THE BRAIN IS
A HORRIBLE THING

   I hate myself. Well, actually thatís not true. My Self One hates me. My Self Two loves me. But my Self Two hates my Self One, which creates a particularly ugly situation.
   This may sound confusing, but it really isnít. I learned all this by reading "The Inner Game of Golf" and "The Inner Game of Tennis," which was first published in 1974 and is considered by many to be the bible of sports psychology.
  My Self One, claims the book, is my conscious being. My Self Two is my subconscious being. And, in my case, they are clearly having a problem getting along.
  This is not uncommon, which is why the book has sold over 700,000 copies to knuckleheads like me. In a nutshell, it claims that Self Two, if left alone to perform in its natural, unconscious state, would excel. But Self One keeps mucking things up by telling Self Two that it is an incompetent idiot.
  I can relate to that.
  For instance, consider the service toss in tennis or the 10 yard chip shot in golf. Now consider that I have played both sports for many, many years and can qualify as relatively competent. Now consider that I am absolutely pathetic at performing either of those simple tasks.
  From reading the book, I now understand why. Letís first look at the 10 foot chip shot. Hereís how Iíve handled it in the past:
  
  Self Two:
"I am the man. The ballís not moving, Iím swinging slowly. Nothing could be more simple for such a phenomenal athlete like me."
   Self One: "Are you kidding? You donít have a snowballís chance in hell of making clean contact. Remember the last time you tried this shot? It was a joke. Everyone felt sorry for you. Youíre pathetic."
  
   Naturally, Iíd always agree with Self One, because that happened to be MY BRAIN talking. Self Two had no brain and just sat back on its lazy butt. It was never much of a contest.
  After reading the book, though, I was determined to make the change. I had to get my magnificent but unconscious Self Two into the forefront. But since it had no brain, that was not going to be an easy task. It required getting rid of Self One.
  I felt a little guilty about that. Self One was getting trashed throughout the book, but I got a little misty thinking about Self Oneís finer points. Self One was not all bad. I doubt I could have made it through college without Self Oneís help, and sometimes I even think before I talk, which isnít a bad thing.
  But if I was going to excel at tennis and golf, Self One had to go. Thanks for the memories, fella, but it was time to move on.
  I read up on all the tricks about how to get rid of Self One and let Self Two take charge. The human body, if left alone, can do miraculous things. I read it over and over, getting more and more excited about eliminating my brain.
  I decided to test it first on the golf course. Iím not a great golfer, but I parred the first five holes. I was unconscious!!! I started thinking about the Senior Tour. I finally had it licked. Self Two was on fire, as always, and Self One was nowhere to be found. Then, on the sixth hole, the real test. I had missed the green (bad bounce) and I had a 10 yard chip. That prompted the following conversation in my little head:

Self Two: "mmmmmm"
Self One: "Iím baaaaack!!!!"
Self Two: "Go away. Iím doing fine. Leave me alone."
Self One: "Five pars in a row? Youíre kidding, right?"
Self Two: "Please go away. Pretty please?"
Self One: "Itís over, buddy. Reality check."

   I swung that awkward little club and tried to hit that miserable little ball. The club hit the ground about two inches behind the ball, sending it about a foot and a half. Then I tried to clear my mind again, swung, and hit it thin, sending the ball across the green into a sand trap. My club followed.

Self One: "Youíre pathetic."
Self Two: "Yes, I am."

   With golf a certifiable failure, I moved on to my service toss in tennis. Self Two didnít really have a chance here, either. He tried, but the laughter coming from Self One kept interrupting his unconscious thoughts.
   My brain can be such a jerk.

 

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