As mentioned in past articles, I used to play sports. I used to play a lot of sports and I didn’t play casually either. I played competitively for a long time throughout my teenage and young adult years. I was never trying to go pro or win individual awards, I just wanted to play. And since graduating university and becoming semi-retired from competition, I won’t lie to you – I feel like I’ve almost regressed as a person. When I was competing, everyday felt like an opportunity to add to something. I would have routine and feel as if I had a mission larger than just the monotony of life. It was like another form of discipline, except it was a lot of fun. But more than anything it’s a feeling, that you’re chasing. A feeling of waking up on a gameday and locking in mentally. The feeling of having razor sharp focus and pinning all your attention on one thing. I miss that.
You could ask, hey Baron why don’t you get back into playing rugby or something like that? There are several factors why I am currently not playing. My body is not how it used to be, in good ways and bad. My right knee is hanging on by a thread. Damaged meniscus and ACL – I’m playing on one good knee. And honestly I don’t even think my other knee is in good shape. I’m sure if a doctor looked at it, they would see some funky stuff going on in my left knee. The good thing though is that I lost weight. I went from 210 lbs to 150 lbs. That means that I don’t know what position to play. When I played my former position I was pretty good at those specialized skills but now I’ll have to play and learn a whole new position as an adult. Playing catchup with other players really just means riding the bench.
But even though I said all those things, I still can’t imagine myself just retiring. When I was playing, I swear it felt like my life was meant for that one moment. When I stayed back for a year of high school when all my friends went to university, they were all posting about their frosh weeks and having fun. I remember feeling like “damn, I should’ve just accepted the offer and left high school. Instead I’m playing high school football again”. I remember later that week, traveling down to Michigan (from Canada) and playing Friday night lights. I remember the music blaring through the speakers, I remember feeling the vibration of the turf under my cleats, I remember the wind going through my helmet during warm ups. I remember thinking that there was no way I could give up on that feeling.
I guess, I’m just chasing that adrenaline. The next closest feeling would be when a good pump up song comes up during a run. That’s when I feel like I’m missing something. It just feels like your inside wants to burst through to your outside. I can’t really explain it. I don’t know how I’m ever going to truly live without feeling that excitement again. If you don’t understand this feeling I’m talking about and you don’t know how to go about it, you might go your whole life without having this feeling.