Jennie Garth, best known for playing Kelly Taylor in ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’, describes herself as a pandemic golfer, but the sport is now much more than a quarantine hobby for her. Garth has found golf to be a great way for her to get away safely, while spending quality time with her husband Dave Abrams, who is an avid golfer. But the game served an even bigger purpose for the American actress due to her diagnosis of osteoarthritis, which she received five years ago.
“I think with osteoarthritis one of the most important things is to move and stay mobile and active, and golf does that for me,” Garth said. “It’s a great low-impact alternative to exercise. It’s not just physical exercise, it’s mental exercise. It is so rare that you combine these two things in one activity. You are moving parts of your body that you may not have realized were stiff or you may be feeling pain. It helped me a lot.
When Garth received her initial diagnosis of osteoarthritis, her instinctive reaction was that her doctors had made a mistake: she hadn’t realized she could develop arthritis in her mid-40s. As a mother of three daughters, lifelong actress and generally active person, she had never thought of living with body pain, until she developed severe joint stiffness. Now Garth has accepted his diagnosis and decided to go public with it to help break the stigma.
“I was shocked because arthritis can be stigmatized as something that only affects older people,” Garth said. “But thanks to my research and my knowledge on this subject, I know that young people can also suffer from arthritis. Raising awareness on topics like this, educating people on what they can do, what I’m doing to manage my own pain (I’ve partnered with a topical arthritis gel company, Voltaren), it just makes it easier and de-stigmatizes it all.
Garth appreciates golf for more than its physical health benefits. The 2007 “Dancing With the Stars” finalist also enjoys the mental side of the game. She is passionate about mindfulness and meditation and found it. Garth tries to play at least once or twice a week at the Annandale Golf Club in Pasadena, Calif., and sometimes she goes out alone to play late at night.
“I like to go out alone at the end of the day and do my own thing and clear my head,” said Garth. “I meditate regularly and golf is a kind of walking meditation. It can be a really social experience if you go out with friends, but it can also be a very enlightening time with yourself. When I go out on the golf course, I’m able to put everything aside and just focus on one shot at a time.
Garth wants other women to experience the benefits of the game, just like her. The former 90210 star knows it can be daunting to walk to a driving range and be the only golfer – she’s been there herself. On top of that, it’s hard to pick up golf again later in life. But Garth swears by one piece of advice: “It’s really about going out there and doing what I want to do, and not caring what other people think.” It’s a message she wants all women to internalize, just as she did.
The article is in French
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