The story to follow is of a young man and his childhood friend. It is a glimpse into their experience with one of the greatest games in the world. It’s about lifelong relationships, self-fulfillment, and failures. This is simply the beginning chapters in a story being written.

Chasing The State Open

“To journey happily may well be better than to arrive successfully”

Jordan Peterson

It’s a beautiful summer day in St. Paul, Minnesota. The sun is shining and I am playing golf, a combination that has never let me down. Most importantly, on this amazing day I am spending time with one of my best friends, a friend that I have played at least 100 rounds of golf with. Today, we aren’t just goofing around on the golf course per usual though, we are in a PGA qualifying tournament. I am playing in the tournament and my best bud is caddying for me. This qualifying tournament of 70 applicants provides about 10 total spots into the 2nd biggest golf tournament in Minnesota each year – the Minnesota State Open. It is a day I have envisioned for a long time.

We are on the 12th hole of the tournament, and I am in total control of my game. I am pounding drives, hitting solid iron shots, and just having a blast enjoying the game I have come to love. I wouldn’t say I’m in a flow state or anything crazy; I am simply hitting the ball smoothly, and with conviction. I have found a suitable level of focus and freedom; the coveted loose but not lazy state. My score is currently even par through the 12th hole. If I end the round remaining at even par, my best friend and I would be on our way to play in a tournament with the best players in Minnesota. I simply have to close out six more holes. 

But before we spoil the finish, lets jump back to the beginning.

Summer ’16

It’s the middle of summer 2016 in Minnesota. I’m at the golf course with one of my best buds Sam (we call him Swarny). It’s the summer after our last year of college, and we were both unsure where our futures are headed. But one thing was abundantly clear, we were having the time of our lives playing golf together. 

Swarny and I basically grew up together. He lived 4 houses down the road from me. We grew up competing outside in our yards playing every sport imaginable, from snow football to wiffle ball in the summers. During snow days, the best days ever as a kid, we would watch movies or play what seemed like endless games of billiards. We did all the fun stuff kids used to do before technology took over. As we grew up we stayed close, and at this point in the summer we had recently returned from traveling Europe together. Swarny is one of those guys that I could call in the middle of the night if I did something wrong, the no questions asked has your back kind of friend. 

  Lets jump back to summer 2016. We are playing a below average public golf course from a forward tee of about 6,200 yards. An extremely easy golf course compared to the ones I play these days in PGA events. As we arrive at the 18th tee, the final hole on the course, I am 19-shots over par (+19). On the last hole I top my tee shot, dribbling it off of the front of the tee box. Sam says hit another one, so I re-tee with no penalty and slice my second effort into the right trees. We pick up my first tee shot, drive up to my second ball and move it away from the tree for a clearer shot, and I fluff the ball up in the grass making for an easier shot. I hit the ball up to the right side rough by the green, then hit a mediocre at best chip shot, followed by a two putt. That’s a bogey! The real rules of golf would of course say otherwise, but at the same time this isn’t a PGA event. We walk to the cart and add up the scores. Sam shot 83 and I shot 92, a pretty normal score for me at this point. I do show slight flashes of being able to hit good shots, but in general I am lost on the golf course. If I had to play in a real tournament, counting all my shots, oh boy would it be ugly. I would have a slim chance of breaking 100, and the chance of ever playing in the Minnesota State Open… well that is just flat out crazy talk. 

None of that mattered though; I was falling in love with the game. Until recently, I would say that the summer of 2016 was the most fun I’ve ever had playing golf. Swarny and I played what felt like every single day; we couldn’t get enough of it. I had golfed casually growing up, maybe 5 to 10 times a year, but never really got into it. I missed out on golf because of my tunnel vision focus on pursuing football, a more mainstream sport. But there is something about golf that’s just different. Maybe it’s being outside, or maybe it’s because you can play while spending time with friends and family. It could be the actual game; how each shot is on you, there is no faking it or shying away. I also enjoy the variety in the different types of shots you can hit and how each course is different. Whatever it is, golf is now the sport I love, and the one I will be playing until I am an old man. 

