Geoff Courtnall, former Vancouver Canucks winger, classic casualty of North American contact sports! Almost goes with size…as one needs to be large …if not its a double whammy! But Courtnall worse path…he was an enforcer…17 years of it…and 292 games with Canucks! After at least dozen concussions…that the system even recognized…forced retirement at 37…and now still suffering post concussion symptoms. This is physical stress to the brain…BUT other stresses compound! Courtnall lost father Archie Courtnall to depression-driven suicide when just 15…and his really close bonded brother drowned two years before that at Oak Bay Marina…and his own 25 year world of 25 marriage ended in 2007. This not easy, court cases worst kind of non evolutionary adapted stress. But positives…legacy of team camaraderie and lifelong friend Cam Neely always there! Neely who saw negatives of his friend’s alcoholic Hoopla at 2010 Olympic Gold, Vancouver, after Canada beat USA in overtime…I was there! But this was to be final Courtnall drink! Additionally helped with honesty from Courtnall as…his thinking: he was ‘masking problems’…’it’s hardest thing I have ever done’…He needed immense discipline to overcome that automatic drink! Stick Handling Concussion & Alcohol!
Few ironies…in hockey, concussion, as Courtnall describes, was: ‘getting your bell rung’…and soon back on ice. Courtnall pointers: today speed of game increased…also bigger persons! Momentum for whiplash huge…and his observation that younger players, his son included, now frequently out with concussion…
But alcohol maybe greatest issue for Courtnall… life seems to repeat…father was alcoholic …his father’s father as well…quote: …”We all have something in our lives. Life is not easy. If you get into the black tunnel, it’s pretty tough to come out. It can take you down. A lot of people feel hopeless.” Stick Handling Concussion & Alcohol!
Now in Business..and key observation: that professional athletes do not know a lot about business…may be, but recognition that we are always learning critical…we will make mistakes, but secret learn from our mistakes. My comment: without our health we have nothing! Courtnall you pressed right button to try avoidance repeat mode. Stick Handling Concussion & Alcohol!