My take on how we, as men, can begin to dismantle rape culture in this country.
My take on how we, as men, can begin to dismantle rape culture in this country.
The link to my piece on GoodMenProject.com about the rage surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ad.
My latest piece on GoodMenProject.com in which I give advice to my youngest son about what it takes to be a good man in this life.
Author John Updike once said that “Most of our lives are basically mundane. It’s up to the writer to make them interesting. ” While I agree with him, I would amend the thought to say that ” It’s up to all creatives to make them [ our lives ] interesting. ” For the creative individual – magic, beauty and inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere, sometimes in the most unlikeliest of places. It is indeed our artistic duty to share what we have found with the world. It doesn’t matter whether the world accepts it or likes it, what matters is that we, as creatives, have taken the steps to create it and release it to the gaze of our fellow human beings.
My latest piece for GoodMenProject.com in which I point out that everyone—especially more men—needs to get involved and stay involved in this struggle.
if this temporary life
I call my own
requires a realization
that it could end
at any moment
if it means
than a breaking of the
circular hate and
I was born into
if it means helping
my fellow human beings
who are oppressed
if it means being a solace
and a bridge
for my children
over the canyons of their
if it means having
the woman I married
see my love for her
in my eyes
then let the warmth
of the summer rays
fade from my face
let the red, yellow and orange
hued leaves whirl up
and fly away
let my breaths that hover
in the chilled air
dissipate into eternity
and let the annual
rebirth of existence
that so enraptures
forever disappear for me
because I have
fulfilled my purpose
here on this earth
they say still waters run deep
but I wouldn’t know
because mine are forever raging
against the dying of the light
always threatening to overflow their banks
as they propel me to the lush fields of my imagination
where, as the summer bees buzz
I pick a bouquet of wildflowers
amidst the thorns and briers just for you
there is so much beauty and so little time
which makes me tearfully treasure the breath of life
and your sun-kissed smile
when you see the purple, red, blue,
yellow and orange blooms
in my bleeding hands all the more
Originally published on FeminineCollective.com
From my notebooks, dated 12-12-90 :
Writing gives my life purpose.It makes everything I’ve been through seem worthwhile. It gives it meaning. It makes it look like I’ve reached this point for a reason.
Upon rereading this entry from my notebooks, I am struck by two things – the spiritual nature of this entry and my skepticism of myself. This is remarkable to me now, I guess because if anything my feelings expressed in these sentences has only grown stronger over the years. If I permit myself to think of these thoughts as saplings in 1990, in 2018 they are, by the same token, oak trees of a behemoth nature. If I was going to rewrite it for my mindset today, in short, I would drop the skepticism. I would rewrite it like this :
Writing gives my life purpose. It makes everything I’ve been through meaningful because everything I have ever experienced is now source material for me to draw upon as I tell the story of my life. I have reached this point in my life for this very reason – to tell my story.
While I stop short of calling writing a religion, I will say that it is a calling to a way of life- one that I have answered and will answer every single day for the rest of my life.
This is the interview I did earlier this year with Dr. Tommy John III, a man dedicated to helping our children remain healthy and safe. While an edited version of the interview was published on GoodMenProject.com , the complete interview is below :
Dr. Tommy John III is on a mission. The son of baseball star Tommy John, the man most known and remembered for the surgical procedure that bears his name, Dr. John believes that there is
a “ sports injury epidemic” affecting our youth in this country. And in his new book, Minimize Injury, Maximize Performance: A Sports Parent’s Survival Guide , he spells out a number of comprehensive step-by-step strategies that he believes serve as a first step in dealing with and reversing this phenomena . Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. John about his mission and his book and our interview is below.
John Michael Antonio (JMA): What was your main inspiration for writing this book?
Dr. Tommy John (TJ): Having worked in the performance and healing field for over 17 years I started to see a growing trend: ALL sports had injury epidemics and it was mostly affecting our youth. There have been many best sellers that have alerted us of the science and stats around these sport epidemics, but it left all parents saying “Now what?” Finally, here’s the WHAT…the solution.
JMA – What motivated you to make it so comprehensive in its scope?