Swarny and I continued to play golf that entire summer. We both got slightly better and I started to understand the basics of the game. We had loads of fun playing little heads up matches, and trying to top the best scores of the summer. As fall rolled around I couldn’t shake the golf bug. Therefore, that following winter I decided to go into the PGA program. I emailed dozens of golf courses about job openings, and only heard back from three places. One of the responses I received was from this cool young PGA member, a guy who happened to be the owner and operator of a golf course. We connected instantly, and I took the job of assistant golf professional for the upcoming season. I would be able to learn the golf business and play/practice as much as I wanted when I didn’t work. It was a leap, but I always knew I wanted to own my own business and make a positive impact on others. A golf course seemed like the perfect place to do that. 

Failing Forward

“To stand up straight with your shoulders back means to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential, into the realities of habitual order. It means adopting the burden of self conscious vulnerability”

Jordan Peterson

I’ve always been inspired by those who dream big. It seems like dreamers are the ones who make magic in the world, the ones who seem to change it. I’m starting to understand that a dream has nothing to do with some mystical place, or a pedestal to stand upon in the future. Dreaming big is about actually living the life you’ve envisioned, and living that life each and every day.

The two and a half years following the summer of 2016 were humbling to say the least. It was my introduction and acclamation to the game of golf. At times I embarrassingly learned the actual rules and regulations of the game – I mean who knew you weren’t allowed to adjust your ball after each shot? I quickly became aware of how bad my golf game really was, and how far away it was from the level of a scratch golfer, let alone a PGA professional or someone playing golf for a living. 

But those adaptations were nothing compared to the biggest hurdle I faced; the need for a swing change. I was just beginning to understand the game of golf; I had no idea that this small thought of a swing change was the start of madness. The goal of bettering my golf swing sent me on a two-year grind of constant trial and error with different technique alterations. There were a few good days, but it was generally a struggle. Failure became a daily and frequent occurrence in my life, but it was necessary; my old swing was inefficient and unpredictable, to say the least.

It started with a few simple lessons, and eventually got to the point where I was 2 hours deep in YouTube videos comparing each tip to a video of my swing. Sometimes after a new change I would hit it better for a few days, and sometimes it would get dramatically worse. When a modification would work, it would usually end quickly as I overdid the adjustment or resorted back to old habits. I adjusted almost every aspect of the golf swing, and by everything I do mean nearly everything – my grip, takeaway, club position at the top of the swing, swing path, angle of attack, body rotation, stance, body position at impact, and the follow through to finish. It takes substantial time to change just one of these things… but my foolish brain needed to change everything. I was always experimenting and changing something. The details behind the evolution of my swing are for another day; the point is that there was serious failure in there. There were months of playing golf well below my ability, many steps backward and many incorrect fixes, and a ton of disappointing and somewhat embarrassing demonstrations of golf. Failure was present, a daily and frequent occurrence. 

Almost all of my golf rounds were consumed by swing thoughts, instead of focusing on hitting shots or figuring out the golf course. Golf is hard enough as it is, adding constant thoughts about body rotation or clubface position does not make it any easier. There were tons of disasters on the course and some big numbers were written down. There were many nights I walked off the golf course wondering if I would ever be a formidable golfer. Although I didn’t see it at the time, I was making small improvements along the way.

Even with all the bad, I never let it ultimately deter my mindset. I was fortunate to have a good coach and mentor to straighten me out last year. He provided instruction, serious encouragement, and an energy that delivered motivation in my journey. I learned so much from him. Looking back, my time with him was the beginning of the end of madness. Finally, this last winter, I found my golf swing. It’s not perfect or complete, but it’s my swing, and I am proud of it. I’m sure in the future I will make tweaks and will always be working to hone it in, but the overhauls are done. The constant watching of videos is over. I have a golf swing, and it may be starting to show up.  

The Best of MN

Every year in July the PGA hosts the Minnesota State Open golf tournament. It is the second biggest golf tournament in Minnesota each year, outside of the 3M at TPC in Blaine, a PGA tour event for strictly touring professionals. The Minnesota State Open is a three-day event that hosts the top 150 players from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and even some from Wisconsin. The field is comprised of PGA professionals, amateurs, and mini/local tour professionals. The total prize purse is about $48,000, with the winner taking home around $10,000. Not bad for a few days of golf in Minnesota. 

