5 Reasons Women with PCOS Should Play Disc Golf

PCOS Awareness

September is Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness (PCOS) awareness month. According to the PCOS Awareness Association PCOS affects over 10 million women in the world. I am one of the 10 million women affected by PCOS. Disc golf and the symptoms of PCOS became present in my life around the same time. They are both important to me, which is why I think other women with PCOS can benefit from playing disc golf.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is an endocrine disorder that typically causes disturbances in a women’s menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may go months without having their period. When it finally returns it usually  lasts eight or more weeks. PCOS is different for every woman; some affected may have a regular cycle, but may not ovulate. For couples trying to make a family, the lack of ovulation can make this difficult. Even if ovulation does occur if cycles are not regular conceiving can be difficult.

Weight gain is common in women with PCOS. The old chicken or egg question may arise when dealing with PCOS and weight gain. Did I have PCOS because I gained weight in my 20’s or after having my first baby? Alternatively, did I always have PCOS even at a healthy weight, but now PCOS symptoms are showing more and making weight loss a challenge? Both are common scenarios of women with PCOS experience.

The weight gain that occurs often increases the risk of diabetes in women with PCOS. Insulin resistance is prevalent in women with PCOS and can, therefore, lead to added weight, difficulties losing weight, and diabetes.

Other symptoms that relate to appearances such as increased acne and hirsutism are common in women with PCOS. Hirsutism is when hair appears in places it typically doesn’t on a woman such as the face, stomach, and lower back. The opposite of excess hair growth can also be a problem, which would be losing hair from your head and male pattern baldness.

In addition to physical changes mentioned above, women with PCOS are more prone to depression, anxiety, mood swings, and headaches. Often these invisible symptoms can be even worse than the physical symptoms as they are easy to mask and bottle inside.

All of the factors listed above: inability to get pregnant, weight gain, acne, facial hair, hair loss, and increased headaches can undoubtedly contribute to depression and anxiety. Women with PCOS should not let PCOS and it’s symptoms control or get them down.

If you are feeling down, want to get in better shape, and meet new friends continue reading to see why you should play disc golf.

5 Reasons Women with PCOS Should Play Disc Golf

1.) Get Active Lose Weight

Disc golf is a low impact activity for people of any age. If you haven’t been too participating in any physical activity for a while disc golf is a walk in the park with a purpose. If you enjoy low impact exercise of walking but also like to play games, disc golf is the perfect activity. Disc golf could be the jump start to increased physical activity. Increased physical activity can lead to weight loss which can help control  your PCOS symptoms.

2.) Nature Can Help With Depression

I don’t know about you, but whenever green spaces surround me I feel better. Disc golf is played in public parks and on private properties. Disc golf courses are always in a green space, some wide open and some filled with trees, moss, and ferns. If you are feeling depressed, or anxious getting out in nature often helps to lift your spirits.

3.) Meet Friends

Let’s face it as an adult meeting new friends can be a challenge. Once your are graduate from school, the only people we may interact with are family and co-workers. Depending on where you work, you may not have many co-workers. Or you may prefer to keep your work life separate from your private life. Disc golf women come from all walks of life and are some of the most welcoming people I have ever met. There are women’s disc golf leagues and Facebook groups in nearly every state. Finding a group of ladies to learn disc golf from is an excellent start to your new hobby, and new support system of friends!

4.) Take Your Mind Off PCOS

Picking up a new hobby that you can do alone or with friends is a great way to remind yourself that PCOS does not define who you are. Don’t let your mind spiral into focusing solely on your PCOS symptoms and how they affect your life.

5.) Challenge Yourself

I firmly believe getting out in nature can help with the depression-related symptoms of PCOS. Challenging yourself can also help with this. If you feel like you aren’t “athletic” and are nervous about play disc golf forget that thought. Disc golf is so much more than throwing a disc at a basket. Yes, good form will help, but you can always work to improve your skills and form. When you learn the basics of disc golf, you have challenged yourself to learn something new, and that always feels good. Once you have learned the basics of throwing a disc and start to play more, you will use mental strength to attack the course! Challenging yourself, you against the course and improving is a great way to boost your self-esteem and feel in control.

Take Control of PCOS and Discover a New You

PCOS often can seem like it runs our lives. It is a silent syndrome that many people may not realize you have, which can make it even more challenging. Adding a fun hobby like disc golf to your life can help remind you that PCOS is only one part of who you are and does not define you as a person.

If you are a woman with PCOS and have never played disc golf, please reach out to me. I am happy to provide resources on how to play disc golf, equipment needed, and I can even help you find some new disc golf friends.

If you are a woman who already plays disc golf and doesn’t have PCOS I thank you for taking the time to read this article. Hopefully, you learned something new, and perhaps you know someone who has PCOS that this article will help!

