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3 hours ago, Geo1 said:

 

It looks like I opened a can of worms with my posting.

 

I never said that strong people don’t need a therapist nor did I say that seeking help meant that a person is weak.

 

I am not some kind of Neanderthal.

 

I was looking at this purely from Yuzuru Hanyu’s perspective. I said that he was too strong and too self-reliant to seek a therapist. This is based on everything I’ve seen of and heard from Yuzu over the years. Perhaps I should have said that he was too strong-willed.

 

I was a trial lawyer specializing in personal injury for over 35 years and I am fully aware of the benefits of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists. In dealing with my clients’ cases, I would arrange for independent assessments by the appropriate experts, including those involving mental health. If the family physician of a particular client had not referred him or her for psychological counseling and the independent assessment I had arranged recommended it, I would send the independent assessment report to the family physician and request the appropriate referral. If I personally thought that the client would benefit from counseling, I would speak to his or her family physician and try to arrange for it. So I am not blind to the potential benefit of counseling of any kind, including me providing non-legal, supportive counseling to my clients.

 

In my experience as a lawyer, I found that counseling was of benefit to some of my clients and not to others. There were many of my clients who did not require counseling even though they had suffered devastating injuries.

 

I feel compelled to give a summarized version of my own life so that people know where I am coming from. I personally have had to deal with a life altering injury and a series of challenges. At the age of 27, a year and a half after I had become a lawyer, I lost control of my vehicle on a highway, went into a ditch, shot out like a ski jump, turned turtle in mid air and came down on the roof. I broke my neck and was rendered a quadriplegic. When I arrived at the acute spinal cord injury unit, I was paralyzed from the neck down.

 

The orthopedic resident who first spoke to me in the Intensive Care Unit did not have much of a bedside manner. His first words to me were, “You’ve broken your neck and you’re paralyzed from the neck down. We have to put your neck in traction and in order to do that we have to attach a halo ring on your head with four screws using a torque wrench. To freeze the screw sites, we are going to inject them with anesthetic, and that’s going to hurt.”

 

The thought that went through my mind when I heard that was, “I have no feeling from my neck down. Why the fuck do they have to stick needles into the only part of my body that has sensation?”

 

They did a discectomy and I started to recover function. 4 ½ months later, I walked out of the spinal cord unit on elbow crutches. I spent 3 ½ months as an inpatient at a rehabilitation centre and at the end of it, I walked out without any aids. I spent another 3 months as an outpatient attending rehab 1 ½ days per week and working as a lawyer 3 ½ days a week. At the end of that, I returned to work full-time. I was considered the miracle of the spinal cord unit for recovering as much as I did.

 

Prior to the injury, I was very physically active. I had my black belt in judo and competed at two Canadian national championships. I skied and participated in any pickup sports or physical activities. I was a good dancer and had natural musicality. I was also very artistic and had beautiful handwriting.

 

As a result of the injury, I could no longer run or participate in any sports. I lost the dexterity in my hands so that I was no longer artistic nor did I have very good handwriting. I was incontinent with respect to both my bladder and bowel functions. I had to wear a leg bag for my urine and just had to be very careful about my bowel routine or else I would have accidents at the most inopportune times. If I had a malfunction with my condom drainage, I would end up with a big urine stain on my suit pants.

 

And to add insult to injury, my first wife who I married when I was in my final year of law school, stopped coming to see me at the hospital one month after my injury. She apparently thought that I would never practice law again.

 

Still, I was extremely grateful that I had recovered as much as I did. I maintained a very positive attitude about life, work and my future.

 

About 6 ½ years after the spinal cord injury, it was discovered that I had syringomyelia – a syrinx in my cord and I underwent surgery to insert a shunt. I felt immediate improvement in my condition.

 

Unfortunately, I was hit in five more car accidents through no fault of my own over the following 20 years, all of them causing major aggravation and deterioration of my condition. I also had two more spinal cord surgeries requiring post-surgical rehab. I also had a total left hip replacement because of the steroid antibiotics that had been used and this surgery also required rehabilitation treatments. All of these surgeries made my condition worse.

 

In September 2011, we traveled to Germany for two weeks with another couple assisting us. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Yuzu was competing in another part of Germany in the Nebelhorn Trophy. I had developed open pressure ulcers in my butt prior to the trip and as a result of the long flights and extended time in my wheelchair, they became infected. By the time I returned to Canada, it had developed into osteomyelitis – bone infection. I was hospitalized for 3 ½ months on intravenous antibiotics. Even after my discharge, I had to continue with a special form of IV antibiotics at home for another month and a half.

 

Before this trip to Germany, my wife and I were independent in the sense that I was able to stand up from the bed or wheelchair and get dressed with my wife’s assistance. We were able to go to my law practice every day and do things together without a third person assisting us. After Germany and my hospitalization and prolonged bed rest, I was no longer able to stand up at all even with assistance from my wife. Since then, we have had to rely on someone else to help us whenever I need to get out of bed.

 

It became impossible to go to the office regularly and I closed my practice and retired as a lawyer 7 ½ years ago.

