Ashley Harris is a photographer but also an excellent EDGA golfer. Ashley, English, was introduced to golf as a teenager, thanks to her grandfather, at the pitch & putt club near her home, and it soon became a true passion: yes, golf will become my job when she grows up, she thought.
During his university years, he supplemented his income by caddying at some large fields, including Celtic Manor. It was right there, caddying during the Welsh Open, that Ashley felt persistent pain in her knee. Medical tests followed, but the situation was far more serious than Ashley expected: knee pain was only the first symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.
His physical condition began to deteriorate more and more, the pain was spreading to all joints.
Ashley Harris, statements
“I found myself at 22 with the physique of an old man”. From that moment Ashley’s world went black.
Unable to accept his new state himself, he experienced it as a kind of shame to hide from everyone. All his dreams, his plans for the future collapsed. To try to silence his inner pain, he threw himself into gambling. First as an innocent diversion, it soon became a real gambling addiction.
That was the worst period of his life. When we think we’ve hit rock bottom, when we think all is lost, that’s when he finds the strength to ask for help. And so Ashley did: he decided to turn to a psychotherapist to whom he opened his heart, talking about his fears and his pain.
Step by step, he began a process of inner rebirth, freeing himself from the bondage of gambling and starting to think about golf again. Hearing of golf competitions for the disabled, he decided, with some hesitation, to participate.
This definitely rekindled his enthusiasm for golf, but above all for life. Ashley now says, “There’s no point in complaining. Thanks to golf I have many new friends, my isolation and depression are just a thing of the past.
I continue to train to improve my game and thanks to the cocktail of drugs I take, I try to control my disease.” As I wrote at the beginning, in addition to golf, Ashley also has a great passion for photography. He has been an accredited photographer at some tournaments in the UK and abroad.
Recently he was among the official photographers at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship and the Dubai Desert Classic, tournaments of the DP World Tour. Ashley, what advice would you give to someone in a situation like yours? “Darkness doesn’t last forever,” he replies with his bright smile.
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