Thursday, February 27, 2014


When you read the word "intuition" what do you think? Do women hold the exclusive rights to intuition, or do men have intuition as well? It is an interesting thought.

We often hear about women's intuition, but rarely do we hear about men's intuition. Why is that?

Several years ago, I gave a workshop at the University of Minnesota's Landscape Arboretum for a group of about thirty social workers one morning. I was done with my section at noon as the group broke for lunch. I could have gone home, but something told me I wanted to stick around and listen to what this woman had to say in the afternoon session on intuition. I was very glad I stayed.

My own intuition was telling me to stay, and I listened to it. We were sitting in a large circle in one of the beautiful conference rooms they have at the conference center. I cannot find the woman's name who was leading the group, but she started talking about both male and female intuition. I was sitting next to a young man of about twenty-five.

At one point in the discussion, he asked her, "Would intuition be like if I was playing football and I didn't feel quite right, so I asked to sit out a play, sit down on the bench, put my head down between my legs and wait for this feeling to go away? Would that be intuition?"

Now mind you, I was sitting right next to this young man who was in the same position I was in about twenty years earlier. After he finished, I looked up and everyone was looking at me including the instructor. I looked at her and said something like, "Why did I stay here this afternoon? I could've gone home at lunch. I was supposed to hear that, wasn't I?"

The instructor said, "Yes, I believe you were."

I honestly believe my intuition was telling me all day long the day of my accident something was not right. I did not listen to it! Instead, I chalked it up to nerves. I was just nervous because it was my first varsity game, and I was nervous.

The irony in this entire experience for me was a month before that I spent the first two weeks of August at my aunt and uncle's farm near White, South Dakota helping on the farm like I had done for several years before I was old enough to drive. That summer from August first to August fifteenth I spent helping my aunt and uncle at their farm and spending some time at my grandma and step grandfather's farm doing whatever I could to help. I loved my time each summer I spent working on the farms and working out in the evenings preparing for football. I would run around the section which was four miles each night, do wind sprints in the yard, exercised, stretched and prepared for my upcoming football season.

When I went to leave that day and go back to Worthington, I had this strange feeling something was not right. I drove down the road about fifteen miles and the feeling did not go away, it just got stronger. I turned around and went back to the farm. When I entered the house my aunt asked me what was going on. I told her I had forgotten something and I believe I had left it in my room. I went upstairs, sat down on the bed for a few minutes and the feeling went away.

I believe my intuition was telling me something was going to happen on my drive home. I listened to my intuition that day, and that pit in my stomach went away. Two and a half weeks later, on September 3, 1971, I did not listen to my intuition and I broke my neck. I believe that with all my heart.

Do you always listen to your intuition when it is telling you to do or not to do something? Do you believe in intuition? Do you believe women have it and men do not?

What would have happened had I not gone in to the game that night because I told my coach, "I don't feel right,"? Would the feeling have gone away if I had sat out that play? We will never know because it never happened. Intuition is funny that way.

Before I close, I want to tell you how I came upon writing this post tonight. A little more than a week ago, someone signed me up for a new Facebook page titled "Growing up in Worthington, Minnesota." I did not sign up for it because I did not really grow up in Worthington. Worthington was the eighth town I had lived in before I was fourteen years old. We never lived in any town more than three years and any one location more than eighteen months. My dad was always getting a better job so we were constantly on the move to the next place that was a little bigger, had a few more amenities to offer a young boy growing up and paid my dad a little more money. I believe all of the changes I had to go through as a young boy prepared me for the life-changing moment that happened to me when I broke my neck. It was preparing me to deal with all of the changes I have had to adjust to since that night. It set me on my path of lifelong learning.

Someone signed me up for this page and I started getting friend requests immediately. I noticed a woman was commenting and liking several of the same posts I was responding to. So I looked at her profile and decided to see if Cathy wanted to be my friend. Her acceptance was almost immediate. I had never had someone respond to a friend request so quickly. I rapidly found out there was a reason for my intuition to tell me to become her friend.

We have become fast friends, chat quite often and have spent several hours already talking on the telephone. My intuition told me to friend her and I am very glad I listened to it. She is the one who recommended I do this post on intuition tonight as we both shared stories of how intuition has affected our lives numerous times. So, Cathy this post is for you. Thank you.

As always, I look forward to your comments.




Cathy Judge said...


What a terrific testimonial to intuition! What a gift it is when we listen to it. I am honored to call you a friend. Thank you for being such an inspiration and writing this post for me!!

Colleen said...

ANOTHER. GREAT BLOG MIKE! As I have said many times since your accident, we know why you were TALKING before you were walking-for sure....

Colleen said...

Great post, Mike! AS I HAVE TOLD YOU MANY TIMES, THERE WAS A REASON YOU WERE TALKING BEFORE YOU COULD WALK! Communication has always been your forte!

Lori said...

Mike - just finished reading your blog and have tears in my eyes. I love your ability to be reflective but your skills in being able to articulate your thoughts are truly a gift. Thank you!

Joel K said...

Very well written Fat Cat. You might also recall our conversation that day on the way to school about the Letterman magazine article of a young athlete who broke his neck. That was the same day you were injured. I'm a "Spirit" person. My belief is the Holy Spirit, but I can't deny the American Indian Spirit or Karma or many other 'spirits beliefs out there.' After reading your blog I thought of what you were contemplating as far as taking a play off. You couldn't have or wouldn't have even if that nudge was a push. That wasn't in your nature and maybe that's why it was you. Your journey has been difficult, but I believe you have stepped up to the plate and carried what was given you in a most remarkable way. I'll thank the Holy Spirit for having me read your blog today! Took the time to stop long enough and I was rewarded. Thanks Mike for all you are!

Kathy A said...

Hi Mike,
I grew up in Worthington too. I remember your accident well, it was so unheard of back then to be injured like you where. I was 21 by 1971, but remember reading of it. Wasn’t Worthington such a great place to grow up? Or, maybe just such a different time, easier, gentler. I have 5 sisters and 1 brother, and 4 of them still live there. It’s changed so much, but great memories there. I liked your article very much, I too, think I have good intuition. Sometimes it actually has been so spot on it scares me. I went to school with Cathy Judge.
Thanks for your time. Kathy

thedrumwallet said...

You wanna hear one Mikey? I am sure you have heard this before. I'd like to talk to Mom to clarify dates, but somewhere around 1989 we stopped for a day in Worthington, and me being the 16 yr old I was at the time, I put my headphones on and went for a walk to check out the town I was born in. After quite sometime and walking watching the ground as I passed through neighborhoods I was drawn to look up. In a crazy moment of clarity, I looked up to find myself staring at the endzone of the football field at the High School. Wanna talk about intuition? It all rushed into my head at once, my age, your age, Worthington, Moving, Walking, Rolling, talking, Rochester, the trial, crazy times, but blessed times. Can't explain it, can't even really type about it. Mind's blown! thanks brother Love you

Eric Sisler said...

Great Stuff my friend. Very interesting. There are so many things we still do not understand in this world of ours..... especially within..... many mysteries. Keep up the great writing!