 

I have now lost all use of my body below my neck. I have constant pain and stiffness in my neck. I have chronic pressure ulcers on my tailbone and right buttock. I have frequent urinary tract infections often requiring hospitalization and intravenous antibiotic treatment.

 

Throughout all of this my mood has fluctuated and there were times when I experienced situational depression, so I think that I, better than most, understand what Yuzuru has gone through. I personally did not need or desire counseling or therapy of any kind. As expected, it was offered to me countless times because people expect you to be depressed or in need of counseling when you go through life-changing experiences like I have. Sometimes I was very irritated and felt intruded on by the attempts to almost force counseling on me when I didn’t need it and I had not exhibited anything which would signal the need for counseling. Sometimes I felt like I was caught in a Catch-22 because when I acted normal and well-balanced emotionally because I genuinely felt that way and they suspected that I was just masking my depression.

 

I think that Yuzuru and I have a similar mindset. Of course, that is just speculation on my part because I am not him, but I am basing that assessment on what I have seen and heard regarding Yuzu and analyzing it from my experiences with my own challenges as well as having lived life for 69 years.

 

So when I said that Yuzu is too strong and too self-reliant to ever need a therapist, I was not putting other people down for finding benefit in therapy.

 

And unlike @rockstaryuzu, I do not believe that Yuzu has now or ever consulted with a sports therapist. Every elite athlete in Western society may consult one, but I do not think Yuzu does. Someone else suggested that The Cricket Club has sports therapists on call so that Yuzu would be able to consult with one if he wanted to. I do not think that any sports therapists that are available to skaters at The Cricket Club are fluent in Japanese. So I believe that is a non-starter, even if Yuzu had an interest in consulting with one, which I do not think he has.

 

I am not saying that I am particularly strong because I have been able to deal with life and my challenges without the need for a therapist or counseling. And again, I am not suggesting that someone is weak because they seek therapy or counseling. All I can say about myself is that I have maintained a positive attitude towards life notwithstanding my circumstances and have enjoyed life despite my limitations. With quadriplegia, there is no “light at the end of the tunnel” and no comforting thoughts like, “It is darkest before the dawn.” There is no hope of physical recovery, so there is never going to be a dawn unless you make your own light and happiness.

 

Hope you are well, glad that you made it through all that.

 

I think in the end we just don't know whether he needs one or not. Some people take offence at being offered therapy when they don't need them, but many others take offence at being told that they don't need therapy when they really did need them. It's a common problem in conservative societies where the intervention are unnecessarily delayed for people who really needed them, resulting in worsened conditions or even deaths that could've been prevented if their pleas for help was taken seriously.

 

For example, I had severe depression that is directly caused by hepatitis C, so external intervention was needed in my case, but I couldn't get one because my family didn't believe me when I said I needed one. I finally got treatment, and I'm in a better place now, but not until it worsened and caused damage that didn't really need to happen had I gotten timely help.

 

I can look forward now, but it really sucked when people insist that they know what you need or don't need. I think there's no cases that would justify the reasoning "If I didn't need it, you don't need it because I think you are similar to me", because our assumptions of Yuzu based on "what we see online" are often very different from what the reality actually is for him.

 

We often see Yuzu as strong as resilient, but based on his translated interviews, he also cries a lot in private and have a tendency to overthink or get overwhelmed by his own emotions. Even parents don't always understand what their children needs, what more fans who only know the side of him known to public. This is best left to professionals with the necessary technical expertise. 

 

Let's just enjoy Yuzu without speculating what he needs, or projecting our thoughts onto him. He is himself, and he knows what he needs. 

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3 hours ago, Geo1 said:

And unlike @rockstaryuzu, I do not believe that Yuzu has now or ever consulted with a sports therapist. Every elite athlete in Western society may consult one, but I do not think Yuzu does. Someone else suggested that The Cricket Club has sports therapists on call so that Yuzu would be able to consult with one if he wanted to. I do not think that any sports therapists that are available to skaters at The Cricket Club are fluent in Japanese. So I believe that is a non-starter, even if Yuzu had an interest in consulting with one, which I do not think he has.

@Geo1 I don't want to take anything away from what you've said here, but I would like to clarify a definition which may have been a little lost in the shuffle:

 

Sports psychology is not therapy. A sports psychologist does not provide counseling in the traditional sense. The sole purpose of sports psychology is to get the athlete into a winning mindset. With that endpoint in mind, a sports psychologist will help an athlete to visualize winning performances through guided imagery, teach them relaxation techniques to control pre-event nerves, help to define and set clear performance goals, establish routines and rituals that help an athlete get their mind in the game, and so on. Sports psychologists aren't there to listen to an athlete talk about their emotional state, they're there to help identify the things the athlete is doing/thinking that either add to or take away from success.

 

Given that Brian is the originator of http://www.peakperformanceskating.com, a system that does exactly all those things, and based on things Yuzu has said in interviews, the chances are pretty high that he has, at the very least, benefited from using sports psychology, even if he doesn't actively consult a sports psychologist. 

