June 3, 2021

lacrosse star Lyle Thompson on "the medicine game," early fatherhood & mistreatment of Native Americans.


One of the best athletes on the planet joins the show today to discuss a variety of things, including how he reaches "flow state," insane kettlebell workouts he taught himself during the pandemic and the powerful spiritual meaning lacrosse has within the Native American community. We also talk about the centuries-long mistreatment of natives in this country and the awareness that more American schools need to bring to it. We also close by discussing one of Lyle's favorite things: cereal.

To watch today's episode, check out our YouTube channel.

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Lyle Thompson is 28 years old and currently plays for the Cannons in the Premier Lacrosse League. Drafted No. 1 overall in 2015 in both the MLL and NLL, Lyle is widely regarded as one of the best lacrosse players in the world. 

A two-time Tewaaraton Award winner at UAlbany, Lyle and his family members are devoted to teaching the game and its healing principles to the next generation of athletes

He currently lives with his wife and five children in Six Nations, Ontario, a few hours away from where he grew up in upstate New York. To this day, he remains a loyal member of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) clan and is devoted to educating people about the Native American way of life.

You can follow Lyle on Twitter and Instagram @Lyle4Thompson. You can also check out @thompsonbrotherslax on Instagram.

For our show's past archives, please head on over to TheTroyFarkasShow.com for more podcast episodes, blogs and videos. You can also connect with us on social media @thetroyfarkasshow on Instagram and TikTok.

Memorable quotes:

"We play the game for The Creator and it's beyond winning or losing. It's beyond scoring a goal. It's beyond points. it's beyond any of those because it's done so much healing for us." - Lyle on the meaning of lacrosse to his community (25:00).

"I had a spiritual relationship with that stick and I personified that stick and I would sleep with that stick for years...When I stepped on the field, I knew that we had such a deep connection and that it was going to take care of me." Lyle on the relationship with his childhood lacrosse stick (26:32).

"I was never into alcohol. I never had a sip of alcohol in my life. I had never had any drugs. I've never smoked weed. I've always stayed on a pretty strict path. My parents were sort of strict on those things and I just didn't see any purpose in it." - Lyle explains how he's avoided distractions (33:45).

"We're on T-shirts. We're mascots. We're the names on the back of cars. We're the names of states and our jewelry is even trending...At the end of the day, the truth isn't being told." - Lyle on the mistreatment of Native Americans (39:14).

"Have an open mind and always ask questions to yourself, others, to teachers, to parents, to friends, even to enemies. I think it's important to always ask questions and be true to yourself and keep an open mind and always be willing to learn. And if you can observe when you're having fun, hey, keep doing more of that." - Lyle's advice to young people trying to find their purpose in life (46:03).

peace and love.

Transcript

Good morning, everyone. And welcome in to another episode of The Troy Farkas Show, a podcast that is not about me. It's about all of us. The twenties are a crucial time in our lives and on this show. We navigate the highs and lows of early adulthood together. Thank you for joining me. I'm talking to you today from Aliso Viejo, California, which is very close by Laguna beach.

I just spent the day in San Diego and boys and girls, friends, family, strangers, listening to this thing. I just had myself a day, but I will tell you about that. And another time, because today we've got a very special episode planned for you all also happy late Memorial day. I forgot to wish that to all earlier on Monday, thank you to everyone who has served our country means the world to me, so that, um, you know, it allows me to do the things that I love to do without fear.

So thank you for that. And thank you to Lyle Thompson for joining me on today. This episode of the podcast, I got the chance to speak with him. Last week last Friday. So I'm very thankful for his time. For those of you who don't know Lyle Thompson, he is one of the absolute best lacrosse players in the world.

And he has a very fascinating story in that he's 28 years old. But it feels like he's 42 with the level of wisdom maturity. He has, he has five children. We're going to talk about that. He had his first kid when he was 18, a freshman in college and he had another one in college. So he grew up faster than the vast, vast majority.

Of us did. And as a child growing up as a member of the Onondaga clan in upstate New York, just outside of Syracuse, he's always had a level of responsibility on his shoulders that none of us have ever had. He was number one. High school recruit. He was the best player in college, a two time Tewaaraton Award winner, which for those of you who don't know is like the lacrosse version of college football is Heisman trophy.

So the best player in the country, he was the number one pick in the 2015 NLL and MLL drafts, which means, uh, he's a big deal. He's always had pressure on him and he is now entering a new league. Early that's a couple of years old, but it's his first time entering the league. The PLL premier lacrosse league he's playing for the cannons.

Their season is pretty much just right underway as I'm speaking to you right now. So he has another challenge to overcome among all these other challenges that he has had to overcome. And as a member of a. Clan. He has had to overcome a lot. He's had to overcome discrimination. I actually got the chance to speak with him when I was at ESPN about some of these things that he dealt with and we go way back to the Albany days.

