25 Comments

Great read, Benny. Thank you for all you do, including sharing your story.

Our paths crossing has helped me immensely and I know your efforts are helping others.

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Your welcome mate and I hope you realise just how much your efforts are helping others too.

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Jan 14, 2023Liked by Ben Alexander

Morning Ben,

Like exiting a military life, leaving a team environment is a hard thing to do.

I liken it to a turnstile that they don’t really prepare you for, or you don’t see.

Inside looking out is completely different to looking in after the transition.

Having goals, mates going through similar situations, and family around takes some of the burden.

Resilience is the ultimate here though as that sets up the discipline to get it done 👍🏻

When the ref sees a different picture to what you want them to, can be an impossible one to change no matter what.

That’s rugby, that’s life.

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Well said.

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what I remember most (other than the result) about that series is all the injuries the wallabies suffered, especially in the 3rd game when there seemed to be many head clashes

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Yeah, George Smith was knocked out badly in the 3rd game and we had 3 inside centres get injured in the first... which meant Michael Hooper played 12 for the final 20-30 mins!

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Jan 16, 2023Liked by Ben Alexander

Thanks Ben. Glad I subscribed to this and your truthful encounter. I was there but I could not remember your sinbinning. Remember George being knocked out and coming back on, and being stuck in a beer queue for 45 minutes with a gazillion singing red shirts. I called that test match the British Lines tour. What an awful night all round in the context of a a game of rugby. Memorable night in the context of life.

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Thank you Joe. "British Lines tour" lol! Hope that's sorted out for 2025!

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Jan 15, 2023Liked by Ben Alexander

Nice read, thanks Ben. In his book, Robbie Deans mentions some issues with the last game, including Horwill having a bad leg and hiding it from the medicos, some issues with the O'Connor experiment at flyhalf and the post game attitude of the team, more concerned about cab charges than the team performance. He also mentioned the intrigue with Pulver, who refused to confirm his coaching future and then sacked him post game. A really interesting insight into team dynamics where one or two thing going on can undermine the whole team.

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Cheers Alex and great chat this morning! When the Achillies is feeling better, you should join us for the trot.

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Jan 14, 2023Liked by Ben Alexander

Great share Ben!

Not only does this shed light to other athletes, but hopefully to how fans treat athletes and to not be so hard on them when they make mistakes or don't perform well. We all have good and bad days but sometimes I like fans forget this and are extremely unforgiving.

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Thanks Clare and that wasn't the intention of the article because I think athletes need to learn to block out the noise and realise that anyone that's being critical (while remaining anonymous) has low self esteem and is a coward. Trying to change how fans behave and letting it bother you is a waste of energy in my experience.

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Jan 16, 2023Liked by Ben Alexander

I agree but I also think general awareness on behaviour and how it affects others is important, not just for fans/athletes but people in general. Less judgement, more compassion.

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Agreed, but most people won’t change and I think energy is best spent focusing on what you can control.

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Like ourselves and healing from our traumas. As you said, people with low self-esteem are often the worst when it comes to being a keyboard warrior/critic.

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Ben, as usual you are insightful and helpful in many ways. I love my rugby and I remember that game well. I also love my cycling and this week I started reading a behind the scenes narrative about the Tour de France, a sport and an event that takes commitment, focus and pain to new levels. I have been to many Tour de France editions and other professional races around Europe, but with the Tour de France especially it is hard to close. Other races are much more accessible, but the Tour de France is the race that the world knows about. There is one chapter in the book that made me think of you, but I think the whole book will resonate with you. I'll send you some excerpts. Its Pain and Privilege.

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Thanks Radar.

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Bad and mean Breen machine with the words of wisdom.

It’s not up to us to decide what is and isn’t traumatic to anyone else. Anyone who tried can get in the bin.

The trauma will always be relative to how seriously we take certain things and how much they mean to us. Playing for your country against the lions meant a lot to you. I’d fuckin’ hope so, too.

Love the message about not stacking all the eggs of pride in one basket.

Distribute them around so it can’t all be taken from you at the same time. Kind of like safeguarding yourself.

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The Breen Machine! Hahahaha

Yep. Relative to how seriously we take things and relative to the adversity we face in life leading up to the event. I'd never even lost a grandparent at that stage, so it's fair to say I'd never faced much adversity (apart from my broken leg) which is probably why I struggled so much.

"Love the message about not stacking all the eggs of pride in one basket." - this is the main lesson I learned and one mistake I see a lot of sports people make. In fact, anyone who's whole identity is tied to what they do for work will be in a bad place when something outside their control happens. But there's nothing I can say to prevent people from making this mistake. They've gotta experience it for themselves.

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100%.

I'm listening to Prince Harry's book at the moment, and in one sense it's like "man, you're whinging about that?" But for him, in his circumstances, it was traumatic for him, and I can empathise with it. It's about reference.

You're spot on. I was obsessed with getting a better job because I was embarrassed about what I did, even though the work was honest and the pay was great. I eventually moved up a little anyway, but I wish I were never like that.

These days, whilst I care about my work and enjoy it, I don't let it influence the way I feel about life in general. hopefully, someday soon, I can do more work that means more to me. My work isn't meaningless. It's just dropped down the list of what matters to me the most.

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Good on you, Ben - you have a really important message and there’s no doubt others need to hear it. Also no doubt that they will benefit from it. Speaking your truth publicly is a brave and noble thing to do. I know how much it helps to open channels of communication and support. It is inspirational.

Thanks for all that you’re giving to the community, especially the rugby community.

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Totally get it, being abducted by aliens left a traumatic effect on me along with several near death experiences.

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lol

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True story, read how I infiltrated the CIA’s recruitment process and more in my profile, told them all about it too.

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