Imagine for a moment if other sports were like golf.
If running were like golf, you'd start off running fairly well but, after a little while, you would second guess how your feet should land at each stride. And then you would feel that something was not quite right so you would tweak how your arms swing but that would lead to you having to adjust the amount of bounce in your step which would lead you to wonder if you really should wear those shoes for that run when these shoes might work better if you tie them just right. And then, after a few weeks of self-tweaking, you'd have to pay a pile of money for a running lesson because you had completely lost the ability to run from one end of the driveway to the other without falling down twice and then running head first into the garage.
If cycling were like golf you would only be able to cycle at certain times of the day. And you would need at least three other people to cycle with you. If you didn't have a group of four, a nice man you may or may not know would ask if you minded very much if rider A and rider B might join you on the ride. And it wouldn't matter how fast they could or couldn't ride or how well they climbed hills, whether they had completed in Le Tour de France or whether they still had training wheels on their bikes, the etiquette of the game would dictate that you should embrace these two new cyclists as friends and agree to spend the next four hours with them.
If swimming were like golf they would keep moving the black lines in the pool so every time you went they would look slightly different. The length of the lane would change a wee bit from day to day. The ropes lining the lane might shift slightly. Swimmers would stand at the end of the pool (in groups of four) and debate the exact distance from one end to the other now that the lines had moved five inches to the right. They would eyeball the distance, they would pull out their iPhones with their fancy distance-measuring apps and then they would carefully select the correct swim cap to wear to maximize their distance/speed ratio for that length. At the other side of the pool they would turn around, eyeball or gps the distance back, remove their green swim cap and put on their red one which might be their lucky cap, it might be the one that helps elevate their legs just that fraction more or it might be the one that cuts through the water all that much better. All this would be done with the utmost seriousness and everyone would keep score on how they did and what swim caps they used.
Golf, thank heavens, is in a league of its own. The minutes you stop enjoying in and start trying too hard, it falls apart. The minute you start thinking too hard about any part of it, the whole thing disintegrates into a mess of water hazards and bunkers.
But when the sun it setting on a summer's eve and it feels like we are the only ones out on the course, it's the most beautiful place to be.