Hello again friends and thank you for taking the time to check the ‘Air Mail’ mail via the new blog here at my Authors website. I can honestly say now that having completed the long seemingly endless process of penning an autobiography, it feels a bit strange to be again writing a blog. I am not sure exactly what the reasons are as I have written many blogs, hundreds in fact. However now that I have taken this seemingly blind leap of faith with the endeavour of how ‘Motocross Saved My Life From Its Darkness’ it does feel quite different. I guess in a sense after wearing many different hats in the Motocross media world in recent years, I now feel like somewhat of a ‘free agent’. I am however no stranger to this process as quite few years back, I seriously fancied a career in journalism. A term that we often hear in the writing world is ‘Freelance’ It fit back then and it certainly fits in my life again now.
The year in fact was 1989’ and I had just recently come out of a seriously, self medicated, alcoholic fog. A year prior I had left my home province of B.C. and landed up in Alberta to evade provincial wide arrest warrants. Things were quite messy, heck it was no secret, I was a mess. Even if the long arm of the law could not locate me, I was certain that those behind the unwritten codes of the ‘underworld’ that I was immersed in and had broken, eventually would. Looking back now, having written this book, I am able to take a more introspective and empathetic approach to the nature of the illnesses that I have suffered from. As with most things that I have experienced along this journey, I believe wholeheartedly that timing in life (be it good or bad) is everything and can be a game changer.
In this particular case and time that I am referring to, it was certainly no different. Without going too heavily into detail as it is all in my ‘memoir’ I believe that this narrow vortex of opportunity that I was able to take advantage of, had a huge impact on my writing confidence moving forward. I also believe that it was one of the many key pieces, laid along the way in my life, to eventually becoming the author of my own book. Pieces that at the time seemed to have no real long term meaning or consequence. After writing my book, I am now able to see the fallacy in every word of that type of thought process. Whether I chose to recognize it or not, I now know and believe that everything that happens or drops along life’s pathway, prepares us for something else in the future. With a few months of sobriety under my belt at that time, I set out and made a connection with a man who was the managing editor of a major Calgary based newspaper. With the mental fog in my head somewhat lifted, I yearned to write. I have never considered myself a great communicator when verbalizing my thoughts. However when if comes to writing, for me things seem to flow a lot more ‘uninhibited’ . Ever since I was a kid in elementary school, I always wanted to write stories about the thoughts in my head that interested me. I am sure my english teacher in grade three found it incredibly entertaining to read my story of how my then Hero, Evel Knievel was about to jump, ‘The Great Barrier Reef’ of all things on his motorcycle! I am not even sure that I knew back then exactly what or where the Great Barrier Reef’ even was. What I did know and believe though was that if anyone could jump it, my Hero could and that I needed to tell the world exactly how.
My new found mentor agreed to meet me at his office for an interview to become a weekly contributor to the ‘Newspaper’ During that meeting, I made every effort to be candid while giving him an honest account of what I believed I could provide his paper and the community with. He concluded our meeting by asking me what I wanted to submit first and when I could have it in by. I was not sure that I was prepared for that response at all. When I told him where my interests were and what I planned to submit, he shook my hand in agreement. I do not even remember asking him what format he wanted it in. All I remember is heading out to the nearest secondhand store to buy a used typewriter. As I set out to be the next, ’Slap Maxwell’ (much like I am today, on the verge of releasing my own book), I do not remember having any expectations, reservations or being nervous at all about how my articles would be received. I just did what I believed in and gave my honest account in my own words on what my perception was on whatever or whoever I was writing about.