 

But really, it's not just North American/ Western athletes that do it. Sports psychology is like having the right skates or the right nutrition - just another thing that gives you an edge over the competition. At the top levels of sport, if you're not, at the very least, practicing guided relaxation and visualization exercises, you're leaving points on the table for others to grab. Given how much Yuzu likes winning, I can't imagine him turning his back on such tools. 

 

So, anyway, just wanted to clarify what I was talking about there. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Salior said:

Let's just enjoy Yuzu without speculating what he needs, or projecting our thoughts onto him. He is himself, and he knows what he needs. 

:goodpost:This! 

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53 minutes ago, CiONTUw4A said:

 

Has this been posted yet?  Find Yuzu in five seconds challenge.

 

 

My eyes might be deceiving me. I thought I saw him twice.

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:59 PM, Figure_Frenzy said:

 

Also speaking of the name Ghislain...

 

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...I was idly searching for the given name Ghislain on Wikipedia, wondering if I would come across something interesting. Turns out that the namesake saint (St. Ghislain) is often portrayed in catholic iconography with a bear/bear cub by his side...and we here on the Planet (and anywhere else...where fanyus gather :coolio:) often called Ghislain papa bear! 🐻

 

I mean... WHAT ARE THE CHANCES

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Ghislain

 

 

This made me think (after several days...) that although the etymology of Orser is likely to be van Auslin (settled in NY during Netherlands rule, later they anglicized their name in Orser, and most of them were loyalist and moved to Canada after US Independence), or maybe Hostiler (an Oxfordshire family, quoted in the Domesday Book), the name as it is rather conveys, for a speaker of Latin languages (and many words and names in English, have a Latin origin), the idea of a bear (ursus in Latin, orso in several Italian languages, ours in French) keeper.

Really these men are aptly named to be Pooh-san guardians when Yuzuru-Senshu goes skating. ;-)

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Not sure where to put this or if it's been mentioned yet but Satomi Ito has a figure skating costume book coming out at the end of March. I don't remember the last time I wanted a book before its release so badly. Maybe HP7. 

 

Apparently it's available for pre-order on Amazon Japan but I can't find it because English :( 

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16 minutes ago, memae said:

Not sure where to put this or if it's been mentioned yet but apparently Satomi Ito has a figure skating costume book coming out at the end of March. I don't remember the last time I wanted a book before its release so badly. Maybe HP7. 

Yes I want that too!  It's called Figure Skating Art Costumes and costs 4620 Yen on amazon.co.jp  It's an oversized book, so maybe not that bad for an "art book"---you know the type you put on your coffee table to impress your guests :agree2:.  Just use amazon.co.jp in English and type in the English version of the title.

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6 hours ago, rockstaryuzu said:

@Geo1 I don't want to take anything away from what you've said here, but I would like to clarify a definition which may have been a little lost in the shuffle:

 

Sports psychology is not therapy. A sports psychologist does not provide counseling in the traditional sense. The sole purpose of sports psychology is to get the athlete into a winning mindset. With that endpoint in mind, a sports psychologist will help an athlete to visualize winning performances through guided imagery, teach them relaxation techniques to control pre-event nerves, help to define and set clear performance goals, establish routines and rituals that help an athlete get their mind in the game, and so on. Sports psychologists aren't there to listen to an athlete talk about their emotional state, they're there to help identify the things the athlete is doing/thinking that either add to or take away from success.

 

Given that Brian is the originator of http://www.peakperformanceskating.com, a system that does exactly all those things, and based on things Yuzu has said in interviews, the chances are pretty high that he has, at the very least, benefited from using sports psychology, even if he doesn't actively consult a sports psychologist. 

 

But really, it's not just North American/ Western athletes that do it. Sports psychology is like having the right skates or the right nutrition - just another thing that gives you an edge over the competition. At the top levels of sport, if you're not, at the very least, practicing guided relaxation and visualization exercises, you're leaving points on the table for others to grab. Given how much Yuzu likes winning, I can't imagine him turning his back on such tools. 

 

So, anyway, just wanted to clarify what I was talking about there. 

 

 

 

 

I don’t want to belabor the point @rockstaryuzu, but you specifically said that there’s no doubt that Yuzu has consulted a sports psychologist. I don’t think he has consulted with a sports psychologist.

 

I have no doubt that Brian and others at TCC employ sports psychology in their training of the athletes, but that is different from Yuzu directly consulting a sports psychologist. 

 

I just wanted to clarify what I was talking about.

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56 minutes ago, Geo1 said:

 

I don’t want to belabor the point @rockstaryuzu, but you specifically said that there’s no doubt that Yuzu has consulted a sports psychologist. I don’t think he has consulted with a sports psychologist.

 

I have no doubt that Brian and others at TCC employ sports psychology in their training of the athletes, but that is different from Yuzu directly consulting a sports psychologist. 

 

I just wanted to clarify what I was talking about.

Yes. I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I remain of the opinion that he has used a sports psychologist at some point. I just wanted to make it clear that sports psychology is not the same as clinical psychology or therapy. 

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