We were there at the same time. I was covering the Albany lacrosse team, the time of my life for the Albany student press for all the student television and watching Lyle Thompson up close and personal, do his thing. One of the absolute best in the world at what he does. He was like a magician out there.

I wasn't even a lacrosse fan at the, uh, before that, but when I was there, I was the biggest lacrosse fan in the world. It was. Absolutely incredible watching him do what he does, because the way that he views the game, though, the way that he feels about his job is different than any of us feel about our jobs.

His job is a lifestyle. His job has a spiritual meaning to it. His lacrosse stick has a meaning to it that none of us view any other objects with lacrosse instant extension of himself. And we're going to talk a lot about that today. We're going to cover a lot about his kids, about his college experience, about his new endeavors and the PLL about what lacrosse means to native Americans.

And he's going to call for more education about native Americans and their way of life. So we're going to get into all of that. So, uh, I do hope you enjoy the conversation. Here is me in Lyle top two.

So I've had the honor during my career, the last two years, working in sports media of seeing some of the absolute best athletes in the world up close and personal. I've seen LeBron James I've seen Conor McGregor. I've seen Breanna Stewart. And no one has wowed me more than today's guest on the pod, Lyle Thompson, Lyle.

So pumped that you are joining me. I know it's late on a Friday night. Thank you for taking some time out to join us. Um, you are the most dominant athlete I've ever seen going back to our, you all need days. So I want to talk to you about all of that, but before we get there, how are you? My man. I'm good.

I'm good. Um, um, here in Foxborough, um, we start training camp tomorrow, so we'll be here for, for over a week. Um, first games next. Next Friday, um, at Gillette and then we play again on Sunday. So I'm excited to be playing again against an opponent instead of just in my backyard. Um, so a lot of good things happening.

So I'm, um, I'm excited to be here. Yeah. It's your first season in the PLL? You've been in the NLL, the MLL, there's all these different lacrosse leagues. How are you feeling going into your first, your first year with the cannons? I'm feeling good. Um, obviously throughout this pandemic, it's hit everybody in a different way.

And, and um, for me, it sort of, um, made health in, in taking care of my body a priority. Um, you know, that, that includes my whole family, my, my wife and my kids. So it's been, it's been challenging at times, but overall, I think it's been really helpful and, um, I, I think I've grown a lot from this experience.

So, um, yeah, I, I feel good going into going into this first season. My body feels good, uh, throughout training camp, I just don't want to sort of get the, get the rough stuff. Um, that's, that's my goal going into week one is to make sure, um, obviously I'm playing in my backyard a lot, but I want to be able to, to make sure I'm not.

Uncomfortable there. And now that we're playing with an actual team, um, which I haven't done in over a year, so it's, uh, it's, it's something that is a little bit strange, but, um, I'm up for the challenge and I'm feeling good about it. That's something on the show that we talk about a lot people who are young, we're still growing a lot.

We're still figuring it out. Every day. And you have been doing that younger than, than most of us have. You've been forced to take a lot on your shoulders. I'm curious, you mentioned that you've grown a lot during the pandemic. Um, I mean, I think, I think any experience like this, and especially when you have an energy that's sort of universal, um, this, this sickness that has come it's universal in the fact that.

You know, to the human beings here, we've a lot of people have been affected by this and, um, in a negative way, but in the same sense, um, I look at every, uh, every challenge, every situation as, uh, every conflict as something that's, I mean, I'm an optimist. So I like to always look at it and say like, this is happening for me.

What can I learn from it? Instead of taking it personal and saying, um, Why is this happening to me and, and really holding onto it and making it something negative. So over the past year or so, um, it's allowed me to take time for myself and prioritize myself and not so much prioritize work or lacrosse or, or anything.

You know what I mean? So for me, this whole pandemic has allowed me to sort of take a step back. Focus on myself. I've done a whole lot of meditating. I've done a whole lot of training. I've changed up my training regiments and I've had a lot of fun with it. Um, from lacrosse to kettlebells, to yoga, to meditating, to spending time with my kids internally, I feel like I've had a lot of growth over the past year.

And then externally, I just feel like, um, I'm in a place where I can help the people around me now. And what I mean by that is just my family. Um, I feel like I've, I I'm figuring out this, you know, there are moments, it goes up and down as a parent. But, um, right now I currently feel like I I'm, I'm in a good place as a father, um, and helping my kids become, become who they need to be.

Need to become so that they can express themselves. But yeah, um, sort of in, in short, I just feel like, um, I've learned a lot over the past year that I can continue to build off of I'm right there alongside you. Um, and the fact that this pandemic spared, no one, it affected every single person in the world.

There was no room for why me, why? You know, my lacrosse season just ended prematurely. What am I going to do? When that was happening to everyone everywhere around the world and all industries and all walks of life. So it seems like that you really took the right mindset to it. I'm curious when, when everything first shut down way back when March, April 20, 20, what did you do?

