"I just cried and grieved as openly and nakedly as you possibly can. And I think that helped me in a lot of ways, actually."
Talking about sports is often a way for men, who aren’t socialized for intimacy the way women are, to avoid going emotionally deep within their relationships.
On today’s episode of Expansive Intimacy, Jim and ESPN SportsCenter anchor David Lloyd use the topic of sports to segue into a larger discussion about men and their responses to grief, trauma and other experiences with intimacy.
Jim and David, who were both high school athletes, discuss the form of intimacy that is felt by teammates, and why a college fraternity is the last place you want to be struck by grief. David also shares a touching story about being part of a poker club and showing empathy for an acquaintance.
David’s life has had its fair share of life-altering events. His dad died when he was five and his sister passed away from bone cancer when he was a teenager. Later, his daughter would endure treatment for a brain tumor when she was only four. He discusses the effects these events have had on his family and those around him. He shares the story of Scott, who showed grace and compassion beyond his years following David’s sister’s death and has remained a true and steadfast friend. He also describes visiting his father’s grave with his own son and what he taught his son about grief and vulnerability.
Of course, David says, life is made up not of the major events but of small everyday moments. Hear him describe the way he and his wife Deirdre navigated long distance and opposing time schedules during the early years of their relationship, and how this culminated into one of the best gifts he ever gave her.
About his daughter's cancer diagnosis: “The trauma that spreads around from something like that, I tried to hide it from our children…but we were all this organism as a family, and we're all picking up what everyone else is feeling.” (David)
On deep male friendship: "That's a great thing, when you have a friend that is that close and you have zero doubts about who they are as a human being." (David)
To his son: "I know you were a little emotional back there, and I just want to tell you that you may know at your age, know teenage or whatever, you may think that's sort of weakness or something. I said, that's not that's strength. To be able to experience that and to have that in your heart. That is a beautiful thing." (David)
On men's social lives: “You can put six strangers together in a room, and you can usually find a common thread: either you can talk about the weather, or you can talk about sports. It's not religion, it's not politics, it’s nothing dangerous. And it's sort of a social lubricant. But in the same vein, you don't ever get anywhere.” (David)
Connect with David:
Tune into ESPN SportsCenter most weekday mornings, between 7:00-9:00am Eastern time!
Connect with Jim Young:
Expansive Intimacy, the book: https://www.amazon.com/Expansive-Intimacy-Tough-Defeat-Burnout/dp/B0BFTSZ4ZG/
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Outro Music: Upbeat Funky Retro by QubeSounds