A post-weekend high like no other


Check out the beaming faces of the staff men and New Brothers from the Oct. 2012 Sunday group photo.

Along with getting married to Sandy and bringing Corey and Sean into our lives, I consider going to a New Warrior Adventure Training weekend in September 2003 as one of the highlights of my life. 

As I prepare to staff a NWTA next weekend (Nov. 6-8) near London, I was thinking how that 2003 weekend in Michigan rocked my world. No other high ever came close to this one.   

When the weekend was over, I jumped into my brother’s car for the ride home. I may have leapt into his car.

As we made our way east across Michigan on that balmy Sunday afternoon, I could barely sit still on the passenger seat. I was yammering like a sugar-laced five year old on his way home from a birthday party. Pat did a lot of listening.

I raved about the new life I had—that I’ll be a better dad and husband, I’d phone Mom and Dad once a week, write a children’s book, a novel, a screenplay, play guitar again, run a marathon, practice putting, and speak my truth! Just for starters.

Just north of Flint, we turned off Highway 69 and into a busy Tim Horton’s restaurant. I bounded in while Pat gassed up. When I got to the front of the line, I ordered a coffee for Pat, and a tea with milk for me.

The blonde server, a fresh-­faced beauty of about 16, burst out laughing.

“Milk? In tea?” she gasped.

“Uh… well… yeah. Maybe it’s a weird Canadian thing.”

Normally, I would have gone into my impatient pose, adopting a 1,000-mile stare and standing stiffly with my arms folded to indicate to the folks in line that I wanted to conclude this transaction pronto. But while she prepared my order, I expounded that many Canadians descended from Ireland and the United Kingdom and most of us take milk in our tea.

“Cream would be gross in tea,” I declared.

She said lots of people like lemon, but I grimaced. “Yeck!”

I was talking loudly and enthusiastically … about tea… and saying “yeck”… in public. She passed over the take-out cups, and I left to the merciful relief of the poor saps rolling their eyes in line.

As I walked out, I saw a reflection of myself in the glass door. My hair was a rat’s nest, tufts sticking up like a punker, a yellow bandanna tied around my neck and a white name tag affixed to my T-shirt that said in large black marker: O’CONNOR—LION. I laughed. I looked like I was high. A very happy person.

That night, I stayed at my parent’s house in London. I did something that I’d never done before as an an adult. I looked into my father’s face and told him that I loved him.

For days, I felt like I had a 10-foot flame coming out of my rear end. It felt powerful and peaceful at the same time. I’d never felt this kind of sustained energy before. On the street, in stores, at traffic lights, I was connecting with everyone I encountered. I noticed that people looked at me differently. Rather than quickly looking away when our eyes met, they held the connection.

At home, I was more engaged with my boys. I was listening so intently to Sandy that she told me to step back and stop staring. I was the Yellow Lab of New Warrior brothers running around hoping this buzz would never wear off.

On Monday, Nov. 9, I will come home after staffing my 15th New Warrior Training Adventure, and I know that I will yet again radiate with some kind of wonderful high. It won’t be nearly as powerful as what I experienced in 2003, but it will be sweet.

I never know what it’s going to be, but it’s always connected to supporting men in achieving incredible breakthroughs, discovering their authentic selves and setting a course for the life they truly want to lead.

If this sounds like something you’d like to experience, look at www.mkp.org. There’s still time to register for the Nov. 6-8 New Warrior Training Adventure near London, Ontario.


About Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is a golf coach, an award-winning writer, and speaker. Tim takes a holistic approach, coaching golfers in the physical and mental aspects of golf. He co-hosts the Swing Thoughts podcast with Howard Glassman, and is the author of The Feeling of Greatness: The Moe Norman Story. He plays bass in CID—a Guelph punk band!