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#healing

a little known fact about me...

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a little known fact about me...

I feel fortunate. I have had the practice of yoga in my life for over 20 years and I’ve yet to reach the age of 40. I don’t know too many able to claim that. Yet many of the principles I practice in my life came prior to the mat. I found those practices on the rugby pitch.

From the outside what appears to be a brutish game is actually quite inspired. Tactical in the vein of chess, it is full of athletic prowess with competitiveness of the highest level. Its lack of padding I found comfort in, as the test of muscle and bone colliding upon itself seemed simple, compared to hard plastics and metal.

It’s true gift happens off the field. For 80 mins, collisions just shy of dismemberment. Left on the field, players joke with their opposite numbers over beers.

Rugby taught me to be a gentleman, not a gentle man. To leave it on the field.

The community taught me to respect others, to ask for help and to explore ways of doing. The social side taught me to love the part of me that loves good times. I was introduced to books I may never have found. I discovered my love of travel by playing across my home province.

The Rugby world cup runs until the end of October in England. Chances to view this game at the highest level will be presented at your local pub and the occasional sports bar. Take the time to expand your view and explore the thrill of this international game.

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My Friend Ryan

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My Friend Ryan

My first memory of Ryan was on the playground at elementary school. I was a quirky kid, and I couldn’t tell you the why of it, but we got into a fist fight. Hearing stories about myself at that age, I was somewhat deserving. The reason he stuck just so in my mind, was that as he would punch me, he would name the body part. Kidney. Liver… I thought it was cool.

Fast forward a half dozen years or so and we had just graduated high school. The years had forged a bond, and we rolled random missions over the years: first smokes, first drinks, first download, first suicide attempts…

Ryan was a wickedly talented artist. He would draw these little pin head cartoons in english class. Skinny, he was the first kid I knew to have a modem. He listened to music I couldn’t even know existed (nitzer ebb anyone?) and we always hung at his house. His parents worked off hours so there was space there to be youthful.

One night, shortly after graduating high school, he came over to my house. My room had been in the basement for years and we sat around and had an atypical night. We spoke our fears about what the future held, laughed about the previous shared years and our versions of awkwardness, and looked through photographs, of which my house was never in short supply. The next day he was dead.

His parents had been away and left him the car. Having his license was new, and earlier in the day, before coming to my house, he had rear ended a rather nice car. I can’t recall the insurance issue, if there was one, but Ryan seemed to find the problem insurmountable.

That whole evening at my house, he didn’t mention a thing. He was funny, intelligent, easy to smile and faster to laugh. The next night he went to work, having hidden a shotgun in the field by his work. He worked the full shift, lots of our classmates saw him there, seemingly in a upbeat mood, but walking home that night he ended his life.

I thought that I should have been able to hear or see something during our visit. That 16 year old me would have been able to do or say something capable of reviving the part of him already walking in shadow.

A couple of years previous this night, Ryan and I had been at a high school party. We found ourselves beneath the stairs, making complex shapes out of electrical cords. We wrapped them around our necks. We robbed ourselves of breath. All the hormones of that age, and the gradients of who, what and such had pressed us into a particular head space. It was new for me. I thought neither of us were serious in our attempt.

It was hard to know how to shift, so long ago, feeling that way. I am surprised to be writing about this now. But feelings process through presence and the road to being a richer human being wanders. I miss Ryan and our friendship. I don’t know that I would change things though. He needed to follow his path. His journey inspired my own and I wouldn’t be the man that I am today without his contributions; having walked in the shadows helped me find my light, and helps me help others find their own. That says so much, because I love myself, and I am worthy of such love.

Share with your loved ones how much they mean to you. Make certain to share with yourself the same. You are so deserving.

 

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