Ready to Grow Young Again

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When I was younger I remember writing in my ongoing journal – of sorts – that I would always be alright in life as long as I kept fitness, music and comedy within my life, and I still stand by that statement to this very day. This is the reason why I think it is important to keep a place in your life for the things you loved growing up.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2








Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 and 2 were released in 1999 and 2000 respectively. These were exciting and inspiring times for me and many others in the same age range. I was playing at a time when I was coming to the end of my time in secondary school and I had the whole world ahead of me. We had new exciting new sports. games and technology and we were moving on to times of discovery and growth. I loved the combination of punk and rock with skating and I spent hour after hour on those two games which also helped me find the music that would go on to dominate my tastes in the years to come. The incorporation of the real life pros in the games was a big deal, I’d love spending time collecting all the tapes and completing all challenges to unlock each characters very own ‘movie’ segment – and this was in the days before YouTube too. The ‘movies’ were real life highlights from each characters’ careers and seeing these inspired me and some school friends to pick up a board and give it a go ourselves. This lead to some of the most satisfying experiences in my life trying out tricks on a friend’s estate whilst drinking and blasting out tunes from the garage.

Being English and looking back on skateboarding now I find myself inspired by Geoff Rowley. The guy found his passion and honed it on the mean streets of Liverpool before moving further a field to London, before then taking the huge leap to Southern California and total upheaval from such a raw early age, a real risk but also a real adventure. I’m not sure that I would have the balls or the conviction at such an early age but he took the plunge and made the move. He became a pro skater in the big ol USA and the legendary skateboarding parts ‘Sorry’,’Really Sorry’ and then ‘Extremely Sorry’ would follow along with his appearances in The Tony Hawks pro skater games. He took the risk, took full advantage and made it work. He also happened to be friends with the late, great Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead, as can be heard on Geoff’s ‘Extremely Sorry’.

A Rowley wall-rideA young Geoff Rowley

I think I’d struggle with skateboarding now because of the knocks I would take, being around a stocky 13 stone I’m not sure that my build would allow it anymore, but I’m going to try the next best thing, surfing. I see this replacing cycling and mountain biking in my life in my quest for the healthiest possible mental and physical well-being. I can’t think of a better thing for mindfulness than surfing. Both skateboarding and surfing, having their similarities, and are great for both distraction from the continual thoughts of the mind and keeping you in the present moment. Visualization is another positive factor that can be utilized whilst away from the board. What can be better than removing the nagging, niggling useless anxious thoughts from the mind by replacing them with visualizing landing the perfect trick in your favourite spot? In much the same way I still  have my interests from the past in combat sports and I can keep this alive with my Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training and competition. I have my first BJJ competition lined up for the 26th of March this year and I’ll use this as an incentive to get in great physical shape. I hope to employ the same mindfulness techniques in the sport as I would with surfing although being in the moment in BJJ competition can be somewhat more intense. Visualizing whilst away from the mats is again a must, with BJJ being a mental chess game as well as a physical battle. The more technique run through the mind and the more outcomes visualized the better. The power of the mind should never be overlooked. BJJ also has crossover benefits with certain yoga styles such as yin yoga. I find the two fairly interchangeable and you’ll find that doing one will help out with the other.

Surfing at sunset

You Don’t Have To Worry.

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I want to write this article to tie up my other articles about positive well being and there is a single hugely important point that I want to make. That point is, if you are looking upon your life in the right way you simply don’t need to worry, just get on with your life. Even if you feel absolutely terrible at this present moment in time the feelings are so unlikely to last. Over time the only way such thoughts and feelings can continue is by dwelling on the thoughts and negativity and by avoiding your passions and where you want to go in live. Fair enough you have commitments and you may have to work a job, or go to a school that you hate, but you don’t have to be there the whole time, let your mind take you to where you want to be.

Motivational Inspirational Positive Quotes and Phrases / Change Your Mindset, Believe in Yourself, Be Positive, Enjoy Life

Sure enough I still often experience periods of real anger thinking of the injustices of the past and it is not always possible to take your mind away. This can becomes a real issue when you have too much time on your hands, you work alone and you are not given the opportunities to get out there and move on even though you want to, and desperately try to. At these points every day feels like a week, a week a month and so on.. it is important to realise here that there is always another way or something else that you can be doing that day to improve yourself. In the incidences when I am really angry I just put on some Metallica or Offspring and work out like crazy. I always find this makes anger subside enough that I can concentrate on what I want to. Life isn’t fair and that is a fact, and that’s even though I do believe karma exists to a certain extent. When it is possible to look forward and get things done however, follow your goals. They will be both the ultimate distraction and your savior.

I purposefully only want to write a very limited number of articles on promoting positive mental health because I firmly believe that once you understand the problems – your mind set, and the solutions -CBT (changing the way you view things) and catharsis, then, personally for me, the best way to move forward is to move on and take your life where you want it to be going. Practically ignore the current feelings and emotions and do everything you can to move forward. This is the reason why I have wrote these articles about promoting positive mental health and published them on my personal website, to remind myself what to do continually and how I should look at things. Sure we know the concepts, but when life gets hectic and busy and when things get tough it is also very easy to forget how to look at things in the right way. Sure my advice will not be applicable or useful to many, because they have experienced different things. I can’t speak and advise on severe depression, bi-polar or debilitating phobias or chronic OCD issues, but I have experienced severe levels of high anxiety in the past, and this is how I coped and came through it.

Fight through the bad days to earn the best days of your life

So true

Transforming your mindset may not be easy, but throw in some motivation and inspiration to go where you want to go and you will eventually make it though. I look around and I see plenty of people who experience mental health issues but they still have the problems I used to have. They are too analytical and they are dwelling on the issues too much. Instead of trying to understand what you are feeling, focus on improving yourself and getting what you want from life. I feel this may be one of the reasons that YouTube channels concerned with mental health, and hosted by people who have experienced very real issues, are often not hugely successful, because, yes people can relate, but it can also be muddled and depressing. Everyone experiences anxiety and depression differently, people are unlikely to have experienced exactly what you have, if you can, why not get on, be healthy and move on and up.

Look back, and smile on perils past quote