Your season ends? And you're like, I still need to be ready. I need to stay in shape. And all of this was happening around how, how did you make sure that physically you were right in that mentally? You were right? Yeah. I mean, um, I was living in Atlanta at the time playing for the swarm. So once the pandemic hit, um, I think a lot of people are sort of in panic mode.

Um, you know what I mean? Like you you've seen it in, in the target and the Walmart and the grocery stores, people running for toilet paper, um, the craziest things. And for us, we just headed home to six nations and honestly, I don't, I, we didn't pan like, as a family, we didn't really panic. We just got our, you know, filled our fridge, filled our cupboards.

And, and, um, honestly, like I said, staying optimistic about it. Like, okay, here's some time off in a way. Like here's a little vacation at home. We, we cleaned up the house. We, we, um, spent more time with our kids. Um, gave them high quality time is what I like to call it. Um, And took a breath. Took, took some time for ourselves and, um, did a whole lot throughout, throughout last year we did a garden.

We learned some new tricks and, and in the midst of it all, I kept my stick in my hands because that's, that's my passion. And it's just something I like to do. I don't, I don't necessarily always need someone there, someone to be there with me. I actually. More times more times than not. I actually liked to play lacrosse by myself.

Um, I enjoy that and it allows me to keep my stick in my hands. And, um, I just think overall throughout that, it's, uh, there's been times of struggle, but overall, um, I've stuck to a pretty similar routine as whether was we were in quarantine or in. The middle of a pandemic or not, you know, I prioritize health.

I prioritize wellness, physical activity and my family and pandemic or not, I was still prioritizing those things and had a, had a good time doing it. So, um, I didn't put on no quarantine 15 or anything like that. Um, I didn't lose any weight. I. I didn't become unhealthy. I pretty much stayed the same and stayed ready for a season season.

So as a professional athlete, I had to stay ready, whether it was for the M the MLL Ash, the bubble last year. Um, you know, we didn't know if we're going to end up finishing our NFL off season and then the next season, you know what I mean? So I always, I always had like a month or two to have to stay ready.

Um, and that's what keeps me, kept me sort of. Uh, motivated, I guess you could say one of the, is that you stay ready is with these awesome kettlebell workouts. I'm watching your videos, a kettlebell flow. You call it now. I'm a, I'm a workout junkie. I do all things of all kinds, but I'd never actually really seen someone make a kettlebell, an entire workout for 30, 45 minutes doing lunges with it, squats with an overhead, all sorts of liens and stretches.

It's really cool. You've gotten really creative with it. How did you discover that? Yeah, honestly. Um, once the pandemic hit and we hit, we went, we went home, gyms are closed. Um, we can step foot in a gym and on our way home, we grabbed some kettlebells at target. Um, I grabbed like a 40 founder and a 30 founder and my wife grabbed a 20 founder and like a 15 founder and, um, You have to what we had at our house.

We didn't have, I don't have no barbell. I don't have anything else for weight. And I just found stuff on like Instagram. I found some good followers on it. I already followed like on it. Um, they do a lot of good supplements and things, a lot of good things for your brain and health. Um, And they do a lot of, they make kettlebells and steel maces, stuff like that.

So, um, I got into just checking out their page. They got a lot of good trainers and I would just replicate what I was seeing. And then eventually I was like, okay, I, I know how to do a Turkish get up. I know how to do a, uh, swing clean or a swing press or. You know, all these different movements you can do with a kettlebell.

Um, and then I started challenging myself and then I felt like, okay, this isn't much weight, but I feel like I'm in really good shape. I, I started to see, I was starting to define some of my muscles and, um, I just felt like overall I was maintaining strength and, um, I wasn't able to sort of, sort of determine that until I stepped back into a gym and.

Got back to my old routine, but I was maintaining strength. I was increasing my mobility. Um, I was increasing my, my stability and then my endurance was, was still really good because all of the stuff I was doing was sort of high heart rate, high temple. Um, and I was doing it for like an hour every single day, probably longer, and just having fun with it.

And, uh, I always talk about like the flow state and a flow state is basically when you're. When you're in a moment where, um, the situation you're in, isn't so challenging that is sex stressful, but it's not so easy that it's boring. Um, it's sort of right in between there and you go up and down and mean you have your moments, but throughout that hour, hour and a half of work now, um, time just pass by.

And I was doing that every day, sometimes twice a day and, and learning new moves and sort of to compare it to lacrosse. I was allowed to stay creative, um, and try my own things where I wasn't copying somebody else and invent my own things. Same thing I was doing with a stick when I was a kid, like, okay, nobody's ever done this, let me try this.

Um, and just challenging myself and staying creative. And I think that's what makes things fun. And when you make things fun, that's what brings happiness and it keeps you coming back. So, um, that's sort of how I got him to kettlebells and I still sort of. I still travel with my kettlebell and keep it, keep it with me just in case, um, you know, I can't get into a jam or anything like that.

