News that former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen's recent death was ruled a suicide saddened me. There is no doubt in my mind that competitive sports exact a physical and mental toll on professional athletes -- deaths are not just the consequences of a violent game and the long-term nefarious effects of injuries incurred on these athlete's bodies and brains, but a reflection of a society that does not allow for its men to be weak.
I had just been diagnosed as having a traumatic brain injury and I was already playing games. My brother Keith, a family practice physician, didn't waste any time. "We need to determine the extent of your memory loss. This may feel a bit strange but if you can come up with the names of these songs, we'll have a better sense of your memory loss. Don't think of this as an exercise, think of it as an opportunity to play 'Name That Tune.' It will be fun!"
I used to thrive on stress and deadlines. Everything changed a few years ago, when I suffered a concussion. I was forced to "live in the moment" and slow down. As a yogi for many years, I never truly understood the meaning of "letting go" and "being present" until my brain injury. I didn't have the choice, rushing through my life was no longer an option.