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Author Topic: First & 10 | An introspective talk with Wolitarsky  (Read 252 times)
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« on: May 23, 2021, 04:44:34 AM »

First & 10 | An introspective talk with Wolitarsky - Ed Tait

It began as a casual, catching-up conversation fresh with a bit of news.

Drew Wolitarsky was on the phone and, first thing's first, he has a gig he wanted to promote.

So, let's deal with that upfront: the Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver/musician will be performing live at Quest Music Store on Osborne on May 30th.

Still, it seems that whenever the two of us converse - whether it be formally for a story about the Xs and Os of an offensive game plan, the vibe in the Bombers' locker room or, more often than not during this blasted pandemic, just casually about music - the chats hit on a number of different topics and veer off onto some interesting tangents.

It was during this recent convo - which pushed the 40-minute mark, by the way - that Wolitarsky continued to reveal himself in ways that so few of us do, especially for a professional athlete with a public profile in this town.

I've said this before and I?ll mention it again: in 34 years of sports writing I've come across some intriguing characters. Some who were flat-out hilarious, others very business-like, a few who seemed to want to strangle me and many, many of them just normal people who happen to have exceptional sporting skills.

Wolitarsky, it should be said here, might be the most introspective athlete I've ever interviewed.

Sure, he's got that chill California/surfer personality where every sentence is punctuated with a 'bro' or 'dude.' But his understanding of who he is and the world around him is, frankly, exceptionally unique.

And so it was this week that I asked him how his passion for music might have helped him - 'saved' is the word I used - over the last year or so when he had broken up with a girlfriend, lost a grandfather and saw the 2020 Canadian Football League season flushed due to the pandemic.

"Honestly, 'saved' might be the right word," Wolitarsky began. "What was hard for me when you lose something or someone is you feel like you lost a part of yourself. It's a scary feeling. It's 'Wow... I thought I knew who I was, but then I discovered who I was seemed so dependent on what I did as an athlete.' That is a cataclysmic feeling. It's like you?re floating in the abyss and.. where do I go? Who am I? What am I doing? How do people see me? How do I see myself? All these questions are floating around.

"For some reason, music was the pull for me, this way to focus on something. I just knew I wanted to make an EP. It was a goal to take my mind from wandering."

Wolitarsky's road to self-discovery really started in full last summer when he hopped in his car for a road trip and made stops along the way to visit Chris Streveler in Phoenix and family in Denver. Some of the details of that trek are featured in the 'Handled Internally' podcast Bombers' Senior Director of Player and Public Relations/Chief Consigliere Darren Cameron and I did with him earlier this month.

...and here is 'Handled Internally'. (course language warning)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 04:28:40 PM by ModAdmin » Logged

"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden
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