Thanks to Yahoo for this:
Mark Messier is one of the most decorated hockey players of all-time and was lauded for his bombastic leadership during his tenures with the Edmonton Oilers (drafted 1979) and New York Rangers. As it turns out, Messier had a transcendent experience when he was a teenager that helped shape his career in a way that some may have never anticipated.
Messier went on the That’s Hockey Talk podcast with Michael Rupp recently and detailed how he drank mushroom tea — which contained psilocybin, the active component in “magic mushrooms” — when he was 19 on vacation in Barbados.
“We filled our shirts up and brought [the mushrooms] home and made this big pot of tea,” Messier said. “Mashed it all up and it got really thick and dark, and we all poured ourselves a cup of coffee — basically, it was a tea, a thousand times more than we needed.
“I did have that experience of psychedelic effects after mushrooms. This was 1980. Now we know it has health benefits for addictions.”
Psilocybin has been used to treat addictions and post-traumatic stress disorder among other ailments and is no longer viewed as merely a recreational experience. This wasn’t a common view in 1980 when Messier was still emerging as a burgeoning star for the Oilers.
Messier has been a long-time advocate of psilocybin mushrooms and in October 2021, he spoke to Maclean’s Marie-Danielle Smith about the transformative experience he had as a teenager.
“I had no idea the mind was that powerful,” Messier told Maclean’s. “And how could eating a natural mushroom that was organically grown create that kind of stimulus? Obviously it turned out to be an amazing experience, but more important was the question afterwards: wow, how can I use my mind to empower myself to be a better player, to be a better person, to have more energy, to create a better aura?
“So then I became interested in Eastern philosophy, meditation, Buddhism, the spirituality of Indigenous peoples. The power of the mind.”
Messier wrote extensively about the experience in his book, No One Wins Alone, and further revealed his two major takeaways while speaking to Rupp and his fellow podcasters.
“What I was really curious about going through the experience was, how crazy it was during the first hour or two before we settled in. And secondly, how spiritual of an experience it was and how emotional it was. From all different ranges, from music, from lyrics, from talking to my brother and my friends and talking about past experiences.
“It dawned on me that the mind is so incredibly powerful, and if it’s that powerful, I’m spending thousands of hours training my body. What if I started thinking about it from a mental standpoint, started training myself mentally to withstand pressurized moments. And the light bulb came on for me — I can be a better player if I can train my mind as much as my body.”
Messier won six Stanley Cups, two Hart Trophies, and is widely considered one of the best hockey players of all time.
Buy Mark’s book ‘No One Wins Alone’