We’ve been asked since we were children what we wanted to be when we grow up, and as we grow older many people’s answers to that question become more and more practical. A child goes from saying ‘astronaut’ when he’s six to ‘engineer’ when he’s in high school. According to MSNBC, less than 45 percent of workers age 45 to 54 are satisfied with their job. Whatever happened to following your dream?
Michael Gebhardt, junior golf player, plans to do just that. Since a very young age, Michael has played golf with his father almost every weekend. He played on the golf team all through out middle school and made varsity golf his sophomore year. Golf is all that’s ever on Michael’s mind.
“I think about it a lot. It’s what I do everyday,” Michael said. “Golf is just fun.”
For Michael, there isn’t a better way to pass the time. It’s his passion, his dream. That same spark that keeps kindergartners believing they can be professional basketball stars still hasn’t gone out in Michael.
“I want to go as far as it will take me,” Michael said.
After graduating college, Michael would have to enter a series of mini-tours to go professional. He would go on the “Nation Wide Tour”, which is considered the breeding ground for the PGA. Michael is determined. He takes lessons and is always working to improve.
He would play all the time if he could. Over the summer, Michael played three to four hours daily. He tries to practice every afternoon if he hasn’t too much homework.
“It’s a really good stress reliever if I’ve got a lot of homework or something hanging over my head,” Michael said. “I can just go out and play eighteen holes to calm me down. I can forget about everything and just focus on golf.”
Who says we can’t be astronauts and movie stars? Who told us what was unachievable? When Michael gets asked what career he plans to pursue, he’s a bit reserved in saying ‘a golfer’, knowing what sort of wild dreams that must insinuate. But a world without golf for him is a world not worth living in.
“Not playing golf at all? No, I couldn’t see myself doing that,” Michael said.
Of course, this world we live in is depressingly realistic and Michael keeps his options open.
“I have other options I could pursue academically. I would be more happy with golf, though. It’s the best job I can think of.”
It’s hard to keep the spark alive when he’s pressured into a realistic lifestyle. 84% of people working today say they’re not in their dream job. They define their dream job as something fun, something that makes a contribution to society, and a few people said money. Michael doesn’t plan to stop for anything, though.
“I guess I just have keep at it. Keep at it and don’t give up.”