TJ: Being the son of a baseball legend who is also linked to a famous surgery bearing his name, there are a lot of parents who will think this book isn’t for them because their son or daughter doesn’t play baseball. That’s the amazing nature of the way this book has been created…it is for all ages, genders and sports. It is for ALL human athletes. And, what I’m hoping is some of the parents and grandparents put these principles into play and maybe find that they can release some hidden potential lying inside of them as well regarding their health. Because as I said….ALL sports are being affected and plagued by injury epidemics.
JMA – Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz has stated that “I played 21 years of professional ball, yet I would never have accomplished that achievement with the way youth sports lacks concern for athletes today.” What do you think he means by that?
TJ: John was very vocal about the problems going on in baseball at the highest and lowest levels, even in his HOF speech he mentioned how he will probably be the last inductee who has had Tommy John Surgery because of the business of youth sports.
John knows that kid’s arms are being abused early on by Travel Teams, and early specialization. And he knows if he was a kid now, he would have had more of an opportunity to fall victim to what is going on and no way would he have lasted as long as he did. His foundation would’ve been poorly built because of how youth sports are handled.
JMA – In October your father will be writing an article for AARP magazine in which he will aim to inform the grandparents of young athletes about a lot of the dangers to young athletes that you discuss in the book. What does it mean to you to have your father working with you to spread your message?
TJ: It is very special for us both to team up again and take on such an important topic and hopefully make a change in the American sporting culture. I know we are both sick and tired of having our names attached to a surgery that is happening in kids more than adults being that 57% of all Tommy John Surgeries are being done on 15-19-year olds. Now maybe our names can be attached to a solution.
JMA: In the book, one of the three main reasons you give for the “injury epidemic” affecting youth sports today is the business of youth sports itself. What do you mean by that and the hard-hitting assertion that when it comes to youth sports “It’s often less about the kids – and more about the cash”?
TJ: Youth sports is a 15 billion dollar a year industry. It’s because the business of youth sports has made a year-long training schedule the new norm.
Behind the scenes—and in most cases, right in front of our very eyes—our children are being put through a gauntlet of coaches, camps, and countless lessons unnecessarily. What was once meant to be played for a season is now pushed 24/7, 365 days a year. All courtesy of new “select teams” that extend a child’s time playing the game, coaches and parents who believe “more is better” when it comes to practice, as well as indoor facilities and elite showcases that encourage kids to train during the off-season and even year-round.
Today, there is no off-season for our youth athletes. Because if their uniform ever found its way back into their closet, the money would stop rolling in.
This situation is developing young athletes in desperate need of medical intervention at younger and younger ages when inflammation, surgery, and rehabilitation shouldn’t even be words in their vocabulary. These surgical and rehabilitation procedures go beyond jumper’s knee, Little League elbow, or any of the common aches and pains active kids sometimes experience. It’s about significant damage to ligaments, tendons, and joints that require serious care—injuries from which many never come back.
Even worse, at a critical phase of developmental growth when children should be naturally developing balance, coordination, agility, and spatial awareness (among other important functional skills), they are being forced instead to over train and perform specialized movements that are creating muscular imbalances and deficiencies within their body. Because the human body is so adaptive, many kids can keep up and persist for a period of time. The problem is, their body eventually can’t maintain the pace and demands it is being put under.
It’s why the bodies of many of today’s young athletes aren’t keeping up—they’re giving up.
JMA – What do you hope happens after the release of your book?
TJ: I hope every sports parent in America looks to the book as a way to equip themselves and their entire families with an arsenal of tools to help raise healthy, happy and high functioning people. Then I hope the non-sports parents catch wind that this isn’t a book about sports, rather a book about life. And how to release the unlimited potential we all have lying inside of us.
One of the greatest questions we can ask is WHY. And maybe my book will have people start to ask that to the youth sporting world suffering from injuries to limbs and minds. There is no reason a child should have to rehab from their childhood, and if my book saves one kid from that it was well worth it.
Dr. Tommy John operates Tommy John Performance and Healing Center out of San Diego, a private practice that provides both athletes and entire families with integrative, individualized care plans and treatment to improve their quality of life by reducing physical and emotional pain from injury and aging and minimizing the use of pharmaceuticals or surgery. Dr. John has Master Degrees in Health and Exercise Science from Furman University and a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Life University, in Marietta, Georgia. His book Minimize Injury,Maximize Performance: A Sports Parent’s Survival Guide is now available on Amazon.com.