Content Warning!

This blog on occasion addresses depression, death, suicide and other sensitive themes. Continue at your own discretion in reading the content.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Drifting the Wrong Way on a Pop Tart: The Connection Between Banana Bread & Bob Burnquist

How our brains work is quite a puzzle at times.  I find it interesting to be standing in my kitchen making banana bread and my brain fires off a memory of a Bob Burnquist skate vert run from 2001. If you're curious about the run Bob laid down which is part of skateboard lore you can see it here.

What banana bread and Bob Burnquist have to do with each other, at first nothing but the brain is an interesting thing. What I do know is that this little memory pop triggered off a chain of events a month or so ago and it's still going.

Let me give you a little history here. At no point in my life have I ever hopped on a skateboard but I find it fun to watch especially Vert and Big Air. I used to watch X-Games and the Dew Tour stuff for years and then simply stopped watching. I have no idea why but I suspect I found other interest and off I went. Bob Burnquist was my favorite skater along with Bucky Lasek. I would cheer for both of them which made for interesting situations as they were often at the top in any given competition. 

Well, the Bob run triggered off a memory about Tony Hawk and the famous 900. I did the logical thing and down the YouTube rabbit hole I went. Tony Hawk Lands FIRST-EVER 900 | World of X Games - YouTube

What I realized with the Tony Hawk video, that the emotions I felt the first time I watched it hadn't left me. I knew how it was going to end and yet, it felt like 1999 all over again. I was happy and so excited. Even cried a little. When I went back to the Bob run, the excitement of the contest, the tricks Bob was laying down, all these emotions came bubbling up and after a while it came to me. The connection between Banana Bread and Bob Burnquist. 

On the surface, there is no relation between the bread and Bob. Prior to the Bob memory kicking up, I guess you could call what happened to me as an episode. COVID has been kicking my ass mentally like it has for a lot people. I'm quite isolated from the outside world and as someone who battles depression daily, it's been extra hard to keep going. About three months ago, things simply got to be too much and I broke. It was 2am when I got up to go to the bathroom and as I climbed back into bed I lost it. I cried for a long time, wanting to talk to someone, wanting to hug a friend and because of COVID and being that it was 2am I couldn't do that. I honestly wondered what was the point of me being here. 

This was the predicament I was in. Our brains chew on stuff whether we realize it or not and my brain, reached back to yank out a Bob Burnquist memory for me. Why?  Because I was looking for comfort, I needed something to give me hope to keep fighting, to not give up. When I was relaxed enough my brain brought the whammy out.  My brain in all of it's wacky goodness gave me Bob Burnquist.  My brain, said here, "Bob makes you happy. You like Bob. Go watch Bob."  That is exactly what I did. I watched Bob Burnquist videos and you know what? I started to feel better. I watched Bob videos, interviews and moved on to Tony Hawk. Discovered a Bones Brigade documentary which I liked, watched the "Search for Animal Chin" which is a classic skateboard movie.  It's a cheesy movie but a young Tony Hawk with his A Flock of Seagulls haircut is worth it.  I moved on to Bucky and found old competition videos and so my life for three months has been skateboarding and other things.

From skateboarding my brain loosened up a memory about BMX and Jamie Bestwick's name came up to the surface right away.  Hello instant smile on my face.  I loved watching Jamie ride, Scotty Cranmer and Daniel Dhers too. My brain was on a roll as freestyle motocross came up and I thought of Nate Adams, Travis Pastrana, Mike Mason and Brian Deegan. 

My brain knew I was hurting and it unloaded memories to counteract the way I was feeling. I was smiling and rediscovering all my favorite athletes all over again. I started consuming skateboarding, BMX and FMX videos. I started watching newer stuff and so there are a whole bunch of guys I'm learning about now.  I'm not diving too deep but just enough to enjoy and appreciate much like I did before. I've caught up with my favorites as some have moved on to other projects. 

If you're wondering about the "drifting the wrong way on a pop tart" it's from a skateboard competition. I'm fairly certain Tony Hawk said it as I remember laughing out loud and rewinding the video to make sure I heard it right. 

If you're struggling mentally, go do something that quiets your brain enough for it to bring a good memory forward.  Turns out your brain is doing it's part to help you cope. 

For me, I'm doing much better. I can't help but smile a little as my mother used to tell me when I was younger that watching skateboarding, BMX or FMX wouldn't help me in life. Boy was she ever wrong!!!!  If you need something to motivate you, something inspirational then enjoy this Danny Way video.

Rock on!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

My GPS is Broken

Hi All,

It has been a few months since my last post.  The months have been a rollercoaster of feeling lost, lonely and finding a stable place. My life GPS is broken.

While it has been months since my dad's estate was closed which allowed me to focus back on me, I still find myself trying to find my way.  Adjusting to a new life, in a new home and new routine. Every week I think of some item I forgot to grab from the old house.  The list is quite lengthy at this point. I forgot to grab so many things!

My mind at times will replay the awful moment I found my dad dead on the floor in the archway of the kitchen and living room. Replaying the fire fighters talking to me, the police officers, the doctors and the funeral director. I never know when these moments will hit or why but they do.

I manage to keep going and given the current situation in the world with the COVIID-19 virus, that's all I can do.  Like many, I am working from home which I'm not fond of.  My brain already tortures me with stuff and being stuck indoors makes it so much worse.

There is so much uncertainly for the future. My mind spins out of control at times and I wonder if I'll make it through this event or my brain will just have a huge mental break.  I'm just thankful that my dad is not alive to live through this virus crap although I do miss the old house.

I'd be able to go outside and walk around the yard or sit on the deck. Things that I can't do in my current home. I do wonder how many people like myself who deal with depression or other mental issues are dealing with staying home.

I was an only child growing up so being alone is something I'm used to and keeping occupied and while I am a homebody, I do miss walking to the bus stop to go to work and seeing my co-workers and talking to people in general.

The world feels even smaller than it normally does for me and I suspect it feels that way or others too.

I hope all of you are being "good parents" to yourself and do what you need to do be kind to yourself.

Today's music choice I'm sure is going to seem weird. Given that I've had to stay home, I've been listening to my music collection.  It's been ages since I heard a Dionne Warwick song and forgot I even owned a CD of her music.  So, in a nod to my younger self and one of Dionne's best - enjoy!

Rock on!