There are two few different ways to get into this event. One way is to get an exemption by placing well in certain events, for example placing in the top 10 in the State Open the previous year, by being a past winner of the tournament, or by placing top 5 in a select few PGA professional tournaments throughout the year. The second way, a much more common route, is by qualifying at one of the eight qualifying tournaments. Anyone gets the chance to play in one of these eight events for a fee between $100 and $400, depending on your status. You only get to play in one of the eight events though; they give you the option of which one to choose based off course style and location. Usually, there are about 70 players at each qualifying location with a total of 8-12 qualifying spots. Historically, a round of +2 or better at the qualifier will get you into the State Open tournament. It varies each year based off of weather and course conditions, but generally a couple shots over par is the number to shoot for.

Present Day; The Qualifier

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” Wayne Gretzky

Michael Scott

It is now present day, summer of 19’. Three years after the summer of golf with Swarny, and two years after the beginning of my golf career. The qualifying event day for the state open has come, and I have a shot at making the State Open. It’s only fitting that my best bud Swarny is my caddy for the day. I personally think walking with a caddy is the best way to play golf; the way the game was intended to be played. 

We woke up at 5am, to get a quick gym session in before the big day. I did a pliability session and full active warm up, while Swarny got an absolute pump in.  On the way to the golf course we had good conversation and a little music, there was excitement in the air. Sam went through the full caddy routine while I warmed up, cleaning my clubs as I hit balls on a wet small driving range. We then went over to the putting green, and got on the same page about the break and speed of the greens as I rolled a few putts. We were focused, but we were loose, smiling and enjoying the morning.

It was finally time to head to the first tee. The first shot of golf tournament is always nerve-racking. You don’t want to start the day with a bad shot that immediately puts you behind the 8-ball. It was just an iron shot off the first tee for me. I teed it up and made my first swing, a swing that was out of tempo, but fortunately good enough contact to find the left side of the fairway – disaster avoided. In my opinion, the second shot of a golf tournament may be more important than the first, as long as you are in play of course. If you hit a good second shot you have a chance for a birdie, but if you miss the green, you have to chip and scramble to save a par. It really sets the tone for the day, are we going to be attacking or saving? I’ve played so many golf tournaments in safe mode. Numerous events I’ve made safe decisions to avoid any chance at a big number, not taking any risks necessary to play up to my ability.

I’m over being scared and afraid to fail in the big moment. Honestly, I think finding perspective in my life over the last 6 months to a year has helped with this. I used to make such a big deal over my score and put pressure on myself to do well. What does it really matter, its just a game, there is so much more to life. Don’t get me wrong you always want to make the most out of each opportunity, and work your butt off to do the best with what you’ve been given, but its important to understand what things really matter at the end of the day. 

We walked up to my ball on the left side of the fairway. My ball was on a side hill creating an awkward stance and shot. I was 124 yards from the pin and it was playing up hill. In golf you usually try to take a club that goes further and swing easy, but I was juiced up and I knew I was going to hit this ball further than normal. I usually hit my sand wedge about 120 yards, so Swarny and I decided on that club. I committed to that first shot and swung confidently. I flushed the shot, hitting the ball with perfect contact. The ball flew off my club in the direction of the pin. Swarny looked at me with surprise and excitement, although we both knew the ball went a little deep because of how good the contact was. We walked up there and I was 30 feet (10 yards) deep of the pin, it really is amazing what our bodies are able to do when we are excited and energized. Once on the green, I two putted the first hole, and we strolled off to the second tee box. Nothing to this game, easy par, only 17 more to go. I was starting to believe. 

I still had doubt because of the last two rounds I played; I was hitting my driver horribly. On top of that, the last two times I played this hole on the course I hit my drive into the right trees. Both those errant shots resulted in a bogey on the scorecard. The second hole has a bunker in the middle of the fairway that is 270 yards – 300 yards. It’s a 300-yard carry to go over it, so the two competitors I was playing with decided to lay back; short of the bunker. I knew I could carry the bunker, and I was done trying to play a safe brand of golf. We can’t be afraid of failure right? I took my driver and lined up directly at the bunker. I picked a target and made a full, committed swing. BOOM. I hit the ball center on the clubface (a rarity for me with the driver). It flew down the left side of the fairway clearing the bunker without a scare. There was a serious lets goooo in my head and I could tell Swarny was pumped. This drive left me in an advantages position, a little lob wedge shot left to the green. I proceeded to hit a good shot to 8-feet from the pin, and then just missed my birdie putt. I am now in full belief, we are going to do this. 

