TSB – Confessions of an Ex-Hooker (Aged 66 and a half) a.k.a DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’

TSB – Confessions of an Ex-Hooker

 

TSB – Confessions of an Ex-Hooker (Aged 66 and a half)
a.k.a DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’

Trevor Stott-Briggs
Trevor Stott-Briggs
Author Trevor Stott-Briggs

A Little Bit of Back Story: I lived in the Philippines for 27 years from 1981 to 2007. I worked for the World Bank and ADB doing projects in the infrastructure, housing, and urban development sectors. After leaving the ADB I stayed on in Manila for 15 years, during which time I was working for different US-based companies in the energy arena. During that time I met my wife – in Dunkin’ Donuts – and married her on the beach in Boracay on Millennium New Year’s Eve. In 2007 I moved to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to run the Abu Dhabi office for a major international contractor.

 

 

Game of Throws: While in the Philippines I played rugby for the Manila Nomads and was a founder member and the first Executive Director for the Philippine Rugby Football Union. I continued to play rugby when I moved to the UAE and was a founder member of the Arabian Potbellies RFC, a very social rugby club. I was also a rugby referee and regularly went to the gym, so I was very fit and able to continue playing long after the age that most people retire from the game.

Scrumpled: Unfortunately, at the tender age of 62, while I was playing hooker (a front-row position in rugby) for the Arabian Potbellies in the Sharjah 10s, the scrum collapsed and my neck was broken. This significantly messed up the nervous system in my spinal cord, turning me into a paralyzed quadriplegic but, thankfully, not a cabbage. With my brain working overtime to compensate for an immobile body, I convinced myself that it was “Mind over Matter” and that I would get back on my feet again despite a less-than-positive prognosis by my doctors.

True Confessions: When you are in that kind of state, and whatever kind of accident you had, takes away your ability to be independent, you have a lot of time on your hands (so to speak). So, I used mine to write a book. As you can see from the header of this page, and picture of the book itself, my book has a somewhat long title, TSB – Confessions of an Ex-Hooker (Aged 66 and a half) a.k.a. DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’. And the reason for this is that TSB is my initials and nickname, hooker was the position I played in the rugby team (no, I was not a streetwalker!), I was 66 when I wrote the book and the last bit is about believing in yourself and your body’s ability to recover.

Confessions of an Ex-Hooker

Write Everything Down: Early into my recovery, when I told everyone I was going to write a book about my experiences—even though at the time I had no idea what they would be or how long it would take – they all said “Yeah, right!” But I actually did it and the book is now published and covers a span of 5 years, during which I progressed from being paralyzed to being able to walk with crutches. But, it’s not just about rugby – that was only the cause. It is actually a story of a life-changing incident that could happen to any of us, at any time. (Well, perhaps everyone is not crazy like me to be playing rugby at age 62). Every chapter is a new story with all sorts of memory jerkers and mind-links to music, movies, TV shows, cars, books, and anything else that caused a blip in my brain. It has stories about work, my wife, kids, friends, flash-backs to younger days, life, the universe, and (almost) everything. Don’t worry, I do also—sometimes—talk about what I did every day for 5 years in lots of physiotherapy clinics.

Techy & Interactive: My memories of movies, TV shows, humour and music are shared with the reader interactively by the use of many QR codes, those funny looking square-dot barcodes which, when scanned by smart phone, give the reader access to all the music and movie clips that I have loved. In a way, the book is written like a movie script as the music is intended to heighten the experience for the reader as it does in a movie.

A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Forum: I have tried, all through the book, to take what were sometimes unpleasant experiences and turn them around with an amusing twist. So, the book is written in a chatty style, funny, self-deprecating, thought-provoking, pithy, at times poignant, but always entertaining. It’s a fast-paced read and I have been told that I have a writing style that somehow combines Jeremy Clarkson, Michael McIntyre, Douglas Adams and Eddie Izzard – if that is humanly possible – and I am assuming that this is a compliment. But, although on the one hand I am not afraid to make a joke at my own expense, I will still make a spastic-handed jab with my other one at whoever tries to stick a “Disabled” label on me. I am not, repeat NOT, disabled. I am “Temporarily Unable” to do some things. But that has not stopped me from trying.

Only in the Philippines: Although the accident happened in the UAE, my wife and her Filipino family were heavily involved in my recovery as were many Filipino nurses and physiotherapists. So, there are lots of stories about them plus other things associated with the Philippines such as Jeepneys, the love of food, parties having fun and smiling a lot.

Q&A: Some important questions the book (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) addresses include:

  • Who drives the fastest invalid carriage in the world?
  • How many urologists does it take to sort out one set of fishing tackle?
  • What is an LBM and how does this relate to the capacity of an adult diaper?
  • How do you conquer the world from a wheelchair?
  • What is 420 and the difference between a coffee house and a coffee shop?
  • Who is watching over us and is the truth really out there?
  • What is the top speed of a Zimmer frame?
  • Why is “motivation” a four-letter word?

Living the Dream: When you read it, you will see that the song Don’t Stop Believin’ by the band Journey is also a key feature of the story. It’s a significant song for me with very appropriate lyrics. I hope that you enjoy the book and, if I have one dream that I would wish to come true, it would be to be up on stage with Arnel Pineda – Filipino international rock star & icon – and have Journey play Don’t Stop Believin’!!

Check It Out: If you want to know more, have a look at my TSB – Confessions Blog Page  (a work in progress!) or have a read of the sample chapter How to Choose a Nurse. And for other regular updates have a look at my Facebook page TSB – Confessions of an Ex-Hooker.

Read My Lips: Please also check out this link to the Podcast on Rugby Business Network about the book.  And if you want to get a copy of the book its available from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (depending on where you are) as a paperback or Kindle eBook. Or get them direct from me if you want a discounted batch order for a group or a club. Just email [email protected] And remember, part of the proceeds from every copy goes to the TSB Trustfund for Injured Rugby Players. Cheers TSB

The Rugby player who did not stop believing Podcast

18 How to Choose a Nurse V2 140117

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN

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