I’ve posted this picture of me in goal numerous times before for ‘ThrowbackThursday’ or #TBT, as it’s known in social-media, hashtag lingo. I usually point out the old school helmet, gloves and anything that’s retro about it. But like anything, there’s a story behind it as that picture was taken during my last high school lacrosse game.
It was May 1996. I was a senior at the South Kent School, a boarding school located in Northwest CT. The team that I captained had ONE victory in the win column and was enduring a long, slow and painful rebuilding season after winning the New England Championship a year ago. Needless to say it sucked.
I wasn’t going to college to play lacrosse, rather to an art school in my hometown of NYC, which was my first choice, to start my career in the graphic arts with the goal to be a modern-day Don Draper in the hit show ‘Mad Men’. So when the last game of the season showed the opponent being our heated rival, Salisbury School (now a national powerhouse in lacrosse), I wanted to leave it all on the field. It didn’t matter because I still got shelled in goal, and we still got our asses kicked. I remember once the game was over feeling a sense of relief because the season that sucked was finally done. But, I also remember feeling a bit of depression because I just played my last lacrosse game, ever. So, I thought.
A few days later I was told that a professional photographer took action shots of the game. I purchased a number of them with the one of me in goal, in my classic ‘panther stance’, being my favorite. Shortly after that, I announced in a school assembly that I was selling all of my lacrosse equipment before graduation just days away. There were NO buyers.
In 2002 I made the personal choice to get back to playing lacrosse. 16 years later, I’m playing more competitive lacrosse in my adult life than ever before. Literally, it’s lacrosse all year round. In one year these days, I’ve played more games than my four years of high school combined. It’s absolutely CRAZY! I did not become a modern-day Don Draper, but I still had a fun career in advertising, which then made me want to carve my own path with The Art of Lax™.
As fresh college and high school grads become the focus during this time of the year, it’s daunting to stop a routine, especially if it’s something that you love, for something new or totally unknown. If there’s something I can say to grads each year, is a reminder that your life is full of surprises and choices. Surprises and choices aren’t opposites, they are two sides of the same coin, because your personal choices can make the best surprises. I really thought that my last high school lacrosse game was the last time I would ever play, and I was VERY wrong about that.
And that’s what I think about the most when I look at this photo of me. Now who else has some old school lacrosse pics to share? :o)
Like on Facebook
Follow on Instagram
Subscribe on YouTube