The rest of the holes on the front 9 were a blast. It was by far the best driving performance of my young golf career. I put myself in position to score well; I just couldn’t get my putts to fall. You know what they say “drive for show, putt for dough.” It was still a good start though, as I finished the front 9 at even par, ahead of the pace I needed to qualify for state. I looked over at Swarny and felt a feeling of gratitude for the day. I felt lucky to have a great friend with me. This was the stage that I had imagined for years. It wasn’t about becoming a “pro” or winning anything, but having the ability to compete, to have an enjoyable walk together while pursuing a goal. It was an opportunity for a hacker and his buddy to have a chance to play with the best players Minnesota has to offer. It was special to me, and I could feel it was special to him too. 

Experience Over Ego

“A wise man can learn from the experiences of others, a fool can learn not even from his own”

 Will Durant

I wasn’t always calm during a tournament round of golf. It took a great deal of rounds to get comfortable and understand how to handle myself during competition. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received was to go play no matter the circumstance. If there is a money game with the odds stacked against your favor, go play. If there was a tournament you had no chance of winning, go play. If there was an event where you may finish last, GO PLAY. I’ve learned that the only person really losing is the one who isn’t there. If you are present with a positive mindset, then there is no losing, only learning.

The last few years I have played in hundreds of matches with co-workers and other local golf professionals. Every day after work or on an off day, I am always looking for a match. My first winter down south, I played with some seriously good players in Arizona. One of my former co-workers is an aspiring tour professional who is now on the Korn Ferry Tour. Guys like him taught me how to maneuver a golf course, and how to hit actual, precise golf shots. I lost a ton of matches that winter; I got my butt kicked. The next winter in Florida wasn’t that different, as I played in matches with a new set of professionals and friends. I was changing my swing so frequently that I never caught a groove, but I learned how to get it around when my swing was lost. Playing with talented players down in West Palm, I was able to grasp how they play the game. I’ve always tried to take something away from a round of golf. Its as if I have been in the classroom taking notes.  

My summers in Minnesota are where I experience the most personal growth in my game. When in Minnesota, I play in PGA professional events and local tournaments, as this period is my actual golf season. The last two years I’ve played in a few dozen tournaments. The first couple events were embarrassing, to say the least, and I was nervous to post a bad score on the scoreboard. But once I began to shift my mindset about failure, the game became fun again. I’ve shot countless tournament rounds in the 80s, and have placed at the bottom of the scoreboard many times. But each time I play I learn something, I realize what I do wrong and what mistakes I make, and on top of that I get a little more comfortable as each event goes by. I honestly think at this point I don’t fear failure or embarrassment; the real fear I feel is the absence of progress. The day that I stop growing as a player, and much more vitally as a person, is the day that I really do begin to fail.

The Back Nine

We make the turn to the back nine in good form. Hole #10 is a shorter par 5, a good hole to get the score under par. I knock an okay drive down the left side of the fairway, and then hit a heavy 6 iron that rolls up 10 yards short of the green. It’s a pretty easy up and down for my birdie, but I’m on a weird side hill that is uncomfortable. I am indecisive on my club selection, leading to a chunked chip that doesn’t even get to the green, from ten yards away… ha good job Austin! Next, I decide to putt it from off the green and I roll it up close to the hole. I tap in my short par putt and storm off the green. I let doubt and fear sneak in before that chip shot, leading to another instance of failure. As I’ve said, failure is always present, especially in the game of golf.  

The next three holes we played smart and followed our game plan. 2-irons off the tee, middle of the green with approach shots, and two putts for par. Stress free, under control golf. As we now stand on the 14th tee, my score is even par, right on track. The 14th hole is a goofy little dogleg right; you have to hit the ball straight off the tee because there is hazard left and a big tree on the right hill. I am swinging confidently, which leads to letting my guard down for one second, as I think it’s a good idea to take an aggressive line with my shot off the tee. I flare the shot right of my target, landing the ball in thick rough on the side of the hill, with that annoying tree completely blocking my shot. I of course try to hit a miracle punch shot, and that doesn’t work out well as the ball goes 10 yards. I hit it out of the thick rough on my second attempt, and eventually finish the hole with a double bogey. A couple dumb decisions swiftly erase the two shot cushion I was holding onto, leaving me right on the cut line for the tournament.  

