Tiger Woods a Year Later: "I Made Terrible Choices"

The golfer opens up in a Newsweek essay: "I'm not the same man I was a year ago. And that's a good thing."

It's hard to believe it's almost been a year since the world learned the shocking news that Tiger Woods had cheated on his wife, Elin Nordegren.

In the days, weeks and months that followed, Woods, 34, had to face the music when he lost endorsements, made public apologies, performed poorly on the links and was ultimately served with divorce papers by Nordegren.

Now, Woods is reflecting on everything he's done and everything that has happened to him since last Thanksgiving -- and apparently he's still working to clean up the mess.

This week the golfer joined Twitter. Sample tweets so far: "I think I like this twitter thing. You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the love," and "The best part about phone interviews is getting to wear shorts."

He also wrote an essay for Newsweek, titled "How I've Redefined Victory," which addresses how his life has changed. "Last November, everything I thought I knew about myself changed abruptly, and what others perceived about me shifted, too," he writes. "I had been conducting my personal life in an artificial way -- as if detached from the values my upbringing had taught, and that I should have embraced." 

Woods goes on to talk about the infamous car accident that occurred after his confrontation with Nordegren. "The physical pain from that car accident has long healed. But the pain in my soul is more complex and unsettling; it has been far more difficult to ease -- and to understand," he writes. "But this much is obvious now: My life was out of balance, and my priorities were out of order. I made terrible choices and repeated mistakes. I hurt the people whom I loved the most. And even beyond accepting the consequences and responsibility, there is the ongoing struggle to learn from my failings."

The star goes on to talk about his reluctance to face his demons. "At first, I didn’t want to look inward. Frankly, I was scared of what I would find -- what I had become," Woods writes. But in the end, the golfer says he's glad he came clean. "I’m grateful that I did examine my life because it has made me more grounded than I’ve ever been; I hope that with reflection will come wisdom." 

While Woods admits his, "healing process is far from complete," he says he's regained appreciation for the smaller things in life, particularly with his children.

"I’m learning that some victories can mean smiles, not trophies, and that life’s most ordinary events can bring joy. Giving my son, Charlie, a bath, for example, beats chipping another bucket of balls. Making mac and cheese for him and his sister, Sam, is better than dining in any restaurant. Sharing a laugh watching cartoons or reading a book beats channel-surfing alone. Some nights now, it’s just me and the kids, an experience that’s both trying and rewarding. Probably like the experience a lot of families have every evening around the world." 

Woods thanks those who have stood by him throughout the controversy and the fallout that occurred soon after. "I was worried about how fans would treat me," he confesses. "But they’ve been kinder and more supportive than I ever imagined possible." 

Still, the star realizes he still has work to do, as seen in the conclusion of his essay. "I can never truly repair the damage I’ve done, especially to my family," he says. "But I can keep trying. What endures in the record books are the achievements won through competition. What endures in our actual lives is the love of our family and the respect of others. I know now that some things can and must change with time and effort. I’m not the same man I was a year ago. And that’s a good thing." 

What do you think about Tiger Woods' essay? Chime in below!

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