Monday, October 3, 2011

Is Hockey Necessary?

A few years back I was teaching conflict management skills to a class of apprentice plumbers.  Mike, one of the students started shaking his head, his eyes wild.  He put his head down on his desk briefly, then stood up and ran from the class.

Later, I saw him sitting in his van in the parking lot.  He apologized for leaving and explained that he'd had a panic attack in the middle of class.  He couldn't leave the campus yet, he said.  He was still feeling shaky.  He was worried it might be affecting his work.  He was seeing a doctor for it, taking pills - but he was still getting two or three panic attacks every week.

Image result for hockey"I used to play hockey after work four or five nights a week," he said.  "After my wife had our first baby, I cut it down to twice a week.  After we had our second baby, I stopped playing hockey altogether.  That was four months ago.  Then the panic attacks started."

I knew about panic attacks.  I'd had several years of them when my post-traumatic stress kicked in, but this didn't sound trauma-related.

"Sounds like maybe you should play hockey." I said.

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