August was a massive month. We ran True Grit, a military inspired obstacle course, and began putting together a mental health team for next year in our Facebook group, we went on a retreat in the bush to connect with nature and detoxify our bodies, we caught up with Emma, one of the first people we interviewed, for a follow up, I’ve been encouraging others to start a video journal and talking about the benefits a lot, and people are starting to actually do it and discover the benefits for themselves! While I’ve been recording discussions with Joel we’ve also realized the potential for these kinds of discussions to transform people’s minds. I am also starting Facebook live broadcasts with anyone who wants to talk about mental health this month too!
I’ll start from the beginning this month. Emma had the idea to flip the script and interview me a while ago and I thought that sounded fun and interesting and great for both of us in terms of personal growth. She wants to have a career in film and loves this stuff and I would have some valuable insights about how my subjects feel and I’d also reveal some aspects of myself to the audience that I hadn’t really thought about sharing. So when she came down for her follow up interview we also recorded this!
Emma has grown heaps in the past year. She’s one of my friends who has really grabbed the bull by the horns. Every time she visits, she seems to try to generate as much positive energy, wisdom and insights as possible. She is definitely taking her growth seriously and challenging her mental illness constantly, and it appears to be working extremely well in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes she is still a mess, but that’s ok. We all are!
The next powerful experience was with one of my all time best mates, Joel! He came back from 8 months in Thailand where he played a season of professional soccer and traveled the country with his partner, Caitlan (for those of you who REALLY keep up with us, that’s Amy’s sister!) and dropped in to record a chat. I knew he had a rough childhood, but he is one of the most driven, unstoppable dudes I’ve ever met so I thought he had everything in his life completely sorted. I DIDN’T know he had a fear of public speaking and being on camera was his kryptonite. In my head, I imagined him sitting down, saying a few interesting things about his rough childhood and then blasting out some powerful inspiring insights that would blow people’s minds but when he sat down he turned to stone. We ended up recording a chat where he was just pushing through his fear of public speaking and then we wrapped it up.
After the cameras were off we discussed the experience and he said he wanted to overcome his fear and tell his story, even if it took several interviews. So he came back every day, except one Saturday (because I was running True Grit) to sit down and face his fears. The result is a recording of a very strong capable dude, fighting his way through fear and trauma in real time, right in front of our eyes. It was an amazing experience to be able to capture.
Joel and I started training together a bit and we organised the retreat together (if you click the link in the introduction, the retreat story is pretty hilarious) and then at True Grit, I met Mark Daniels, an above knee amputee. He was a competitor. I ended up running the course at the same time as him and he went before me on my own personal most feared obstacle, and he was the one who yelled out and pushed me to make it that last meter and make it 100% completion of all obstacles. I thanked him as we moved on to the next obstacle and made a mental note to try to find him after the event. I did find him and when I asked him to come on for a chat he was keen so I took Joel with me as my camera man, because Amy was at work. I figured it would be a massive growth experience for him and I also knew he would get along well with someone like Mark Daniels, who is also all about pushing the limits and physical fitness. I don’t think myself or Joel have been the same since we spent the morning chatting to Mark.
And then finally at the end of the month, I sat down with Joel again to record a discussion about where he is at now, after facing his fears and trauma, going on the retreat, meeting Mark Daniels and thinking about his future. This is the interview I originally imagined and Joel overcame all of his challenges and got there in just two weeks, proving that he is every bit as driven as I thought he was. He just needed to get all of his pain out so he could process it, proving it ain’t weak to speak.
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