Yeah. It's awesome. I absolutely love watching those videos. We'll put some links to it in the show notes of this episode, a lot of younger athletes think that they can get away with a lot of things. They think they can get away with not stretching with not sleeping the right amount, with just eating, whatever they want.

I feel like, you know, everything that you need to do in order to prolong your career and get the most out of yourself while you can. Right now, have you always been that way? Was there a switch that flipped to, how did you realize that this is what I need to do to be the absolute best I can be? Um, you know, over sort of, I guess you could call the past, you know, four or five years.

What I've done is just make myself my own experiment. Um, I mean, like even in diet, like I don't, I don't think I don't diet. I just test out different lifestyles and I just want to be healthy. Like by the time I'm 50, 60 years old, I want to have healthy habits and I want to create sustainable, healthy habits that, um, that'll keep me healthy when, when.

Long-term, you know what I mean? Like I like to think, think about those things long term, same thing with my plane career. So I've tested out a whole lot of things. My point being is that like I've tested out a whole lot of different practices, I guess you could say. And I've just found what works for me.

I mean, like in terms of diet, I started tracking my food. Um, I use an app called my net diary and I've been doing it for three years now. And, um, it sort of keeps me on track. It allows me to see that like, okay, once a month I go, w I surpass my, my calorie intake or on birthdays, I eat this amount of calories.

As routine, you know what I mean? Like to be able to see that, okay. A birthday's coming up, um, my daughter's birthday's coming up, I'm going to eat like 4,000 calories. So I better have a good workup. It's it's allowed me to get to know myself a little better. And that's just an example. So like for me, I, um, I really just try to do that with a lot of things.

Like, you know, I'll see that stepping outside and grabbing my steak and playing outside, um, training outside. Sometimes I'm in a flow throughout the week. I'll go a month and then I'll take a month off. Um, being able to, I'm huge on tracking my own, my own, my own stuff. So at the end of the day, I would just say I created a study for myself and I know that it's for me.

And it's not like, Hey, you have to do this. If you want to be this, um, There is, there is no one shoe fits all. Everybody's I think that's the best thing anybody can do is start to understand yourself so good that you know how to be optimal and you know, what hurts you, you know, it helps and hurts you. So it sounds complicated.

Um, doesn't really, but I think it's pretty simple, as long as you're understanding yourself and paying attention to you. To your own body and your own likes and dislikes. Yeah. You've mentioned flow state a couple of times when I watched you play lacrosse, you are one of those athletes that makes it just look easy.

Um, I'm curious when the stick is in your hand, the ball is in your stick. What is going through your mind as you are playing? Um, that's the thing with the full state. I personally like my own call it a philosophy, but like, I just think when you're in a flow state, you're not necessarily thinking with your mind, because if you're thinking with your mind, you would be thinking about a future moment.

You'd be thinking about what's next. Um, or you'd be thinking about something in the past. So I think it's those days when you're present, you're so entrenched into a moment that. You're hearing a lot and it's like, you know, in basketball they call it the zone. You know what I mean? Like when Colby gets into the zone, when LeBron gets into a zone, they're just, you can't stop them.

And, and then they get an interview after and it's like, how did you do that? Or do you remember what happened on display? And a lot of times they're just like, I honestly, I don't know. I don't know what happened. I was just, I was just feeling the game. That's that's just presence that you were just, you were just feeling the moment of where you were.

So there's moments of those in sports and it doesn't happen. You can't just make it happen. I think there are hacks for each individual. And the thing I always like to do is pay attention to them, myself, my breathing, my, how I'm feeling on the field. And, um, I don't know when I'm at, when I'm in those moments a lot of times, because.

When, when you're in those moments, um, you're honestly just having fun and you're enjoying the place in time. You are right there. Um, you're not holding onto it. You're not trying to Sabre it. You're too far in trench. So I think for me, um, I don't always know when I'm, when I'm into that zone, but I know competition being a competitive athlete and being a competitor.

For some reason it, uh, it encourages that. So for me, um, making anything a competent, even if it's in the backyard, it's in practice. If coaches like, okay, defense versus offense, first one to five, for some reason, I go into this mode, this mode where it's like, okay, this is more for some reason, um, I'm into this more because there's there's competition to it.

And, um, I think it goes back to the original teachings of the game. It's about, it's about respect. It's about having fun. And it's about playing with a clear mind and to play with a clear mind means to be an optimist, to not let things get to your skin, get under your skin, have fun. It means to be happy and to respect means to be thankful.

So I think, um, to be thankful and to be mindful. So I try to do that when I'm on the field and when I'm on the floor. Um, in those things, the rest comes just comes when it comes, it just happens. Uh, the listeners of this podcast, aren't big sports fan. So they're probably not too familiar with, with you and your story.

I love listening to you and your people talk about lacrosse and your relationship with the game. Can you just kind of explain what it is that lacrosse means and what and why it's so important? Yeah. So lacrosse is. What we would call a traditional medicine game. Um, and it's played for what we call the creator.

