'Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles. It takes away today's peace.' - Randy Armstrong
Kon'nichiwa, and welcome to episode #4 of #DOUGIT with Tim Lepper.
Did you see surfer Mick Fanning get attacked by a shark last week???!!! S&^t was bananas, scare me out of pyjamas, crazy! Check it out here if you haven't. After watching the footage I felt I had a new lease on life. A good lease, with free upgrades, regular Omega 3 oil checks and insurance for off road, in the surf, where ever in the world adventures. The world felt abundant with opportunity. And all from seeing some surfer dude named Mick be knocked off his board by Jaws and come out unscathed. Everything was better than okay, it was coconut ice cream hokey pokey ice cream, you scream, I scream, "shark"! ohh wow you're still alive, lets go get an ice cream, "okay, can I get two scoops", sure thing buddy!
Funnily enough seeing Jaws at J-Bay (the surf break, not a pot smoking hang out) did not make me scared of surfing or sharks or more risk adverse, rather the opposite. To realise there's a shark potentially waiting for us everyday in the ocean of life is a liberating feeling. To feel the fear and do it anyway, that's how I want to live. It makes a rejected date, having flatulence in yoga, seeing your granddad losing his memory, and spending an hour trying to teach seniors how to use facebook all seem so small and trivial, and in the face of 800 pounds with nasty dentistry ultimately insignificant. On your death bed you wont remember the small things, but you will tell your kid about surfing with great whites.
And that sharky segue brings me to my dear fear adverse friend Tim Lepper. Trade swell for snow, and J-Bay for Japan, and like Mick, Timmy recently had a life changing scare as he broke his back while back flipping on skis. No novice to extreme sports, Tim had been flipping and flopping for many years as an accomplished skier, kite surfer, adventurer, and explorer. For him the risk of turning his world around and upside down was was as routine as cooking toast, yet on this day something went a miss and the toast landed macadamia butter side down on a cold Japanese floor.
Head over heels he fell, not in a good way, over rotating he landed on his back, and fractured his T-12 thoracic vertebrae. Lucky not to be paralysed, he had feelings in his extremities and balls and also feelings of "this sucks snow balls!" and "how do you say "why me" in Japanese?". Also luckily, or more accurately diligently, Timmy had off-piste insurance which after some negotiation with the insurance company, doctors who were concerned about his infrequent shitting in a bed pan, and some nurses who spoke no english but tried to spell out to him to do an Evel - f*^&^g stupid - Knievel bed to bed transfer he managed to get himself and his broken back back to NZ on business class.
On his return he was carrying some extra plastic around his mid drift, plenty of stories and greeted by a happy as Larry/Lepper family. The waves of hugs and "would you like another cup of tee T?" soon faded to the reality that the rest of his travels would be put on the back burner/breaker and there was a long road ahead of not being on the road. With little to do for a guy who's used to doing a lot I could only imagine how difficult this would of been physically, and more importantly mentally. However, seeing opportunity in the obstacle, our zen master and enlightened mate Shaneo, convinced Timmy to join him for a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, after all, there's not many times in your life where your only option is to take the next 10 days and sit around doing nothing, except maybe a back to back cricket test match.
To be honest, I didn't think he would do it. Unlike the happiest guy I know, Shaneo, Tim's never done any meditation or even looked into such an adventure of the inner workings of the mind. I wasn't sure he would be allowed by doctors for medical reasons, by his parents because of fears of turning into a looney, and by himself, who like many of us, is greatest fear is sitting alone with ourselves. Scarier than any shark in the sea, the thought of just being with our thoughts for a moment let alone 10 days is what the world seems to be paddling/running from.
So when Tim called me up the day before to say he got accepted into the course at the last minute and needed a ride up to Auckland I knew it was meant to be, as there was no other way, and I had delayed my own trip back to Auckland a day and could now give him give him a ride up and we could chat about taking the ride of his life and having no chat. It was a fantastic road trip up and I couldn't wait to get Tim on the Podcast to talk about his experience after, which brings me back to this episode.
I hope you enjoy his now wiser words. And rather than taking something out of the episode, I hope you can lose something from it. Maybe it's your fear of sharks, or adventure, or asking out girls/boys, or looking stupid in a yoga class or maybe it's getting over the biggest fear, being with ourselves.
When the Buddha was asked, or so the internet says...: “What have you gained from Meditation?” He replied: “Nothing.” “However”, Buddha said, “let me tell you what I lost : Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Old, Age and Death.”
Think less, experience more,