My unhealthy habits finally caught me.
I write this from my bed in Niseko, Japan at the Popcorn Lodge where I sit in a wonderful self inflicted quarantine. I am ill with a body cold. The kind that makes you feel like crap from head to toe. Literally. I hope this is the final chapter of my travels in the sick lane for an extended period of time.
In reflection, I realize how physically, mentally and morally sick the last six months have made me. My sickness has ranged from fevers, severe stress and anxiety, things I cannot even describe without a medical diagnosis to idiotic financial expenditures like eating out and drinking far too much.
I now realize there have been many recent catastrophic events impacting my health and life. The preceding events will be in my 2015 Reflection.
I suffered a severe ski accident on January 3rd that would send most people to the hospital with life threatening injuries for months.
I was skiing through the fog at Mt. Bachelor when I hit an unmarked jump and went flying 5-10 feet into the air. The difference between this small flight and others was a lack of preparedness and calculation. I was caught off guard. The momentum my body carried into the impact felt like it was going to be enough to shatter me. My body flew through the fog and I sensed a landing that was not going to be good. I landed chest first on my heart / rib cage, followed by my left shoulder, then my head on a cat track that was solid ice.
I paused for a few minutes before being surrounded by my friend Lindsey and a few ski patrollers. I am so grateful that while I was incredibly shaken up I was ok.
I take this experience as a sign that I needed some common sense pounded back into my head. That I had been lacking simple yet important things in life like gratitude to self and others.
I made a life pivoting decision on January 6th. I was going to give notice to G5; not next week, month or year, but tomorrow. My original intention was to travel to Japan, use my PTO balance, get a promotion, stay at the company for 3-6 months then give notice. Basically, do what my mentors, family and friends advised me to do.
I'd been re-reading this message from Steve Jobs posted on the wall in our office for years just questioning if I was one of the crazy ones - Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
I guess I was ready to stare fear in the face and take action even when everything and everyone seemed to be working against me. - From My Ignite Bend Speech - Back to Nature
The writing was on the wall. My time to move into the next chapter of life was here. The page was blank, I just had to start writing and taking action. That evening I prepared what I called “Scott’s Last Lecture” over a few beers. It was emotional to say the least. I felt an incredible chapter of life coming to an end and an unknown one about to begin.
“You cannot start writing your next chapter of life if you keep re-reading the last one.”
I do not expect you to understand my Why, How or What from “Scott’s Last Lecture”. Maybe it will be part of a conversation we have one day.
In reflection, I realize having the freedom to bounce to my own drum and build something new for the world is what i’ve wanted for a very long time. It is why I went to school for Entrepreneurship and International Business. It is why I went through all the struggles of running my own businesses growing up. It is why I am an athlete and outdoor enthusiast.
I look at the last five years not as a negative, but a learning experience. One in which I cannot put a price tag or salary on. I will reflect more later on my near 5 years at G5, but in short I learned 5 simple things
I completed my 2 year eye checkup on January 15th. They dilated my pupils, ran some tests, flashed my eyes with some highly technical lights, ran more tests, numbed my eyes, flashed my eyes again then were complete. The details of my procedure are currently unknown to me, but I do know the side effects were unreal. Like nothing I have ever experienced. It was like my eyes were being detoxed and my entire body went into shock. I felt like a different person. I had to wear sun glasses for the next week and a half, during which time I received my ration of crude remarks and odd stairs from friends and strangers. At one point a confrontation with a complete stranger over me wearing my glasses in a bar nearly resulted in a physical fight. I am grateful I was able to settle the dispute verbally. All over a guy wearing shades indoors. Stupid and childish I know.
I still have some pretty extreme sensitivity to bright light. On a positive note - I do feel my vision improving along with my overall health.
January 17th I moved out of my friends house with the feeling that something had bitten me all over my body...
It might have been the gnarly spider I found in my pile of clean laundry. Maybe it was the spiders babies.
This drove me completely nuts. I mean 100%.
My eyes were in misery, my body felt like it was detoxing and now I was itching everywhere.
The next day I spent 6 hours at the laundry mat cleaning all of my belongings and preparing for my trip to Japan.
On January 20th my friend Drew, John and I departed PDX for Japan. We were off on a trip of a lifetime to ski some of the most amazing powder on earth. To follow one of our shared childhood dreams that we had been working toward for years.
I felt as though my body was getting healthier and healthier except for a few things - I was sleeping A LOT, I was not eating healthy and I experienced stress often throughout each day. Those elements aside I felt great. These should have been a sign that I needed to complete a sick day checklist ASAP.
On the last day of January I created a sick day checklist in my notebook. It was really quite simple:
February 1 I wrote “Today, I am healthy.” twenty one times and sure enough it worked for the day.
February 2nd I began feeling a tickle in my throat. I should have taken this as a sign to take the day off, but it was my friends last day in Japan and I really wanted to spend it with them skiing pow at Rusutsu Ski Resort.
On February 3rd I felt like complete crap. I had come down with a body cold of aches, pains, coughs, snot rockets and more. Sadly, I did not even have the energy to go to the supermarket and stock up on the super foods that my body desperately needed. I got an ok night of sleep that evening but wished for solitude. For a self inflicted quarantine.
The following evening my wish came true. I was gifted a very quiet room to myself where I could quietly work through my sick day checklist and I am so grateful for it.
As I get older I try to start looking for the good in bad situations like being sick, because there is always a doubled edged sword.
As my friend Alexis says - "You can't have the good without the bad."
I’ve learned that sick days are great for:
I realize my path is a result of the choices i’ve made, the turns taken and not.
My hope is simple --->
That you can learn something from my map of life to make yours what you need it to be for you.
To our health, for it is the most important thing we hold.
Summit as friends ^^^
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