When I was 11 years old, I started playing Pop Warner football. I wanted to play real tackle football for as long as I could remember. In the second live scrimmage I ever played in, I met the opposing running back head-on on the very first play.
There was nothing spectacular about the play. It was a seemingly routine run up the middle stopped by me, the middle linebacker. However, the tackle resulted in what is called a “stinger”, a sharp pain in my spine that knocked the wind out of me.
I immediately jumped up after the play was over, but not because I was determined to fight through the pain, but because I was afraid. The biggest fear I had concerning the game of football was to suffer an injury that would leave me paralyzed. So, my jumping up was to assure myself that I could indeed walk.
After confirming I could still use my limbs, I went back to the ground, writhing in pain. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the game on the sidelines. What I didn’t know was that I was on a path to learn a valuable lesson that would stick with me to this very day.
The following week of practice my coaches allowed me to ease my way back into practicing full speed. Looking back now, I see they knew the extent of the injury I suffered was more mental than physical. A young kid wanting nothing more than to play the sport he loved but suddenly stopped dead in his tracks due to the possibility of his greatest fear being realized.
This all came to a head after the following scrimmage. On offense, I played fullback where I was mainly used as a lead blocker for the tailback. On occasion, I’d get the opportunity to run the ball. Towards the end of the game, in which my playing time was still limited, my coach asked me if I wanted the ball. My reply spoke more to the state of mind I had descended into than anything.
“I guess” was all I could muster.
After the game, I went into my room and prepared to shower when my father came in. He didn’t knock, didn’t ask for permission to enter the room, he just came in and locked the door behind him. He told me to sit down, and I could tell from the look in his eyes he wasn’t playing.
Two seconds later there was a knock on my door. My mother told my father to leave me alone. She said I was just a kid and if I didn’t want to play, I didn’t have to. My father’s reply was simple: “I got this.”
My father told me my coach informed him of my response to getting the ball. He then asked if I wanted to keep playing. I said yes, but not because I wanted to, but because I knew I had to.
At this point, I sat on the edge of the bed with my father towering over me. He looked at me and simply made a statement.
“If you don’t want to play because you don’t like the sport, that’s fine. But you’re not going to stop playing because you’re scared.” At that moment, with him looking down on me, I was more afraid of him than anything that could happen on the field.
After that encounter I never looked back. The fear that paralyzed my psyche had miraculously been removed. I played the next game and everyone after that without ever giving a second thought to the “injury”.
There are a few ways we can look at this story. I’m going to focus on one because it speaks to the larger issues at play today. My mother was prepared to give me a way out. She could see her son was afraid and shaken, triggering her motherly instinct to protect her offspring from what appeared to be an imminent danger.
If playing football caused this much anxiety, it would have been justified to remove it all together. My father had a much different take.
He saw I allowed the “trauma” to dictate my behavior. The injury couldn’t cripple me the way the fear did. I could physically still walk, run, and move, but my mind became so entrenched with fear that none of my limbs could be forced to respond.
He knew if we followed my mother’s advice and removed the immediate “problem,” we’d return to the same point again and again. The problem wasn’t football, it was fear.
I overcame this fear because I had my father to show me the lack of rationale regarding it. He understood if allowed to live in my mind fear would never leave, it would continue to manifest itself in other aspects of my life.
This is the understanding that men bring to the table. The understanding that life is a marathon and the only way we win the war is by showing up to every battle.
The lack of masculinity in the home and our communities is the single greatest threat to humanity. This may sound like hyperbole but that’s only because you think it’s about masculine strength and size and how we “exert our dominance” over the female gender. But that’s not the case at all.
I told the above story because it illustrates the element of masculinity that the establishment greatly fears. My mother, expressing her nurturing nature, looked to remove me from what was perceived to be a dangerous situation. Football scared me, and her being my mother, felt the need to intervene.
My father was playing the long game. He knew this was the first step towards cowardice and it must be eradicated immediately or risk becoming the malignant cancer that would eventually destroy his son.
Women are right brain thinkers. Their energy and thought patterns are based on emotions, one of the reasons women are so intuitive. This also means that they are predisposed to think primarily about the present, and if not rightly guided to the detriment of the future.
This was my mother’s thought process: there was an immediate threat that must be neutralized without giving a single thought to the long-term consequences.
Men, on the other hand, are left brain thinkers. Their thought process is based on logic and reason. That’s one of the reasons men can seem emotionally detached. This means men are predisposed to think about the long-term effects of something. In addition, understand the importance of being able to sacrifice the present for a better future.
My mother allowed her emotions to control her thinking. Her seeing me scared made her feel bad, even though these feelings weren’t based on reason. I could reasonably overcome my predicament if I saw past the immediate discomfort. Most of us never make it past this stage. We stay in our feelings and allow everything but ourselves to control our minds.
My father had what all men have innately built into them. That is, until the feminist tsunami drowns the spark to confront life and all it brings.
Logical thinking. Critical thinking. The ability to analyze a problem and develop effective solutions. This is what they fear. They fear not the man’s size, strength, or aggressive nature as much as they fear his logical train of thought.
Today’s political and social climate is ripe with various contradictions. The same people calling the “system” inherently racist also call for it to be more powerful. The same pro-women, feminism, and gender equality people also allow girls sports to overtake biological men.
But none of this would be possible without the removal of logic from our collective thought process. The product of removing the vessel obliged to pass on this legacy to later generations.
You can hate the truth, but you can’t deny it. Men, real masculine men, provide logic and reason to the family unit. The father is necessary just as women and feminine energy are necessary.
Neither should be denied, and to do so is to deny the elements needed to provide a balanced life.
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