We now move to the hardest hole on the golf course, a 215-yard par three that is lined with out of bounds behind and to the right of the green. I try to hammer a 7 iron to the front of the green, but end up pulling it due to the over swing (exactly what Swarny said I would do if I hit 7-iron but I didn’t listen). I end up making bogey on the par three and just like that we are +3, one over the qualifying line.  The next hole is a long par 5 that I make a par on, leaving two holes left in the tournament. I need to make a birdie on one of the remaining two holes. 

I hit my drive off the 17th tee into the right trees. It was the only really ugly swing I made all day, and consequently the result was my ball in the middle of a bunch of trees. I saw a little gap in the trees I could hit through; I could punch a low 4-iron through a small hole and run the ball up to the green. Swarny agreed I should give it a shot, as it seemed like the only option. I attempted the shot, but I struck one of the branches firmly, knocking my ball straight down. Another failure. We both let out a sigh of disappointment; that felt like a fatal blow. 

It wasn’t over yet though. We walked up to my ball; surprisingly we had a shot up and over this big tree. Swarny mapped out the number to the pin and front of the green. I then took a full committed wedge swing, hitting a good shot right at the pin. As we anxiously walked to the green we saw my ball 7 feet away from the pin, right below the hole in a good position. Standing over the putt I was unsure of the break as it looked to me that the green was on a bit of a slant, I may have been feeling the pressure of a must make scenario. Swarny gave me the read and assured the proper line. I hit the putt dead on the intended target he had directed, and the ball fell in the dead center of the cup. Boom, that was an enormous par save. It was an up and down from 110 yards away to keep our State Open tournament hopes alive! We walked off the green and strolled over to the final hole, last chance for a birdie, we can do this.  

Loving the Process

I know I’m beginning to live the life I’ve envisioned, because I honestly wouldn’t trade a day I’ve had in the last 3 years. Of course I’ve had my fair share of bad days, but never did I want to trade my life for a different career or path. It’s not this blissful feeling, it’s not even happiness – it’s fulfillment from taking the call to pursue my path. I think if everyone were given the opportunity to pursue something they are passionate about, or took the leap to do it, they might feel the same way. 

It always reminds me how unbelievable fortunate I am to be raised by my family, and given every opportunity a young man could ask for. With this blessing I feel obligated to whole-heartedly pursue my dreams, to pursue my hearts desire in honor of all the people who don’t have the same luxury, for those who don’t have the same opportunity gifted to them simply because of the circumstance they were born into. We should all strive to be mindful of our opportunities and platforms; what would someone less fortunate than you do with the possibilities you’ve had in life?

I also think its time we stop pushing the narrative that hard work equals success. To be successful at something in today’s world, it’s a requirement to work hard. I think we can all agree that someone who takes life semi-seriously will work hard in their craft. Most people I know do. I have come to believe that the key to accomplishing unlikely goals is sacrifices. Are you willing to sacrifice the habits and routines that are draining your time, energy, and health? Most people aren’t. I’m not on my high horse here; I personally struggle with this every day, and am still trying to sacrifice the instant gratification for the meaningful. I think what makes the great leaders truly great is not a question of hard work, but a question of sacrifices. As Jordan Peterson says, “to have meaning is better than to have what you want.” I’m starting to understand what he means.

The Finish

“A good friend knows all your best stories. A best friend has lived them with you”

We need a birdie on 18 to get in. We still have a chance. When we step on the 18th tee the wind had shifted into our face and off the left side.  I think to myself – one more tee shot, that’s all we need. I take my stance, commit to the shot, and swing away, hitting one final solid drive. It starts out right down the middle of the fairway, but slowly starts to drift to the right side with the wind. There is a bunker on the right side of the fairway, close to my landing zone. As the ball falls out of the sky I don’t see it land. I ask Swarny if he saw it bounce and he is unsure, and the caddie of a fellow competitor says that he thinks it’s in the bunker. Fairway bunkers are devastating in my golf game, and widely considered as one of the hardest shots in golf. 

