Thursday, August 5, 2010

I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb

Hey, where did everybody go? Its been a week and half since the championship game and the blogging function in my brain has finally recovered. My plan here is to give an update and move backwards in time over the next couple of days.

Obviously the final game was disappointing for all of us. We started the game a little tight, suffered a brutal injury to our top defensive middie, battled back in the third quarter and had a chance to go up by 2 goals with 8 minutes to play. Their keeper makes a great save to keep it at 1up Canada, they tie it up right away and score the winner on a crazy bounce shot. I've told this tale 500 times over the last 10 days and I still don't feel any better about not winning that game.

After the final whistle I felt a little numb. No, not a seizure - just a jumble of emotions. Pissed that we lost, sad the tournament was over, disappointed that I would never play in a big game like that again, proud at how I represented Canada, relieved that I was able to play at level again and finally, an empty feeling of not knowing what is next. I really didn't want to leave the field and lingered around for about 30 minutes. It was a strange place.

Eventually, I gathered up all of my gear and headed to the beer garden. As they say in the 'ville, win or lose - booze, booze, booze! Not really what I was thinking, but I had told Bro and the boys I would meet them there. In the 5 minutes it took me to get over there everything become crystal clear. Nobody was upset, in fact everybody enjoying the moment. Taking pictures with competitors, shaking hands with fans and lots of hugs from Asian players...which were captured in even more pictures! Bro, Ryan, Dustin and Sam where sitting around a table and I could see that there were all proud and happy for me. I also sensed a little relief from Brogann that I survived the two weeks. It wasn't that the loss didn't matter, but when compared to everything we had all committed to get to that game it just wasn't the most important thing.

This is the feeling I have held onto since we returned. So many people are playing in a role in helping me make this goal a reality. I'm not talking about playing in the World Games - I'm referring to beating cancer. From the people who generously donated to help fund my trip - please know that without your support the experience wouldn't have been possible. To the strangers that emailed notes of encouragement and to my competitors who took time in every post-game hand shake lines to urge me on in my fight. I hope you understand that your are all part of what I realized on my trek from the field to the beer garden ...the hugs, notes, hand shakes and prayers are more powerful than any chemo drug and vaccine.

And, yes, another gold would have been great. But the experience and what I'm feeling since returning from games is going to serve me even more in the great battle our family is fighting everyday.

Everybody is asking whats next. Well, we are already back into our routine. My girls are great. Stevie was fired up to hear her name on the ESPNU broadcast and now thinks she is Hannah Montana. Phil and Sue are coming down tomorrow for an extended visit. Caught up with buddy Kyle Miller (goalie, Team Canada '06, cancer survivor) today. He has an amazing story and is doing a number of motivational speeching engagements. Kyle encouraged me to considered it, but after my last debacle(see opening ceremony) I'm not sure its for me! We banged around the idea of including Bro (who is a natural) and using me as a prop. Not a bad idea, but the last time we collaborated on something - Kenny and Dolly's Islands in the Stream - she nearly left me and this was the night before our wedding.

So we will wait and see. Take care of your birds and goats.

US Player - Chris Schiller(great guy) enjoying ice cream on the night before game
Bro, Sam, Dustin & CS
The Red Dragon...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Working for the weekend...

After having a great game with the US, we have beaten Australia and Germany. Things were tight with the Lacraussie squad, but we pushed it to 11-1 at the half and held on the rest of the way. I was able to shut it down at half time and did not play at all versus the Germans. A much needed rest and an opportunity to heal up before we go into the play-off rounds.

We actually saw the sun the other day, which was nice. Unfortunately, all of the gingers on our team now have sunburns. Cousin Flip, Brodie and the Red Dragon spaced on 70spf and paid the price.

I have included a picture of a living legend down below. Johnny Marr is the former Scottish Nationals goalie. I first met him at the 1998 World Games in Baltimore. Hopkins has a bar on campus, PJ's Pub, and John was holding court on the night of the opening ceremonies - in a kilt. At the time he was well into his 50's?? and still playing goal for the Scotland. We connected on our position, our love of story telling and beers. Every night I would be out breaking curfew and I would run into John. I smile on his face and a pint in his hand, he was the king of one more pitcher. To me he exemplifies what this tournament is all about. I spotted him on the sidelines of our scrimmage with Scotland. I ran over and he gave me a big hug. He congratulated me for making it Manchester and said he was proud of my fight.

And I continue to run into him every night!

John Marr & CS

Ryan, CS & Dust

Team Bermuda

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another Good Day

A boring Saturday in rainy Manchester. Early morning shoot around in the cold rain followed by a visit to the training room and a nappy poo. Playing the 7:30 games are going to be tough. Anyway, I got through the day and I'm looking forward to doing it all over again tomorrow.

We play the Aussies tomorrow night. They won in OT against England and the Japanese beat Germany in the other top-flight game.

My body is beat up, but my spirits are high. The Canadian contingent of fans held a post-game tailgate and it was great to see all of the wives, parents and random folks over hear to support the squad.

Have a great evening back home.

Oh, yeah we beat the US 10-9...

Friday, July 16, 2010

You can bring your pitcher into the stands!