Um, call it, call it God, call it the creator, call it what you want, but there's a higher purpose to the game and it's not about yourself. And that's we call, I call it a game for a reason. It's not a sport. It's not meant to be played for self enhancement. It's not meant to be played for winning and losing.

Um, You know, so I think, I think, um, I call it a game because it's meant to be played with joyful intentions and for us as native people, it came from a of Americans. And, um, it's been used in a lot of different ways from, from a two-state game to a once that game and the Haudenoshaunee with the people I come from.

Um, we've played lacrosse closest to the modernized game today. And it was once played for, to settle war disputes. It's played for, um, for healing, for someone who might be sick or for healing a community or for healing an individual. So it's, it's used for a lot of different ways. And, um, I'm taught that I was taught that at a young age.

So I was, I was able to play in traditional medicine games and, um, learn the lessons to them. So for us, it's, it's we say it's more than a game. It's a, it's a way of life. And the reason I say, I think it's to understand that it's a way of life. It's like, have you ever done something and it's not about yourself, or it's not about play that, play the game and it's not about yourself.

It's actually about, um, what's the best way to say it. Um, I mean, we always just say, it's we play the game for the creator and it's beyond winning or losing. It's beyond scoring a goal. It's beyond point it's beyond any of those, because it's done so much healing for us. Um, I still try to treat the game with those same teachings.

What I've learned from my stick. I grew up using a traditional wooden stick from. I was born with a sick, first of all, um, you know, it's a tradition within our communities having to Shawnee communities to pass. When you have a son, you pass them a stick, you pass on a stick. It's usually just a little stick, maybe a foot long wooden stick made from a Hickory tree.

It's got cat got in it from, from usually a deer hide. It's got, um, It's got leathers in, it made from deer hide. And in ended up in our language, we call it, they don't cheek weighs. You means they bump hips. And, um, I use one of those sticks from, I, you said one stick from, from age six to 12 nowadays. You know what I mean?

Kids go through a new stick every single year where I find I I'm fully thankful and grateful for. Being able to be forced to use that one stick for six years because I grew up connection with it. It was deeper than just a stick. I had a spiritual relationship with that stick and I personified this, that I would sleep with this, that for years.

Um, and I cared for her in a way that I believe it took care of me because when I stepped on the field, um, I knew that we. I say we, me and my stick had such a deep connection that it was going to take care of me. It was going to treat me with good. It was, the ball was going to go where the ball needed to go.

Not just because of me, but because of it. And, um, that connection grew and grew and grew. And it allowed me to now treat my stick the same way I have my stick right here. That I'm using for training camp. It's pretty dirty. And, and, um, you know, right now we got, we got tested for all the medicals and I'll go with before training camp and everyone's making fun of me for bringing my, that they're saying, but I've grown a connection with this stick since the pandemic kit.

And I don't need a clean stick. I don't need it. Doesn't need to look good. Uh, it's the connection I feel with it. And that sacredness I have, I used to have with that I grew with that wooden stick is now I still have the same treatment, the same, same, um, relationship with something that a lot of people don't see as seeing that dimension see in a spiritual way.

Um, and that's the way our people are our Patriot, our people, my people. We we think about, um, you think that everything has, has life and had a spirit, whether it's the wind, the sun, the moon, the plants, the animals, everything has different form. Things come in different form. We have our human form and this is our earth suit, but the tree also has a nurse suit and it has a spirit to inside of that living tree that.

Tree shape. Um, same with the animals, same with the moon, same with the wind. And I talk about this stuff in a spiritual way, because the game of lacrosse and my culture are intertwined. You get the same teachings. If you were to sit in our longhouse, as you would play in this game, if you could sit down, if you could really think for yourself and listen to the teachings of it.

And that's what the game has taught me. And that's what the game is for native American people. And that's what we're trying to pass on to the rest of the world that this isn't a sport, this isn't, this isn't about winning or losing or about this country or that country. This is a game meant to be played with joyful intention.

And, um, it's really our gifts from the creator. We don't own the game, but it was our gift and we want to pass. This special gift onto the rest of the world, the same way that yoga and the people, the inventors of yoga passed on this gift to the world. Now everybody gets to benefit from yoga and everybody gets to feel the internal growth you can actually get from practicing yoga.

It's not just stretching, it's not just, um, you know, being fit. It's actually a practice of internal growth and the cross is the same thing. Sorry to go on. No, I, uh, I could listen to that all day. I love the way that you speak about the game, because it's not about, I mean, so many people do things, play a sport, get a job, do whatever.

For external praise because there's accolades, whether that's in the form of money or promotions, whatever it is, the joyfulness that you have playing the game and talking about the games truly admirable. So, um, I absolutely loved that. A lot of, a lot of, not, not a lot, but some natives do when they. They go off to college one day and they are exposed to all of the pressures that the outside world has, whether that's partying, girls, whatever it is, some people do fall off track and lose sight of their priorities.

