Outside of my parents, there are very few people that I have learned more about life from an individual than I have from my pal Jesse. Jesse grew up in London and without disclosing his private life, I would describe his adolescence as troubled, his mindset to be very aggressive and circumstances quite negative from what he has told me. There was a point in his life in which he decided he did not want to live like that anymore and never looked back. I met Jesse a few years ago at a golf tournament; from there we began playing matches against local guys and friends of his to keep our games sharp. It has been an awesome experience getting to know him and developing our friendship, learning from each other, celebrating in the great times and being there for each other in tough times.
Jesse is a gifted athlete and was a multi-sport athlete growing up. His focus lied in basketball growing up, playing for team Kobe in the world championships and is currently ranked in the top 100 in the world as a professional pool player. He is an absolute assassin on the golf course and rolls his putter better than nearly anyone I have ever seen. I have learned a great deal over these past few years from his mindset. I learned to channel the nerves and anxiety into focus rather than allowing it to take over your body. He has taught me that sometimes you just will not have you best stuff and it is those days that you have to play with your heart and will the golf ball into the hole. There have been many character-building days on the golf course a couple of matches we have lost and other days where someone has carried more weight than another. The major takeaway I have learned from growing as a player and developing my mental game, utilizing his mindset to help with this, is that you have to want it no matter what is going on or how favorited you are. You have to want it; you have to earn it and you have to go get it. There are many times in our lives both in sport and outside of sport where we feel like we can coast and still win or take advantage of a situation, but that mindset will never develop you into a true champion.
Jesse is an extremely ambitious person and purchased a driving range last year that is doing quite well. He works hard at keeping ‘A and I golf driving range’ named after Alex and Isaac, his two little guys, in brilliant condition. This is just another reason why I respect him so much as a person. He is a grinder in all aspects of his life and no matter the situation, he always stays optimistic and seems to ‘find a way’ to get it done or make you feel better. He has shown me what it takes to be a good husband by taking great care of his kids and appreciating his wife, never taking anything for granted. The biggest lesson I have learned from being Jesses’ friend is that nothing really matters outside of your family and your own values. All we can do is work hard and trust our instincts, whatever happens is going to happen. Therefore, there is no real need to stress yourself out or react so emotionally because most things are out of your control. We are all trying our best and we might as well enjoy the ride appreciating the small things along the way.
Jesse treats everyone with kindness and respect. He showed me that no matter how bad things may get in life, such as the passing of his father recently, there is always things to be grateful for and your character is more important than anything else you have done in your life. I am proud to call Jesse one of my best friends.