We get up to the fairway bunker and my ball is not in it, I am pumped! But as we walk past the bunker looking for the ball we cant find it anywhere. Eventually, I walk back by the bunker, and see my ball embedded in the grass right above the bunker. Sports are wild man; they really can be a game of inches. If my ball traveled just six more inches it would have bounced over the bunker, leaving me an easy wedge shot into the green, and a likely putt for birdie. Instead, I now have to stand on this side hill in a super funky stance, and try to chop the ball up towards the green. I take my free drop (embedded ball is free relief), and attempt to take a stance. I have to grip way down on the club to the point where I am grabbing steel, as the ball is basically chest level when I take my stance. Swarny hands me my 6-iron with the idea of attempting a punch shot. He reminds me to make sure I get solid contact out of the funky lie. I would say that’s an obvious thought, but with me it was probably a good idea to give the reminder. I pick a target, lock my focus in to the back of the golf ball, and make my final swing of the day.

The ball somehow shoots out of the side hill perfectly, taking a direct line to the hole. It is flying low with a slight draw that moves it just left of the flagstick. I see it bounce once over the front greenside bunker, and I think to myself that it might be in really good position, but because of the abnormality of the shot it is hard to guess the distance the ball traveled. I look up to Swarny and see his excitement; he can’t believe the shot. We walk up to the final green hopeful for a birdie opportunity, but sadly do not see my ball by the hole. My ball must have just trickled off the green, as it was only 15 feet from the pin, but because the pin was tucked on the left side of the green it now laid in the rough. All I am thinking about now is holing this final chip, as we need a birdie to have a chance to qualify. 

This chip shot isn’t a hard one; it is a shot I don’t expect to make, but one that I have made many times in practice. Here we go, one more chance to make it happen! I hit the chip solidly and as I look up the ball is on a great line, going right at the hole. Could it really go in… but before I even finish that thought the ball veers off to the right, and rolls down a side slope to 5 feet away from the hole. I am instantly bummed. My opportunity has slipped away, and on top of that I was too aggressive with the chip, leaving a dicey comeback putt. Although at this point it doesn’t matter. I end up missing the sliding come back putt, finishing the last hole with a bogey and a total score of 76 (+4), two shots away from the qualifying score needed to make the Minnesota State Open. We shake hands with my fellow playing partners and their respective caddies, and then Swarny and I embrace on the final green. As we walk off the 18th green I think to myself, ‘that was the most fun I’ve had playing golf in a long time.’ Yes we did come up short, and yes it was another instance of failure, but it was a freaking awesome day. 

Following the round we went to a restaurant we used to go to in our college days. We had a blast going over the round, talking about all the exciting moments from the event. The feeling in the air was as if we accomplished our goal. We were laughing and enjoying the good shots, while poking fun at the bad ones. I’ve learned that no matter how tired you are, or what responsibilities you may have the next morning, say yes to a meal with a great friend. 

The Journey Continues

Its weird, I’ve never been ultra competitive, or been driven by winning. I was fortunate to grow up in a stable medium income family. Winning in athletics wasn’t necessary to have a better life or provide for a family. But sure, of course I wanted to make the tournament, and I want to win all the matches I play in. I pride myself on working hard to develop my abilities, and I live for the big moments, the opportunity to show my abilities, or the chance to pull off an inspiring play. But once I step back from the competition, the result really doesn’t matter. I don’t feel a sense of entitlement because I beat someone, or feel depressed simply because I lost. The self worth or fulfillment I feel is generally always based on how I perform, not the outcome comparative to others. If I play up to my standard and do what I believe to be my best, then I truly am proud of the outcome. I sincerely just love to play.

Therefore, I will continue to strive to be the best I can be, but the results will never matter. The journey, and the time spent with my brother will. 

Swarny and I grew up as little kids playing sports in our yards every single day, and I’m sure someday we will be old men hobbling around a golf course, with the same love of the game. I really hope everyone gets the blessing of having a friend like Swarny. He has made my journey more enjoyable than I ever imagined. 

Sam – I will never be able to thank you enough for the impact you’ve had on my life. I thank you for your constant unwavering support, your genuine passion for sports and golf, and for all of the memories we’ve made on the course together. If I only had one more day to play the game, I think you know where we would be. It wouldn’t be at some fancy golf course or big professional tournament, and it wouldn’t be at the State Open. My last round of golf would be an early morning tee time with you and Andy, starting on hole one of the oaks course at LC; coffee in hand, and joy in our hearts. 

I hope this story gives you a nudge to pursue what ignites your heart. I hope it encourages you to share your journey with others. Most importantly, I hope this inspires you to spend more time on the things that hold true value in your life, and to do it with the people you love. 

Onward and Upward,

Austin Harrington

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