Again without giving too much away, my time with the ‘Calgary Mirror’ as brief as it was, was a huge building block long before I ever visualized becoming an author. One of the definite highlights that I have encountered and experienced on my journey as a writer, is that writing intensifies my value and connectivity to almost everything that I chose to put to paper. Things that had gone unconnected in my life for years or may have for an eternity, now have special connection and meaning to me, thanks to my writing. Not just the good stuff either, even the bad as well. Embracing the complete picture has allowed me a newfound freedom that would not have been possible without seeing this book project through. I feel incredibly blessed to have not given up on this process before its completion. I am not sure that I know or will ever know the answers to many of life’s mysteries. I do however know and believe that being able to write mine out, helped to make it all the more comprehensibly real. There are some things in life that I will never be proud of that is a no brainer. But if sharing my experiences, strengths and hopes, motivates even one person to never stop trying or give up on their own personal dreams, then my mission will have been accomplished.
If you have any questions or subjects that you would like to see covered or reviewed in a future blog, please e-mail them to me here at the site. I am by no means an expert on any of the many current ‘now issues’ that I have experienced and confront in my book head on, ie; Surviving, PTSD / Multiple Trauma / Substance Abuse / Depression etc. However I am always more than happy to share my experience, strength and hopes on any of these subjects with you all. After all, how each and every one of those has affected, impacted and shaped the man I have become, will be available right here on November 1st in 'How Motocross Saved My Life From Its Darkness'
Brent ‘Airmail’ Worrall
We are very excited about the upcoming release of 'Motocross Saved My Life From Its Darkness' for more information check out the video trailer video below as well as the book page.
Hello friends and welcome aboard the inaugural flight of what will become a regular piece here at my Author's website, simply called ‘Air Mail’. This new outlet will provide me a way of airing out, whatever is on my mind the way I see it. I am hopeful that this endeavour will see us all lift off, take flight and return full circle with ‘Happy Landings’. If those last two words sound familiar, you are on to something. A signature term coined by a man that I believe had a monumental and significant historical impact on the collective scripts, that many of us have written. (More on that later in the blog.) Before we get there though, let me ‘Air’ this out, (no pun intended, okay maybe a little). This blog is not an in depth dissection or glorification of my book, ’Motocross Saved My Life: From Its Darkness’. But trust me, exactly how, in its entirety is all in the book and written in every gut wrenching, living colour detail imaginable. Quite frankly my story is not pretty at all, but I am grateful that I have the opportunity to share it. Sharing it for one reason and one reason only. That is, that others who face any kind of seemingly insurmountable adversity or personal life trauma, may be able to identify in some way and never give up before their own personal miracle. Or as in my case, ‘Miracles’. I believe in my heart, that we are all Trauma Survivors’ of sorts, or of one kind or another. In my case, you may be surprised to know that my life changing spinal cord injury, and longevity prognosis, was not even close to the worst thing, or things that I have experienced and have overcome. I will go to my grave believing deeply in that fact. The book's release date is tentatively set for November 1st and all details will be posted on this site.
In this blog, you will get the real me; uncensored and unfiltered on many things. What I say and write here is only based on what I have experienced and how I feel on the issues that I will chose to tackle and talk about. Be it a spoiler alert or not, I will meet head on and share my thoughts and experiences on many resonating, life changing and potentially life threatening ’now’ issues. Issues such as surviving, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) / Depression / Trauma / Brain Injury / Substance Abuse and more. However, I will not solely focus on those not so fun, but necessary to talk about issues. As with most things in life, no matter who we are or what we are trying to overcome, a healthy balance is imperative to any kind of success. With that being said, there is very good reason that ‘Motocross Saved My Life’ From Its Darkness’. My heart will always beat louder and prouder to the music made by the great sport of ‘Motocross’s - ‘Steel Horse Symphony’. Its invigoration and senses stimulation, whether on or off the motorcycle is an illicit euphoria, like no other that I have ever experienced. Again, once a Motocrosser, always a Motocrosser. Now that the book has been written, the sport again has my fullest and most militant attention.