We had our first official game of the tournament today. It was a solid start, with us hanging 17 Japan (not a bad number, eh). The game stayed close through the first quarter, but we things started to turn as we relaxed. The final counts was 17-4.

In other top division news, the US defeated the Aussies 21 - 5 and England beat Germany 12 - 3. Germany was in the lower division heading into the tournament, but has filled in for Iroquois National team as it become clear that they weren't going to make it over.

Lots of cools moments today - Ryan and Dustin arrived, putting on the 17 jersey, hearing the National Anthem and Skyping with Bro and Clementine at 6:30AM - NJ time. Oh, and fans can bring a pitcher of beer into the stands. No wonder soccer fans are crazy over here...they are all rummed up.

The bruise collection is out of control. Knees, thighs, forearms and shoulder are all sporting some color on the bruise spectrum. The doctors may call the police at my next appointment to report spousal abuse. Fortunately we have a crack squad of athletic therapists available to us anytime of the day of night. Lobber, Steve-O and the Rayn Train are doing their best to keep me in one piece. I have figured out that most of their technique and jargon is made up, but it is nice have those guys around to ice me down and rub my back. Ryan borrowed the camera, but I have some bruise pics tomorrow.

We just finished an abbreviated scouting report on the US, tomorrow nights opponent. They are stacked and out for revenge. Knowing this game is not the one that counts in the end(that will come next Saturday!), I hope we come out relaxed, confident and enjoyed the moment. The game is already sold out.

I know I will be relaxed for the next 8 hours at least...time for an Ativan and the wrapper.

CS & Stevie O - nice guy with even nicer hands!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Qing Yan Bao Kou Han Pian

Its been a long couple of weeks. As a veteran blogger at this point, I'm aware of the second rule of blogging...never apologize for taking a break. But I need a clean start and so, hanging my head in shame, I promise to provide quality content for the next two weeks.

We are just wrapping our fourth day in Manchester. The opening ceremonies took place this afternoon on the campus at the University of Manchester. I have always enjoyed these events - it’s a great opportunity to see some old friends and getting the tournament rolling. I was asked to read the "Players Oath" which was an incredible honor...and just as horrifying. Those who know me well understand my fear of public speaking. Combine this with my speech issues from surgery and a sore throat for working out the vocal cords for the first time in 4 year on the field. It was the perfect storm for a gong show. I attempted to pull the 'chute about ten times while waiting my turn. Thanks to the urging of my teammates and some "gentle" prodding from Brodie in particular, I got up there and did it. And you know was an absolute gong show! Picture Kermit the frog with a stutter. I got through it, the boys all lied to me and said it went well and one of the Japanese players handed me a Qing Yan Bao Kou Han Pian throat lozenge when we got back to the dorm!

Personally, it has a crazy couple of days getting ready to play Japan in our opener tomorrow night. Physically draining from the two-a-days and nightly yoga sessions led by Junior.

As tired as I feel, I'm in a much better place emotionally thanks to the support from I have received from my teammates. Usually people avoid talking about my cancer - but the guys have recognized it, talked about it and have moved on toward our goal of winning the gold medal. Pretty amazing considering we have been together for less than week. Our meeting about expectations/motivation was something I had never experienced in any team setting. Guys sharing what it meant to represent their county, families, etc. Powerful stuff that will help us through this tournament. More importantly I found a guy who likes a good cry as much as I do. In fact Kevin Crowley (21yrs) and I have a number of things in common!

Last Saturday night, my dad Phil asked why I wanted to do this again. Battling cancer, having already won a gold medal, two all world awards, leaving the family at home, etc. I got really upset. There is so much involved in my decision to do this and I don't have loonies to process it with George the Shrink, but that meeting alone has made this trip worth it.

I promise more updates as the tournament progresses. Look forward to tales of John Marr, fish & chips, and the quest to find a husky 5’7 Swedish player to swap warm-up suits with.

For those interested, the games are streaming at:

Wagons waiting to enter stadium

Saturday, June 19, 2010

goalie4r/lshooter - NSA

Otherwise fulfilled, thirty something tourist on vaca in the Vineyard looking for hard shooting, rifleman to bring the heat on a local field. HS or college playa - no preference. Looking for finishers. I have been fooled before by trannies with terrible sticks.

You won't be disappointed.

On the island for the next 8 days

Location: Edgartown, MV

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Friday, June 18, 2010

Twenty Minute Workout

Only three weeks before the first face-off in Manchester. I'm must admit I have been feeling great. After my trip to Toronto I have spent some amazing time with the girls, partied with my wife and continued to dominate Monday night old timers lacrosse...'keeper had my number last week, transitioned to a feeder and ended up with 8 apples - all behind the back passes.

Training is going awesome. Running, lifting and getting in the goal - at least two of the three every day. I'm feeling strong and quick - all relative of course, but I'm giving it my best. I have actually pulled some old VHS tapes of the Twenty Minute Workout aerobics program. Killing my cardio. PX90 has nothing on these ladies in leg warmers.

I have cleaned up head since the last post and actually started the "much discussed" chemo last night. Lifted and took shots this morning without problem. I won't really feel it until Sunday.

Speaking of chemo. Everyone is always asking me what it feel likes. Watch the clip about 40 seconds you will get an idea.

Cracked Cup