When you went to UAlbany, you were very straight and narrow focused. How did you manage to stay so focused and locked in when that is not always so easy for everyone? No, I think, um, you know, I can credit one thing, one situation, one experience because, um, life always continues on and new things, new experiences happen that you can learn from.

Um, and it's usually the hard ones that give you the real teaching. So I had my first kid when I was a freshman at U Albany and, um, my first girl. She was she, she taught me a lot. Um, she really taught me how to prioritize my time. First of all, you know what I mean? I, I would, my freshman year and then I had another, another girl my sophomore year, I mean my junior year.

So, um, I had two kids throughout my, throughout my college playing years, but, um, I, I say time, prioritize my time and organize my time. Really manage my time because. We had 6:00 AM lifts. We're going to get up at, you know, five 30 head over to, to the locker room and then lift for an hour, an hour and a half.

Then I would have class and then we'd have practice for two, three hours. We'd have film, then I'd have more class. So my days were full. I was on campus from five 30 to two, six, seven o'clock some days I would get home for dinner and. My wife would be tired from having to baby all day and, and I'd only have an hour with the baby.

So I would, I would spend time with her before I send her off the bed and then I'd be tired and I would go to bed. So, um, I just didn't have time for that. And I really learned how to organize my time. Um, at a young age, I was forced to organize that time at a young age. So, um, you know, My, my wife would pack me in my lunches and come to see me on campus with the time I did have, if I had an hour, hour and a half between class and practice, you know, we would make it happen.

And, um, because we lived off, I lived off of campus. Um, and, and that taught me a lot that freshman year. And it never, I never looked back, you know what I mean? So I didn't. In terms of the partying, I would, I would go out to the two parties and hang out with the team to help build team chemistry. And I knew what I was doing.

Um, and you know, it was fun at times here and there, but I never, I was never into alcohol. I never had a sip of alcohol in my life. I had never had any drugs. I've never smoked weed or, or, um, You know what I mean? Any of that I've always stayed on a pretty strict path. Um, you know, my parents were sort of strict on those things and I just didn't see any purpose in it.

Any reasoning, um, nothing even drew me to that. Um, not because I was super focused on lacrosse. It just wasn't a thing. I can't really explain it. Um, I think it was sort of taught to me by my parents. Um, and I respected that. So, um, I think I also seen that. Within our communities that is damaged our communities so much the drugs, the alcohol, um, all of those things have really traumatized and hurt our communities, native communities.

So I was able to look back, take a step back and see that and make sure, um, I didn't want to go down that right route, even if you always to use in moderation. Like I. There was no, there was no reason for me, it wasn't going to help me. So I, I still don't. Don't have a, you know what I mean, that ambition to, to wanna do that.

Um, but yeah, I think, I think, um, overall that's what kept me on track while I was at school, um, was my, was having, having my wife there and my kids. Over the last year year in change. Um, since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, there's been this, you know, a huge reckoning and we've all kind of come to some realizations about how we treat people and all of our places in the world.

And, um, obviously the, the native American people have been mistreated for a very long time. I'm really curious to know what. What the last year was like for you when there was a huge awakening for like the black lives matter movement, but there's still a lot of, and there was a lot more education on that side of things, but still on the native American mistreatment, I feel like there's still a lack of understanding.

Do you, do you agree or disagree? Yeah, I think we're, we're just not heard. We've been swept under the rug as native American people for, for so long. And everything has been very sneaky, um, in terms of. What we're learning in our history books, in what America doesn't want to want to be known for some of the things they've done to, to native Americans, because it hasn't, hasn't been put out there.

And a lot of these things weren't, weren't documented in there. They were hidden away. Um, and obviously, you know, even with like, I think the black lives matter movement has. Gave has allowed native American voices to be heard. And, and I think that's really important because when we look at what has happened with, with the black lives matter movement and people really standing up and using their voice and speaking their truth, not being afraid that, um, they're going to get judged or they're going to get looked at a certain way.

It's really helped that movement. What has happened has really helped the native American movements, um, to be heard because I think oppressed people sort of help oppress people. And we've both been oppressed in different ways, but the traumas within black communities and native communities that are very similar, we both, both of these communities tend to struggle with drugs and alcohol abuse, suicide rates, obesity.

All of those that are in native communities are oftentimes in, um, you know, inner city, black communities. And it's sad, but I'm just glad that I, like I said, I'm an, I'm an optimist. So I like to look at this situation and it is a sad situation, but it's, we have to look at the positives of it and we're allowing our voices to be heard.

And, um, I think. When you look at native history, a lot of the things you're like that can't be real because I've never even learned about this. And it seems to, it seems, it almost seems made up because you're learning, you learn about native American history. And the only thing you learn about is, is, um, Maybe the trailer, tears, maybe this or that you never learn about wounded knee.

You never learn about some of the massacres you never learned about residential schools. Um, and sorry to say you, uh, sorry. Yeah, but a lot of these, these things that have created a generational trauma Canadian American, the world is just now learning about it because, um, Because they're starting to be voiced by more and more people and, and, um, they're, they're important.

