California, we finally made it!
Updated: Feb 6
When I left my job 6 months ago to seek something new I had no idea what I was getting myself into... After 6 years of running an organization, I had saved a few dollars and was committed to exploring the world from a different vantage point for a year. But when the emails and phone calls stopped coming and all distractions evaporated it gave way to the memories of my athletic past and the parts of history that I had long ago decided to bury deep within my soul.
For the last three years I had been doing my job on a heavy daily stimulant. Although perhaps not a long term solution I have come to appreciate how the advent of various drugs helped me and for better or worse my jobs success depended on... The medication provided a safety net and for the most part I kept my inner demons at bay. Meditation, journalling, yoga, more exercise, less drinking, eating healthy and various forms of therapy all became part of my “keep sane playbook”.
Following the departure from my job, that same daily playbook to help keep me sane no longer worked. I failed to understand why I was still feeling trapped; so I was forced to look in the mirror and have an open and honest conversation with myself. The process stung and continues to provide challenges but I have come to learn, understand and accept two things recently;
1. I suffered a series of athletic concussions before and during my time on Canada’s National Ski Team (2006 to 2009) and while playing soccer at the University of Vermont (2004). The injuries were never treated properly which created physical damage to my brain.
2. During the end of my ski career I was unknowingly experiencing a cognitive and emotional decline and I took it upon myself to stop competing. This period of time created a significant amount of phycological stress that I have been unknowingly carrying around for 11 years.
In a quest to continue my own personal healing, Nuk and I have found our way to the west coast this winter in the hopes of studying and working with practitioners and athletes alike. While at the same time I would like to increase awareness around the broader topic of traumatic brain injuries in sport and specifically, the recovery process. I welcome anyone out there who may find themselves in a similar situation to come join me on this healing expedition.
Welcome to the Scott Barrett Project