This past weekend I was in Toronto, at a charity awareness hockey game, organized by StopConcussions.com. There were closer to 50 people playing, and the message was clear. The occurrence of a brain injury can’t be completely prevented, other than living in a box, and doing nothing.
Before the game, Kerry talked about what the day represents, and introduced me to the group. I looked at the group, there were at least 3 retired NHL players, a para-olympian, a woman who I think is an Olympian of some sport, but it was me who was speaking. There were several people in the group who approached me after, saying that they’d suffered an injury, and weren’t the same. But, the fact that they’d suffered the injury was completely invisible. I heard that Keith (Primeau) felt the effects of his multiple-concussions for upwards of something like 7 years after retiring. However, he’s the ultimate example of its invisibility. He walks unaffected, and he speaks with no issue.
The mission of Never Stop is “To support and promote public awareness and education on brain injuries” and this past weekend I helped do that. While the participants were familiar with the injury, my addressing them showed another aspect of it, which is the invisibility element. I used to hate how I was, because of all that I’d lost, but with the evolution of Never Stop, it’s given back to me what I lost.
The name, Never Stop, is more than just a name, it’s a feeling that people should embrace. That no matter what happens to you, unless you’re dead, you should Never Stop. I lost the coolest job, I lost the ability to do triathlons, but I decided to Never Stop.
I ride a tricycle, and planning to get an Alinker, to enable me to walk at a pace that would make me race-capable. While the name of it is Never Stop, it also represents the mindset that it promotes.