And I look at like how people view us, how people would be a native Americans. Um, you know, we're on, we're on t-shirts we're mascots. We are, we are. Where are the names on the back of cars, Cherokee? Um, I mean, Tacoma, like you've got all these brown roads, where were the names of steaks and, um, our drooler is even like trending.

And where did this trendy people that everybody wants to, like, this is who America is, but at the end of the day, um, the S the truth isn't being told and. Now it's starting to, and people are wanting to learn about it, but I think not at a big enough stage, it has to start to be in our, our history books, just like slavery is just like some of the other things.

Um, we have to start to learn about these things, to acknowledge and understand that this isn't honoring having this as our mascot isn't is no honor. Um, it's actually the humanizing. To a people that are still, that still exist. And I just, I just think like we have so much to teach, like my, our ways I'll call it.

The native way has so much to teach the world. Um, because I think us as a people, we don't know who we are. We don't, we don't, we don't know where we are. Don't know what we come from. And, um, our mindset is just not at the right place. And I think, um, we're the last thing from, from colonization in terms of knowing who we are, we're the people.

And I mean, that's in our language. Um, a lot of native languages, the first thing you hear is the people, uncle ho means the people of the longhouse, but we're the people. Um, and we look at the animals in there, there, the deer there, we look at the whims and those are the wind beings and the star beings.

And, um, the plant beings, the medicine beings, we have, we look at this mindset in a way where it's, it's actually, um, really helpful and understanding where we are in this time and place in history. So that we can learn from it and we can start to be more thankful and, and we're instructed to, to live in peace and harmony with one another, to be thankful for one another and in everything else.

So, um, the more I learn about other native cultures, the more I see that we're actually very similar and there's actually a lot that we can learn from, from not just our cultures, but like other religions. Um, So all of that's really fascinating to me. I don't want it big to dive deep into any of that, but I think overall, um, when we look at native history, it needs to start being taught at a youth level.

That's where everything starts with the next generation at the youth level, whether it's lacrosse sports, culture teachings, we got, it's got to start being taught in schools and, um, My hope is that that starts to happen when we start to learn about residential schools and some of the things that my people, our people had to face.

I know I didn't. Christopher Columbus growing up is a hero there's there's holidays named after him and other people who mistreated natives in gruesome ways. It wasn't until I was 17 in an advanced history, the class that I read literature about what it really went down, uh, during colonization. So I'm fully on board with you.

Thank you. Um, thanks for sharing that. I've got two quick things that, uh, I just want to run by you and then I'll let you go. So there's a lot of young people that listen to this podcast. People who are still trying to figure out their way, people who don't quite know what their calling is yet, what they were put on this earth to do you have known your entire life, what it is you were put on this earth to do, but what would your advice be to someone who maybe hasn't found what they're meant to do yet?

Um, my advice would go back to, to making yourself your own personal study. I think I've learned a lot being a parent because I'm a lacrosse player and that's my passion. And I've been able to align my passion and my purpose because my passion makes me happy and my purpose makes it so that it makes other people happy.

So the fact that I get to play lacrosse, yes, it makes me happy. But for some reason I know it's my purpose because it actually makes a lot of people, a lot of other people happy. And I think that's sort of the formula, um, Uh, not, not strict, but like when I, as a parent, I look at my kids and like, for so bad, I want them to be lacrosse players because of what it's taught me.

And as a parent, a lot of parents want to be like, Hey, be this, because this is what I know about. But as a parent I've become the observer. Okay. So I look at one of my kids and, oh, she's really into dancing. She's really artistic. She's really creative. And she likes to spend time doing that. That must be one of she's got passion there.

How can I help her keep that passion? So that one day it can turn into a purpose and she can share her passion with other people and they can be encouraged, influenced same thing with, with my other daughter. Who's very smart. She loves mathematics science. She wants to be an astronaut. She. I, I see her passions and I've observed them and not to let my Eagle become a part of that and be like, ah, no, that's not a good route for you.

You know, you're, you're, um, that'd be too hard for you because I know nothing about it. I don't like math. So, so I don't, I don't know much about that. And I don't think you should go down that route. I'm just observed, um, I'm the observer and I say. Okay. She likes this. I'm going to throw more of this in her face and see if she keeps taking it in when she doesn't.

That's fine. I have to observe when she doesn't too. So I think, um, if I'm giving advice to an individual about finding their passion and their purpose and starting to align those to have an open mind, always ask questions. To yourself, into others, to teachers, to parents, to friends, um, even to enemies. I think it's important to always ask questions and be true to yourself and, um, keep an open mind, always be willing to learn.

And if you can observe when you're having fun, Hey, keep doing more of that. Um, That's sort of my formula, you know what I mean? Like, obviously I want to be there's balance. There's a lot of things that come into play. You want to have a balanced life. Like, I don't want to be a complete, um, I don't want to know nothing about math, even though I'm not good at it, but, um, you know, make sure I know what I am good at and fuel that.

