75¢ For Air? - Living The Pipe Dream


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The other day I got ready to go practice as I normally do. Pulled out my gap wedge, 7-iron, and shag bag and headed out the door. I ride my bike to my practice course, but on this particular day, I noticed that my back tire was a little flat. No problem. I grabbed 50¢, my bike, and headed out the door.

I walked the bike two blocks to the gas station, pulled out two quarters and suddenly stopped as I was about to drop the first quarter into the slot. 75¢? What's going on? Air is supposed to be 50¢. Actually air should be free, but...

Now I had to walk all the way home just to get another quarter, then walk all the way back to the gas station to fill up my tire. I contemplated not practicing at all. But then I remembered the premiere episode of Pipe Dreams, a new reality/documentary show about former golfer Mark Burk.  

Burk had it all. He was on his way to becoming a pro on the PGA tour. Burk had moderate success on a few mini tours and was about to make a big push, hoping to take his game to the next level when his life came crumbling down. His girlfriend accused him of domestic abuse and before he knew it, he was evicted and living in a huge pipe.

Burk's only possessions are his bike and his clubs, which as the previews suggest, go back and forth between him and the local pawn shop. In one scene he rides up to the air pump at a gas station and is complaining about the air costing a dollar. Without his bike, Burk would not be able to survive and here I am complaining about having to walk two extra blocks.

I usually do not get choked up watching television shows, but you have to feel for this guy. From what we know, or from Burk's perspective, he was framed. He had no choice in the matter. All that he had worked for was stripped of him.

Stories like this are always a reminder for me to be thankful for what I have. My petty little issues can not compare with what some people are going through. I really hope Mark can get through this. It is tough to say whether or not he will fulfill his dream and make it to the Champions Tour, but I hope he at least makes it off the streets and clears his name.

The definition of a Pipe Dream is "a fantastic hope or plan that is generally regarded as being nearly impossible to achieve." I am living the same Pipe Dream in that I want to play on the Champions Tour someday as well. The odds are against me seeing as though I started playing after the age of thirty, but at least I have given myself a fifteen year window. Mark's time is running short.

From now on, every time I hop on my bike, I will remember Mark Burk. If he has the will to go on despite what life has thrown at him, I have no excuses when it comes to practicing. For Burk, it may be a life or death situation. For me, it's a dream that has been strengthened by the courage of another. Have a great round and always hit your target.

Catch Pipe Dreams, Tuesday nights at 9:30PM EST on The Golf Channel.

Photos Found At Golf Channel.com.

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