"Skateboarding sucks so much! When you twist your ankle, you have to wait one month before you can skate again..."
If you take one thing from this email, let it be the following video. One of my favourite pieces of skateboarding cinema on the internet:
If you want to take more from this email - and there's always more - we've put together a few thoughts on surviving injury and illness until that day when you can skate again... but it feels strange.
After all, what good is looking after your board if you don't look after yourself?
Full disclaimer, I'm not a doctor. Listen to yours. We have collectively had our share of injuries in the shop, though, and multiple years of honing the positive energy to come back stronger.
You know how in movies the superheroes heal their injuries in front of our eyes? That's not fantasty - that's us. It just takes a minute, that's all. And giving your body less to think about whilst it does it will help speed it along.
Eating well, cutting out alcohol and smoke, getting fresh air and nature will all make you feel better. Maybe it does nothing physically, but simply feeling like you're working for yourself is empowering.
Doing your physio helps, too. I keep at it because I feel like I can't rightfully moan at my physio unless I've really committed to it.
This is the hardest part, and hardest to talk about. But a doctor in a cold sterile room telling you that you'll be out of action for months, years or beyond is devastating.
It's a battle. I focus on the small wins. The first time I strapped the bottle cage from my bike onto my crutches and could independently carry water beyond the edge of the kitchen sink was a game changer.
There might be a whole lot you can't do, but there'll certainly be a whole lot that you still can. Focus on those. I never knew I was into bookbinding until I had an ACL reconstruction.
Learning to knit was also a great one until I chopped off my fingertip and then even that was out of the question for a while...
Do things happen for a reason? I'm not sure. But you can certainly find reasons for them.
It may simply be because you've broken your normal routine thanks to an injury, which frees up your time and opens you up to opportunities that you may not normally have noticed.
Be open to those opportunities, you may look back and wonder how you ever managed before that injury...
Could you have avoided the fall? It's a hard one to swallow but I broke my arm when I'd had perhaps one beer too many, was pushing for one new trick beyond what I was capable of at that time of night.
But hey, it didn't happen again - at least not for that same reason!
You'll have plenty of time to be introspective, don't rush it. But perhaps there's something to take away.
Call your friends, treat yourself, and don't go too far down rabbit holes on the internet. Especially when it comes to reading emails from strange men in skate shops.
And remember, it'll be alright in the end - and if it's not alright, then its not the end.
Matt @ Vandem
Matt vs Danielle. With 2 knee surgeries and a ~2 year period taken up before I was fighting fit again, I had time to sew a lot of notebooks together... Danielle could still paint and refused to stop hobbling around. Her ankle still swells up if she does too much. Rest!!!
Keep yourself on the right track and be rewarded with sights such as this. Pete here is going through his own battle with cancer and we're sending all the good vibes in his direction. Love you big man.