28-year old PGA pro golfer Charlie Beljan had a meltdown at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic in Lake Buena Vista, FL last Friday.
His throat tightened and his heart went into rapid heartbeat. But he eventually played on for 5 hours carding a 64, the second lowest score of his rookie season.
Beljan then fell to the ground fearing a possible heart attack and was taken to the hospital where he had tests and spent the night hooked up to machines and still in his golf clothes.
When the tests came in, Beljan found out he suffered a panic attack and was released Saturday to continue playing in the event. As he returned to the course, Beljan was crying on the practice range fearing that he would have another panic attack.
He had been under a lot of personal pressure. Beljan had to place in the top ten not to forfeit his eligibility to remain on tour. He married in the beginning of the year and his wife gave birth to their first child in September. This was not his first panic attack. He passed out on an airplane forcing an emergency landing with what turned out to be a panic attack a month before his son was born.
Remarkably, Beljan won the golf tournament panic attack and all.
And qualified to play next season on the pro tour.
In the end the way Charlie Beljan won the battle with anxiety – at least long enough to win the event – was to understand that he had to live one day at a time.
Golf is a game that is played best when it is played one hole at a time.
For those of us facing anxiety and stress in our lives, the winning formula is living one day at a time and letting go of the stressors that plague us.
It’s a battle that often ends up making us feel like champions when we rise to the occasion.
As Milan Kundera says,
“The source of anxiety lies in the future. If you can keep the future out of mind, you can forget your worries.”