Step by step, we make the climb. I felt your healing vibes. I felt the strength. And it pushed me to another rung on this ladder of recovery. And for that I thank you and owe you more than you will ever know. Some old version of me would have slurped these vibrations of strength and kept them stored deep inside of me, hoarding and holding. But not anymore. I received them, and I gave them away. I now know this is how the healing process works.

It’s not the healing of me. It’s the healing of us. Healing is a selfless act. In order to heal myself, I must heal the world of those closest to me. And that heals us all. It’s a strange way to look at things, I know; but it’s the only thing I know.

I’m making a conscious effort to shift my consciousness away from the selfish version of me, which propelled me for the past 33 years and culminated with attaining my childhood dream, if only for a brief moment, and then endless eternities to reflect on what has happened. Why it has happened. And how I can turn this into a positive and rise from the ashes once again.

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Isle of Healing

I’m back! I’ve emerged from the cave and what a trip it’s been. I went from the highest peak at the highest level to the lowest valley of doom. I’ve seen it all, man. And I’ve learned more about myself, my world, and the world around me in the past seven months than I had learned in the previous 33 years.

This concussion has shown me many truths.

I had some serious blinders on! I used to think they were a good thing because they kept me focused on my goal way up there at the top of the mountain. I’ve come to realize that those blinders kept me separate from people who needed my help.

I’ve learned what’s important. And what’s not. I’ve seen my greatest flaws and also my greatest gifts. Here’s a clue: punching people in the face, while entertaining, exhilarating, and strangely poetic, is not one of my greatest gifts. It’s a means that got me to the top league in the world and to see a childhood dream fulfilled. And for that, I’m grateful.

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Icy Things

I always thought it was possible, from day one.

Even junior year of high school when I was on the Varsity B team, I knew. Something special was in the works. This was my break out year. This is the year I learned how to forecheck. I learned to be the savage beast. For my whole hockey life, up until then, I was a defenseman.

All that changed when Coach unleashed me for a shift at offense. It was instantly clear that I could do something out of the ordinary. I learned that I could put myself into a particular state of mind. I could become the hunter, and god help the hunted. I relentlessly smashed my opponents, and have been doing it ever since.

That day I was forever branded: power forward.

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What is the sound of one puck clapping against a cool ice surface face-off frenzy of fiendish foes? For those of us in the know, we inherently hold a special place in our hearts for that unmistakeable clap! of a perfectly timed and perfectly placed puck drop. The smooth, mysterious face of that rubber disk hits the surface of the ice and something happens. That clap radiates right up into the rafters of arenas and into molecules of our very existence as hockey folk.

There’s the sound again -listen- a precision saucer pass soars through the air, and again, clap! lands perfectly on the ice inches from the tape. I’ve always been enamored by the sound of the clapping puck. Even as a youngster, I would hold a puck in each hand and clap them together. Somehow it made me happy, and still does.

There’s a strange frenetic energy in a hockey puck. It’s some unidentified flying object in a world of balls, the standard among all other sports. But our sport requires the biggest balls of them all.

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