A life update..
So…. uh…. hey!
We’ve been very quiet for some time now and I think it’s time to give an explanation and to get this show back on the road! Initially, I’d decided to take a break from writing to try and make future plans for our blog, other projects, our travels, and well, our life! Despite being a very light user, I find social media can be a distraction and source of negativity so initially I made the decision to step away from it to focus on the things mentioned above.
One morning I decided I wanted to escape in the best way I know, my skateboard. We headed down to the local skate park and I had a nice roll around, as always being careful to remain within the limits of what my body can handle. For those who are unaware, I’ve had a plethora of back / spinal / shoulder issues courtesy of 25 years on a skateboard which means skating is no longer about pushing my limits but rather a way to be in the moment and enjoy the freedom I experience when on a board. After a 30 minute skate we jumped in the car and came home, I noticed some tightness in my lower back and shrugged it off. I’ve lived with chronic back pain for a long time now and being a bit sore after a skate was nothing unusual. 2 hours later I found myself physically unable to move, I could not get out of bed, I couldn’t walk nor sit down. I was totally confined to bed, even the task of rolling from my back to my stomach was excruciating.
The days turned into weeks the frustration at myself and my body started to mount. It’s not the first time I’ve had this issue, but it was the first time it had plagued me after a pretty gentle and subdued skate. Being in my late 30’s and not being able to walk 15 metres or sit down in a chair without unbearable pain slowly but surely wore my mental state down.
As he does, Jaiden stepped up and was an incredible help. Not only doing the vast majority of the cooking and cleaning but also spending a lot of time laying with me in bed as I groaned, moaned and swore due to the pain I was in. The pain sucked, but the hardest thing to accept was that I’d probably have to give away one of the things I love most, skating. Sure, perhaps a guy in his late 30’s riding around on a skateboard seems ridiculous to some of you, but this is one of the very few things I do for myself. Being a solo parent 24/7 and living in an 18ft tin can on wheels doesn’t allow much ‘me time’, for me skating is that time to myself. Not only was I losing this escape, I was struggling to complete even the simplest of daily tasks for almost a month. Not being able to care for your 11-year-old son, or yourself is a pretty demoralizing feeling.
Throughout this time and in the months after, our blog and future plans went into the “can’t be bothered” pile and I became rather reclusive and withdrawn, not just from our blog but from friends and life in general. This is certainly not a great coping mechanism, but it’s my default when I am going through tough times. Whilst talking to someone in tough times can be helpful for some people, I tend to process these things internally. I spent a lot of time alone with my thoughts, meditating, and listening to audiobooks which helped me gather some perspective and get my mental state back on track. My pain levels have not gone back to ‘normal’ and that remains a cause of frustration, but things have improved drasitcally.
As with everything, there is a silver lining. Facing tough times or adversity is often is a catalyst for us to revaluate things and this can result in positive life changes. In my case, it gave me the push I needed to face my own limiting beliefs and fear of failure head-on. Failing is a scary thing, and often something that cripples us into inaction, this has been the case for me and the progression of our blog / my writing. It’s one thing to fail in front of friends and family, but another thing entirely to do so with an audience of 7000+ people in the public arena. Working through this has been a challenging task, but a task very much worth doing as I have found a renewed motivation to see my dreams become a reality, but more on that in posts to come.
I am so grateful to have such a beautiful group of people sharing our journey and a massive thank you to everybody who messaged us making sure Jaiden and I were ok, apologies to those of you I never replied to. Pouring from a half-empty cup is a recipe for disaster, so I took the time I needed to refill my cup and am looking forward to making 2021 a year to remember.
Whilst we all face tough times during our life, I believe that facing these challenges and overcoming them is what helps us grow into better, stronger, and more resilient versions of ourselves, or in the words of Atticus Finch in the book To kill a Mockingbird – “I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past”
Much love to you all, and thanks for all the continued support. x