From the Editor: Be Like Bocklet

This article appears in the March edition of US Lacrosse Magazine, available exclusively to US Lacrosse members. Join or renew today! Thank you for your support.

My New Year’s resolution came late.

On Jan. 26, the day Chris Bocklet sang and danced his way out of the Shepherd Center for spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation in Atlanta, I resolved to be more like him.

Footloose and fancy free.

I used to have those qualities. But then I got married, bought a house in the suburbs, had kids and started taking myself way too seriously. And then there was the pandemic and a news feed full of poisonous politics.

Just dance.

That’s what I tell myself now whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by the needs of a remote-schooling 7-year-old boy, the whims and defiance of a headstrong 3-year-old toddler and the guttural cries of an otherwise angelic 2-month old infant.

Ask Alexa to play “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, goof off with the kids, pay no mind to the fact that the curtains of the bay window are wide open and just dance. Unabashedly.

Because if Bocklet could regale doctors and nurses with an off-key rendition of NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” after spending 26 days hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury and at one point losing the ability to speak or process language, then surely I could shake off whatever woes might point me to negative town.

It was with that same free spirit and exuberance that Bocklet, the third of four siblings to play Division I and professional lacrosse, left his condominium on New Year’s Day. He had an electric longboard tucked under his arm. A short while later, he returned bloodied and barely conscious, with an open wound on top of his head. Bocklet survived the accident but suffered seizures that rendered him mute.

Now here he was less than a month later, bopping around with his bandaged head and waving a Bluetooth speaker at his nurses while they sent him home for what the Bocklet family is calling Brain Camp 2.0.

Even now as his brain remaps all of the coordinates it lost in the accident, Bocklet’s family and friends say he lights up a room. I hope someday soon that someone says that about me.

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