My last question for you. I read on your website and one of your blog posts that you had written during the pandemic that, uh, he loves cereal. I got it. Now, what are, uh, what are some of your favorite cereals? Um, so cereal is my weakness in terms of diet. I love to snack on cereal right before bed. Um, I've gotten way more healthy in terms of stereo and.

If you, if you've mentioned to me long enough on this podcast, that you should know that like I'll test anything out and I'm very experimental with myself. So I've gone through stages. I'll say that, but throughout my youth, fruity pebbles were the bomb. Um, I no longer eat truly fabulous. Um, I don't even have like a, like a craving for fruity pebbles.

I don't know why, but. I guess if I were to go with like a sweet cereal right now, it would be like cinnamon in life. Um, I love sending them in life. I also just love straight up, uh, like puff drives. It's similar to like it's healthy. Yeah. Tastes like nothing, but yeah, yeah, sort of, it's sort of like, uh, like rice crispies, but.

Actual like puffed rice. Gotcha. Um, it's in the health food aisle, but I'll, I throw sugar on it and make it unhealthy and it tastes great. Um, but yeah, those are, those are some of my favorite. I also like hot cereal. It's like oatmeal and cream of wheat. Um, so I'll go ham on those things. Throw some berries in it.

Um, there was some syrup in it, so yeah, those cereals, my weakness, um, I'm not sure I'll ever get rid of, rid of it for good. I go through stages of like doing it, eating, having cereal with like oatmeal and sometimes just water. Um, I know people think I'm a complete cycle. And I say that sometimes some cereals are like, no, no water, but like cinnamon life is actually really good with water.

Trust me. No noted. Okay. I'll, I'll try it out. It's not like, I dunno. Sometimes I prefer it. Not like hating on milk or anything. I just, sometimes I'll just do water. Okay. I, uh, I absolutely love it. Uh, Lyle, thank you so much for joining me. You're 28, but I feel like I won't reach your level of dumb and self-awareness until like 50.

So, uh, very impressed by you and your outlook on the world. I wish you all the best as you head into your first season in the PLL with the candidates here. Enjoy your time in Foxborough. Thank you so much for joining me. Yeah, thank you for having me, um, fun conversation. I like, I like to sit down and discuss these types of things all the time.

So I enjoyed your questions and hope you have a good one.

How impressive is Lyle Thompson? He is wise beyond his years. He's had to endure so much more than any of us have ever had in our lifetimes, the discrimination that he has felt that he has been a victim of. Um, he is now trying to educate people and trying to be optimistic and trying to turn hatred into love and to educate people about the plight of native Americans, about all of these things that me and you didn't learn about growing up.

In elementary school in middle school and high school, there is so many thousands of years of atrocities committed against native Americans that the wild majority of us do not know about. So I do hope we get to a point where, uh, we are teaching our kids what happened because it is just as important to learn about what happens to the native Americans as it is to any other groups.

So, um, I agree with you there, Lyle. And, uh, there's so much more than that. So much more than that. I want to say about this. And so, uh, you can head over to the Troy Farka show.com tomorrow morning. First thing in the morning, there will be a blog post up about a key takeaway from the conversation. Um, the full video of that conversation is available on YouTube.

So you can go check out the show notes for our YouTube channel information to follow Lyle @Lyle4Thompson, Twitter, Instagram. Thompson brothers lacrosse. You can find all of that info in the show notes of our episode as well. You can also follow our social accounts. If you leave a review of today's show, if you really liked it, doing a little special thing over the next seven days.

So seven days from this podcast, Thursday, June 3rd, if you leave your review over on apple podcasts. A winner will be randomly chosen again at random, fully at random. I promise to get a free the Troy Parker show mug. You've seen me Don it on the video before. So if you leave your review by heading over to apple podcasts within the next seven days.

And it's free to do. You can be entered into a little raffle for a free Troy Farkas show mug. Apologies. If you're hearing some things in the background in Aliso Viejo right now, there's a dog. There's people, things I can't control control. You can control. Uh, again, Lyle, thank you for joining me. Thank you for your honesty.

I'm really just blown away by you and the way that you view the world and how, um, you see everything. Whether things have life in them or not. You see everything as alive, you see opportunity and everything. And every one. And I absolutely love that. And I love your kettlebell workouts. If you haven't seen his videos before to go check out his Instagram really creative stuff that maybe you guys can add into your workouts, I hope that you have taken away.

Um, something from Lyle today, and then you can apply it to your own lives and that you all have a wonderful week and that you get outside, that you be safe, that you go do and things you love. Get out into the mountains, get on the water and go kayaking, go skateboarding. Maybe you take your lacrosse, stick and shoot around in the backyard, whatever it is that makes you happy or.

Just relax because relaxing recuperating that's important too. That's enough for me. Have a great weekend. Y'all and I'll talk to you on Monday.