Friday, 19 April 2013
Day 194 - My Competitive Football Story
When I was younger, as all young people, I had little understanding of myself and/or how world works. I signed up to play football when I was 12, and being slightly larger than most kids my age, I was placed in a league with 15 and 16 year old kids. American football is a rough contact sport, which I was eager to try as it seemed like a cool identity I could assume to get some attention for myself at the time.
During my first season, I didn't understand the mechanics of the game and was somewhat intimidated by players barreling at me head down full steam. I recall one specific play, I just stepped out of the way and let the guy have the touchdown lol. I didn't know how to tackle properly. We lost all but one game that season.
The next year I played I broke my elbow in the second game, and was out for the season. The year after that was when I finally learned how to hit 'correctly'. My coach saw I was trying to grab players to the ground and said "hit this bag" - so I hit the bag straight on and he said "Why don't you hit players like that?". I knew it was because I was afraid of injuring my neck. He said "Come-on! You have a helmet and shoulder pads - hit him!" So I lined up opposite the runner and hit him straight on. It felt good to overcome a fear and learn a new technique - but what I did not realize, is that I was still being controlled by fear - as the fear of being honest with myself. This provoked an inner rage, which manifested as vengeful, outward, physical aggression.
I began to really hit players as hard as I could, straight on, constantly seeking to get high on the feeling of unleashing my inner demon, vainly trying to prove to people how 'fearless', 'strong', and 'powerful' I was in the desire to be revered as 'crazy'. I was caught up in an exhilarating battle. I see now how obvious it is, that I was doing this in an effort to hide myself, cover up who I was, and make amends for the frustration I felt inside myself because I had allowed myself to devalue myself so extensively. So rather than address the issue, I sought out and created the heroic fearless character in my mind, neglecting myself, and neglecting to realize that this was clearly dishonest, and not the solution to myself.
Throughout the season I was constantly seeking that 'high', to hit a player as hard as I could to try and get the reputation - trying to become a legend in someone's mind. I regarded other players as simply 'the enemy', and I really had no consideration for them whatsoever, no rule existed in my mind to prevent me from my secret ego's revenge. I only cared about getting my high - primarily because I was so angry with myself and the world... this seemed like the perfect outlet, the scapegoat, to express my inner rage and animosity. I did not dare to express it in words, in fear of being seen or defined as 'weak' or 'stupid'.
I hit a few players quite hard that year, and the year after. I would see 'stars' and gouge my helmet and then rave to people about how great it was. Little did I consider the physical consequence. One night in practice I got lined up against another heavy hitting player, everyone was edging and cheering us on as from a full sprint, we collided head on. Both of us blacked out for a few seconds, and then looked at each other in a slight daze. I recall the sharp pain in my neck, and the great fear that came over me of what I had just done to myself, but I quickly covered it up with the tough guy lie "wow that was awesome!" Inside I knew I was 'fortunate', and I was very relieved to realize that I did not seriously injure my neck, as the impact was significant to both of us, and we both had sore necks for about a week afterwards.
A couple years later, I heard a story on the news of how a player ran into a wall head on in frustration after losing a game and broke his neck, paralyzed for life. The fear and relief swept over me again.
Competitive sports serve nothing but the ego, the vain glory of seeking the 'identity' high and hiding ourselves from the real issues going on inside. This shows the direct correlation and connection - from the mind to physical consequence - of me trying to achieve a reputation and an energetic high, and how the combination of neglecting to take responsibility to face myself in self-forgiveness and correct myself, and being controlled by fear, very nearly broke my neck.
What consequences are we creating for ourselves in this world through neglecting to address our mind/ego? The physical reality shows, but sadly much more is on the way, and will continue until we all stop and face it.
Take the free course offered by Desteni if you dare get real, and face your ego.