 

The Importance of Small Business Saturday

The journey to Ladies First Disc Golf all started with my Kool aid stand as a kid along with the love of games and the outdoors.  From a young age, it was important to me to help others and if people were thirsty, I was ready to help with a refreshing beverage. I was there to help them quench their thirst. As a kid I also enjoyed the fun and competition of bowling, card games, softball, soccer and playing neighborhood games with the other kids on my block. All these activities shaped my love for disc golf, the outdoors, business and ultimately helping others.

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Why do small businesses matter to me? Since I have been in the workforce I have worked for small businesses. I spent the first 8 years of my adult career working at a garden center, which was owned by a father and his sons. I appreciated the freedom and trust in me from this company to make decisions at such a young age. My position as assistant manager provided knowledge on sales, merchandising and being a helpful representative to the local gardeners.

Jenny as the assistant manager of the Garden Mart in 2004

I started playing disc golf tournaments in 2009  and the garden center work schedule made it difficult for me to play weekend events.  I sought out a job that would allow for a better work schedule and still allow me to work with plants. In 2010 I found my dream job (and still have it) at Holland Beauty where I sell flower bulbs & plants through our two websites Holland Bulb Farms and Tulip World.   Holland Beauty is a small business started 35 years ago by a Dutch man named Art, it is still owned and operated by him and his son in law (who is my boss). Holland Beauty is a small company where everyone helps out, ideas run freely and we are able to hear our customer’s needs. From this job I have learned about e-commerce, social media, customer service, and providing products and resources for people who have a hobby that is also a lifestyle.

Why women’s disc golf matters to me? I first started playing disc golf in 2008 it was me, my boyfriend (now husband) and a group of great guys who would play together.  We all played in our first disc golf tournament in 2009. At this tournament there was only other woman in my division. Other events I played that year had anywhere from 3-4 women to compete with; so more than the first tournament but nowhere near the amount of men who were competing.  In 2010 there were more women playing, but still a smaller amount than the male divisions. I realized that in order to get more women playing, the ladies in the area needed to be connected somehow.   I created a Facebook group called the Upper Midwest Women’s Disc Golf Group.  I wanted a place where women could post events they are playing in an effort to get more women at that event, and this group certainly helped with that. Creating this Facebook group was only the beginning for me.

In 2012 I worked with some other ladies in the Milwaukee area to form a group called Brew City Ladies Disc Golf.  It was intended to be a local ladies league in Milwaukee, WI.  At that same time the Brew City Ladies Disc Golf was forming a group of ladies in Appleton, WI had formed the Disc On! Ladies League (DOLLs).  Our groups met up for a travel league in fall of 2012 and decided to merge our groups into one. Other women through out the state also wanted to host ladies leagues, and the DOLLS became a state wide league.

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Disc On! Ladies League End of Season Party 2013

One of our goals was to have a women’s only tournament in Wisconsin, and we accomplished that goal with the Wisco Disco in August of 2014. The Wisco Disco is now successful and fun annual event in Wisconsin.  Disc On! Ladies League currently has leagues in Wisconsin,  Michigan, Iowa and Illinois.

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Disc On! Ladies Leagues bring great joy to the women who play in them. The ladies who participate in these leagues have a group of ladies to play casual, league and tournament rounds with.  Meeting and playing with women of all different skill levels combined with my love for making people happy, is how and why Ladies First Disc Golf was formed.

In 2015 things were in a transition period at my day job selling flower bulbs and the company was scaling back to its roots and became even smaller than the team of 20 we had. During this transition period it certainly put some things into perspective for me.  I have always enjoyed coming up with new business or products ideas. I started thinking about women’s disc golf and how confusing it can be to purchase discs when you are first starting out. Also, how frustrating it was for me when to trying to purchase light weight or female friendly discs either in person or online. There are certainly companies out there that carry women friendly discs, but no one was specializing in carrying an assortment of discs that were best for female players.

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Apparel is an important part of Ladies First Disc Golf. Over the several years of playing tournaments I had accumulated a lot of disc golf t-shirts that were men’s sizes and just didn’t fit the right way. Or women’s shirts that were too small or not figure flattering and ended up sitting in a drawer not being worn.

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I had determined that there needed to be a company that had products focused only on the women of disc golf, discs we throw, and apparel that we wear.  Apparel that is not only comfortable but stylish as well.

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Disc golfers like to accessorize and show their disc golf pride in any way they can.  On social media I was connected with women who had talents and items they were creating like disc golf necklaces, knit goods and other accessories. Including and working with other small business owners to provide a place they can sell their hand made accessories is important for growth on all levels.

Disc golf is family to many and families support each other.  Whether you are doing your part by purchasing from your favorite local disc golf shop or shopping online at your favorite disc golf website it is important to support those who are family.  Disc golf is life for me, pleasing the ladies of disc golf is what I strive for every day. I look forward to serving our customers, creating beautiful items, while growing disc golf for ladies, and that is why small businesses matter to me.

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