In 2017, when I shut down everything that I had put my heart and soul into for over four years, with the ‘Canadian Moto Show’ - ‘Motocross Performance Magazine’ along with being an announcer for Future West Moto’ ; to write, It was the most difficult decision that I have ever had to make. Referring back to the letter I wrote at MXP Magazine when I announced my intentions of doing so (which is posted on this sites media page), I admit I was completely worn down physically and not looking forward to what turned out to be a two year process of writing a 187,000 word manuscript. Throughout the process of writing it all down and making it all real, I unfortunately became very ill. The isolation and constant replaying of the worst tapes imaginable, saw me spiral into a very dark a deeply depressed ‘Post Traumatic Stress’ state. Making it all the more hurtful, was in order to piece together a devastatingly dysfunctional life timeline, I had to again step away from what I believe saved my life, Motocross. From January of this year up to July 1st, I lost over forty pounds. I also had a serous cardiac event on June 25th where my heart slowed to almost a stop and my blood pressure was non-existent. Again, thoughts of my death's eminence flooded my head. After over an hour of an Emergency Response team stabilizing me in my bed, I was rushed off to hospital.
I have since undergone a battery of medical tests at four different hospitals and am not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination. In somewhat of a spoiler alert, I have battled a life long condition in my heart that is life threatening under certain stressful circumstances. I have also been battling a suspected neurological issue in my spinal cord. I will be having a final diagnosis scan in Hospital this week. Many of the signals from my neurological centre as a result of my injury complications are causing problems with my organs, most of which are impacting my heart and bladder functions. I have had chronic bladder issues since my life saving surgery and the tachycardia is related to my hearts mitre valve problem diagnosed back in 1983. Compounding and complicating all of this, is that I have also recently been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s powerful and negatively impactful symptoms, I now know all too well are very real. The chart added illustrates many of which I have personally endured.
Adding into all of that; living a life filled with multiple head injures and self medicating, depression and other sport related injuries for most of it. Yes, things have been a struggle recently. These issues are real, and have had a profound impact on my physical being and demeanour. I fought it for many years, but am now thankfully living proof that I now realize, that the symptoms are secondary to my most formidable foes in life, in the form of self medicating. It is never easy to say, hey; I am just another person who needs help. If honest for long enough, we all need help with something. I was never able to succeed at anything in my personal life unless I surrounded myself with winners. I believe that the sport of Motocross taught me just how to do that and become a winner. When I left the sport years ago, I always went with the flow and was a bi-product of my environment and the company I kept. All of the dark places that I am not proud of are recounted in my memoir. They have to be because as soon as I forget how bad my life of self reliance and self medicating ever was, I am in grave danger of going back. I am very proud to have stayed the course of my sobriety, throughout all of which I have faced head on in the last six and half years. Without that, I know that I would not have a chance of overcoming what I am currently now battling.
I have no problem with meeting my maker again on his terms, one day. I however do not believe for a minute though, that my earthly mission is complete or nearing the end. As tough as life is today, even at times having to live from moment to moment, its quality far exceeds any of my darkest days. Nearing the finish line for the book's release date has again given me something positive and tangible to focus on. This project has been the longest ‘Marathon’ that I have ever or will ever participate in. For me, today can always be a good day by staying in the moment and focussing on the now. I call myself a One Trick Pony’ simply meaning that I can only ever do my best work, one minute and one revolution of the wheel at a time.
Now before we get all excited about the upcoming Montreal Supercross or the finale’ of your local outdoor series, let’s talk about what every racer hopes to achieve and that is those, ‘Happy Landings’. You may have already figured out, that phrase was the signature of my first ever two-wheeled idol, Evel Knievel. This Sunday September 8th marks the 45th anniversary of Evel’s il-fated ’Snake River Canyon’ jump. When I set out to write this book, I felt compelled to visit the Canyon jump site that is still intact. Sitting on top of the mound where Evel’s X-2 Sky Cycle launched from was spine- chillingly incredible. My wife Gisela and I spent three full days there at the jump site and pieced together this great video.
Have a look if you would be so kind and if I have shared something that has resonated or struck a cord with any of you, please share it with your family and friends. Simply put, ‘Together We Can’ and we are all living proof that #LifeIsGold
Author of; ‘Motocross Saved My Life From Its Darkness’
Brent ‘Airmail’ Worrall