In the fictitious world of Star Wars, the order of the Jedi has ancient origins as warriors that devote their lives to service, pay it forward by taking on Padawan apprentices and focus on the core tenants of academics, philosophy, charity, and volunteerism. By the relative technologies available in the Star Wars universe, their weapon of choice is a relatively primitive one, using their exceptional superhuman ability and knowledge of The Force to wield it. In the words of Obi-Won Kenobi, the light saber is “An elegant weapon…from a more civilized age.”
Like the Jedi, lacrosse has its root in ancient North American history, invented by the Native Americans and played on this continent for nearly 1000 years, long before a European ever set foot on these shores. Like the Jedi and per my last article, most lacrosse players are not satisfied to simply excel physically, but also yearn to enhance their lives with academic and career achievement, acts of service, and are compelled to pay it forward to share their knowledge of the discipline to future generations.
The weapon of choice of the lacrosse player the lacrosse stick. Although it has undergone many modern innovations, its basic structure of a shaft, head, and basket to carry and throw the ball remains. Like the light saber of Star Wars, it is an elegant weapon designed by an ancient and spiritual people uniquely connected to the earth’s energy that played lacrosse to honor the Creator, for their enjoyment, and even to foster peace as an alternative to war to settle disputes. Like the light saber of the Jedi, it is not the lacrosse stick that matters but instead, the skill and discipline of the warrior who wields it.
Unique in a country that clings to its love of traditional sports, lacrosse players feel a special sisterhood and brotherhood among one another. I can not even count how many times I have been addressed by a random stranger who is likewise connected to the game to talk lacrosse merely because I was wearing a lacrosse themed t-shirt.
This article may seem silly or corny to some, but I don’t care. Like most lacrosse players, I have no qualms about daring to be different and celebrating my weirdness. Most importantly, the idea for this article came from a conversation I recently had with my 9 year old son, who like his Dad is a Star Wars nerd who loves the game of lacrosse. Also like me, fascinated and inspired by Native American culture, beyond enjoyment of the game itself, the Native American roots of lacrosse are for him a source of attraction to the sport.
In participating in the game, my son and I both embrace the fact that we are carrying on a truly ancient New World tradition and in coaching him, he is my Padawan learner.
Dr. Roger Welton is a practicing veterinarian and well regarded media personality through a number of topics and platforms. In addition to being passionate about integrative veterinary medicine for which he is a nationally renowned expert, Dr. Welton was also an accomplished college lacrosse player and remains to this day very involved in the sport. He is president of Maybeck Animal Hospital , runs the successful veterinary/animal health blogs Web-DVM and Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care, and fulfills his passion for lacrosse through his lacrosse and sport blog, The Creator’s Game.