moving experience for me. A complete stranger, that I will probably never see again, said words that I will remember for the rest of my life. “Don’t let this be the end,” a phrase we can all live by.
When life knocks us down, makes us feel horrible, when we fail at our professions and our everyday lives, it important that those words ring through our minds “Don’t let this be the end.” As for me and my professional golf career, I am not done yet. I am just getting started. I want to thank all of my friends, family and the rest of #TeamMike for being there for me when I needed it most. A special shout-out to my dad and caddy for being there for me and never giving up on me even, when I gave up on myself. I love you guys.
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain,
but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it”