PAURIC GRIMES: Don’t hide behind your safety blanket

FOR the weekend past, with Glen reaching the All-Ireland Club final I think we can’t go by without chatting about the amount of attention a certain ginger maestro was getting up and down the country.

The fact that by going overseas to make a go of things piqued the public’s interest in the first place, coming back to home soil and putting on a display like he has was always going to cause a storm.

Prince Harry has really put the cat amongst the pigeons, hasn’t he?

Now if you’d have told me when I first started writing columns for Gaelic Life that there’d be one where I mention the royal family, I’d have staked a claim on it being my last one and that I was trying my best to burn every bridge kind.

Although big William looked like he enjoyed a bit of hurling the last time he popped over to the Antrim coast, there isn’t going to be a whole lot of times across anyone’s lifetime where the monarchy is mentioned in the same breath as GAA outside of a pint fuelled debate on a high stool over who the kings of Gaelic football are.

But bare with me. This isn’t really about Harry. This is about you, someone who’s retired from the game but hasn’t quite moved on from the small detail that you don’t play anymore.

I’ve been asked to open at a coaching conference in February with the theme being connection, communication and character. And I feel a little bad for what I’m going to ask the guys in attendance to do, but also, not really.

You see there’s a surprising amount of fitness professionals who hide behind their safety blanket of lifting weights, living the gym life and preaching to the world about how they can look as good as them.

Which is fine, it’s their job so more power to them, but what I’ll be asking of them throws this out the window. Who are they when they can’t talk about fitness?

I know first hand from having conversations with lots of these guys that question terrifies them. Because for a lot of them it’s all they have. So when you take it away, what does it leave?

Back to Harry. Take away his desire to be a royal and what did it leave? A heart broken young man who has become hugely intrinsically motivated to fight against the machine who he believes was at
fault for the death of his mother,
the harassment of his wife, the list goes on.

I’m not expecting you to launch an attack on the media but I do want you to take one leaf out of his book – figuratively, not literally – if you removed the idea of being an active player from your identity, what’s left?

Don’t shy shy. Lean into it. Turn up the volume on it.

The playing chapter is closed, so leave it be and go as big and brave as you can on what we comes next. That’s the one that matters now.

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