Absolutely Nothing. My Return to Beach Dodgeball



MAY 11, 2014.  I made my return to playing Beach Dodgeball.  To say I was nervous in the days leading up to this would be a huge understatement.

Since my Heart Attack and more so, my Cardiac Arrest I have been struggling with PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  This has not been easy.

I desperately want to feel again.  By feel I mean I need to break, cry, get mad…something, anything that shows I still have emotion.  I am exhausted by comments from people about me being or acting differently.  I can’t explain it in a way that anyone would understand.  I am just not quite who I was before.

Anyway….So returning to the “Beach”.  This is the second time I have been there since my heart attack.  The first where I was going to play for the first time since.  The heart attack happened while playing last year on August 11, 2013.

I could not get that fact out of my mind in the days leading up.  Now, although physically I have challenged myself more than Dodgeball could do to my heart, it still sat in my head.  I was scared about reliving the moment.  Would it happen again ?  Would I break down and cry ?  Wold I get the break I feel I so desperately need to fully heal ?

I got my answer quickly.  I deliberately walked over to where it happened and felt absolutely nothing.  Not upset, not mad, not fear…nothing.

Yes I did think about the last time I played and re played the entire day in my head.  Still unbelievable for me.  I felt no emotion about being there at all, just memories, some a little foggy as I wasn’t in the right mind when the heart attack happened. I am still not in the right mind to this day.

I will say this.  It did feel good to play and to know I can still play.  I am definitely not the same Dodgeball player I was before but I am trying to get better.

I love the fact that my dodgeball friends have been so supportive.  I do know that when I saw Sean and Alanna there I smiled for I will always be thankful for them two people, probably more than they know. I cannot tell them thank you enough.

The day ended as most do at Dodgeball and I was there another hour after as a games coordinator enjoying the moment.  A moment that may have never happened if I had just given up and let fear take over.

I always wonder now how many more years I can play.  I am getting older but the game is still fun and yes, the pain is worth it.

Every week on Sunday in spring and summer I will be back at “the beach”.  I still have hope I will eventually feel something.  For now I will continue to live the moments, have fun and keep kicking ass at getting better.

I wish to feel if only for a moment.  For now, I will be patient until that time comes.  I am still pretty awesome.


I am in room full of people but many times I am lost….

So many posts I could have done tonight but I have chosen this one for a reason.

wedding3 935A

This past week I was in Veradero Cuba to Photograph a wedding.  The wedding of two friends I met through Reffing Hockey 3 1/2 years go.

This week could have gone in a couple directions and fortunately for me it went in the right direction.  But before I say how or why I must give a little back story.

Since my Heart Attack last year I have been in many different social situations.  Most I have felt a little out of place. No fault of my friends, I must clarify.

If I am to be honest here.  I have almost preferred to be alone than around a group of people.  I am not who I was and many times I have no idea how to portray who I am exactly now.  Do I even know who I am ?

In a room full of people, I have felt lost.  It is almost like for a time I forgot how to react or get involved in conversations. I forgot how to be social.  It’s not that people have secluded me.  It more like I have secluded myself a bit.

I have always been the guy to try and find a place to really “fit in”  My friends are a Cornucopia of different groups and I wouldn’t necessarily say I fit into any one certain group.  I have always kinda been this way.  I adapt to the situation or group I am with.  Usually with success.

Since my Heart Attack…..

Not so much.  Social anxiety, feeling like you are being watched when in fact you are not.  Strange, I know but these are my thoughts.

Now back to Cuba….


I knew a fair amount of people attending this wedding but it still could have been a lonely time for me.  They are family.  I am a friend there to do a job.  I am not even a close friend but a friend there…. to Photograph a Wedding.

What happened in Cuba is more than I could ask for.

Not even once did I feel alone, secluded or like an outsider.  I felt like a part of the group.  I was included in the activities such as the Jack and Jill party, a few dinners, pool time, late night Ocean swimming, dancing against my will ( Thanks Kailee and Riley !) I was joked with, laughed at and with.

You know people like you when they harass you a little.  Or a lot, haha

I could have been left to my own devices and yes there were times I was on my own but by choice really.  People invited me to hang out to let loose and have fun.

I was like I belonged from the start.  No awkwardness. No having to try to hard to be liked.

This resulted in great conversations and meeting new people and a few wobbly pops and a lot of laughing.

What did I learn?

Just Be Me.


Me- A Clutz !
Me- A Clutz !

People can like me for whoever I am now, even if I am not 100 % unsure of exactly who that is.

Dance against your will my friends, you may just tear up the floor and genuinely have a moment of joy unexpectedly.


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