by: Eric M. Kussin

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29 October 2018

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A Display of Vulnerability

What an incredible night at @boisestatebroncos w @bigjoe & @realtracylmurray.
 
Was nice to be the shortest speaker of the group – Joe & Tracy are both 6’8”+ but tonight their vulnerability stood far taller than their heights.
 
Amongst many details of their journeys they shared, Joe talked about how – before making the @nfl he & his HS teammates would get together every Thursday night & talk about their lives off the field – often bringing each other to tears, as they shared. Tracy spoke about how his depression at 36, after his @nba days were over, kept him in bed for a week, in a room w the blinds closed, not wanting to leave. A loss of identity.
 
@stone.v31 a former Boise, NFL, & CFL player known for his motor & hard hits joined the panel to discuss being ok with not being ok.
 
What this led to was perhaps the best “natural” delivery of a question we have received in the #SameHere🤙 Sit-Down Q&A sessions to date: A current starting player on the Boise Football team (one known as a no-nonsense blue collar player), started asking about how he could better control the anxiety he feels before he’s able to “get his mind the game” with a big hit or tackle. As he asked the question, his voice started to crack, he stopped to take a deep breath, & shared that this was hard to ask about.
 
THAT was the moment everyone in the room realized – that even the strongest of us (by appearance), are holding onto things that cause us angst, & once we start to open up & talk/ask about it, we realize how heavily it’s been weighing us on & taking up space in our minds/hearts. The feelings related to how his question came out were palpable.
 
This wouldn’t haven’t happened w/o the vulnerability Joe, Tracy, & Winston gifted to the room. If we open up & share vulnerably, we connect, we invite sharing from others, much of the unhealthy stuff we are “holding onto” gets released, & we start to heal. SEEING something that had been building in an athlete like that tonight, should be case in point that we all have things deep down we can & need to let out. All of us, #SameHere!

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