I wanted to give back to the poeple on here who contribute so much and help so selflessly. For me the whole esk8 experience has been something awesome and so helpfull and I wanted to share what it meant for me (still does), but before i do i want to ask if this is the right place ?!
Alright seems I am in the right place, so there we go:
As for this “story” and this thread I want to focus on the positive. The biggest reason im trying to put my experience in words is my clumsy attempt to give something back. To tell some of you that on somone far far away, you had a positive influence a real difference in somones recent live. Sounds awfully platonic but it really did. So let me start, as one allways should, by expressing a process with my starting situation and position. I am 24 years old, I am studying philosophy and law. My whole life was about sport, my body, my ability to express and enjoy life purely trough physical activity. I come from a family of athletes so no surpise there I guess. I allways did skating in a shape or form since I was little, but only as a hobby. As my job/career I played voleybal and was fortunate enough to play in the NLB/NLA for 2 season. Then life happened i guess.
During a small downhill race (bike) I had a malfunction with my shock aborbers and that landed me from a kicker directly into a tree. Result, well not fun I tell you that. Broken pelvis, 3 broken vertebras, few broken ribs, shattered breastbone, torn stomach, torn diaphragm and other “small” things. So lets fast forward 4 years. Since the accident I had 12 surgerys, 1,5m steel hammered into my chest and other fun stuff. So as you could imagine I didn’t do much on the active side. Not for a lack of trying but out of sheer inability to do so. So after a certain amount of time it gets you to a point where everything becomes rather stale and you just accept how things are, what other options are there ? So because its more comfortable you don’t go outside if you don’t have to, since every movement invovles pain on a level which is hard to put in words. So what do you do home all the time for years in your early 20s? Well you have good days/weeks when you find the energy to pick up your guitar or have dinner with friends. But there is no going out for drinks, I coulnd’t even have tied my shoes myself 1.5 years back or put on my own clothes. So you sit in your favourite chair for 90% of your waking hours just to go to bed and hope at some point your are tired enough so that you being tired wins over the pain which keeps you awake. And you just go on like this for a long time since at least for me it was the only possible way to cope with the situation. Everyone knows in some form or shape what being excluded from everything does to a human or at least he can imagine it. You no longer want do do tasks you don’t have to since the inconvinience of it makes it impossible to legitimise the effort of doing it. So you end up doing nothing, you go in a sort of stasis. A state in which you minimise everything bothersome, difficult, painfull or exausting since your main goal is to cope and “survive”.Like a bear in winter he just exists and live but doens’t do much more than that. The worst part is, every time you anger yourself because you are just sort of there, not contributing, not helping, you just are because you have the best argument for taking that course of action and almost noone can criticise you for it.
Enough about the bad and me. Lets get on with the reason for this Story and more importantly you guys. So I saw a video of a Youtube channel i was subsribe to. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OUl2SOeL44 . In my opinion the only guy how makes it look as fast as it feels. I was never that good but I like to think I gave it my best shot for years. It trigered memories and feelings from my freeriging/downhill days. First it was an other reminder what I once did and now no longer can or ever will. But then I set up an old cruiser of mine and tried to go skate for a bid. I quickly realised not only do I have issues with my balance because of the implants, and the stiffnes of my whole upper body duetue the metal. The missing feeling in my right leg wasn’t helping either. Also pushing was rather painfull since I operated the pelvis not to long ago since other procedures had priority. I was beaten and miserable. Just a few weeks later a friend came by who I haven’t seen in almost a year. And he had an old evovle bamboo with him (wich I eventually bought from him). He was super exitet about it, and coulnd’t stop talking about it. I just wanted to change the subject. But somehow he managed to get me into trying it. So for the first time in for ever it felt i did something fun, something that was enjoyable with almost no effort and “minimal” pain. He then started talking about building a board and I was in. Reluctantly but at least i was part of something in a way. Between that day and the day i started building were another 2 surgerys so everything got pushed back again. But finally I started and with the help of the friend i had a terrible single drive board. It was ugly, slow, heavy but It was something I did, something I made. It sounds pretty sad but it was my biggest accomplishement in my last 4 to 5 years. My competetive nature got me hoocked on improving, informing myself, finding other builds and I found this forum. For along time I was just a lurker. Loocked at all the builds, read your discussions. It genuinly sparked intrest in me, it reached me where nothing had for years. I sarted to feel exited in a way, even intrested in a form. So whenever I had good days I would go for a short ride and even meet up with friends outside again. The feeling got stronger and things like joy, a willingsness to go further got thrown in the mix. I felt strange since I didn’t understand the feeling I had exactly. The only thing I knew was that it was positive. It was only months later I realised the feeling I had wasn’t somethign new or unknown. It was just that I forgot how motivation felt. So because I went outside again, met poeple, talked, laughed and tried to be active I was able to change my mindset. I no longer thought about the price I had to pay for every activity. I began to tell myself that it was worth it. And even further down the road I came to the conclusion why survive if you don’t live.
So with that said I want to thank you, the forum, the esk8 movement for being the thing I needed to at least try again and actually give a fuck about something. So if somone reads this who had a Vesc blown or other problems with their set up. Know this, somewhere in Switzerland is now a “young” human who has won so much thanks to you. And I hope I can somehow also give you a positive feeling, motivation or a smile on your cheecks when I tell you that you are part of the reason im giving this thing called living an other shot. I want to give all of you a hug and invite you to a barbecue or something . I just want to genuinly thank you and since it gave me so much I wanted to try to give a percentill back in the only way I could, by sharing your influence on me.
So should I be riding esk8 with my condition ? Heck no. Was I advised against it ? Yes from every doctor and I got quite a few of them these days . But did my weight go up? yes. Did my vitals improve? yes. Did my mental state improve? yes. Do I still have pain and outstanding surgerys? yes, but they no longer have the same grip on me than before. If put in extreme situations you wouldn’t believe what your body and especially your mind is able to pull off. With enough concentration, will and help you can go so much further than you even dare to think. I work, I go to Uni, i go freeriding regurlarly now and also on cruises with a bunch of awesome poeple I found on the forum. Even though I park on the handicapped spot (couldn’t get out of the car othersiwe if not enough room) and I could just receive handicaped payment for the rest of my life. But instead of giving up and doing that I found the fight in me again. I can go to uni and work almost like a normal person and that all in little over a year. Its hard to imagine I guess, but believe me that was an imense journey for me. So again thank you for being the one thing that made me something else than a houseplant.
PS:Noting is tabu for me or out of the question. I am so used and trained to answer questions. So just shoot, quite impossible to hurt me