Fixing broken things

If my big walk taught me anything, it’s that broken things can be fixed, even a life. I think I’m a little bit broken now, but not too seriously. I’ve just allowed myself to fall into sloth after the walk, and it’s been hard to get the motor started again. But now, and for the rest of my life, I have this motivating memory. I did something. I think it was significant.

So stand up and get moving, old man.

Was at the dentist yesterday, or rather the dental school where I can get free treatment, given my iffy financial situation.

I think we’ll be able to hang onto the house, and I think we might be about to turn a corner there -because the travel insurance company is back up and running.

I’ve been working on journalling up the BIG WALK, something I didn’t do well at the time. I tried my best to do regular live-streams on Facebook (@CapsBIGWALK) letting people know where I was, what I was doing and why – so there’s a lot of images and video to go through. If you’re interested in reading, you can see the breakdown here, so far up to Day 8.

Oh incidentally, yesterday I achieved two things during my visit to the dental school (aside from letting a diligent dental student hone their craft with me as the crash test dummy, haha)

I stopped at Office Works and printed out this poster made up by my friend Barry for my other friend Archer (who I think is out of hospital today after more than 100 days in paediatric intensive care after his gruelling cancer treatment).

I met a bunch of people struggling with cancer on my BIG WALK, and I love, absolutely adore that many of them took hope from my story, that you can push through even a terminal prognosis, and it’s side effects and ramifications.

For me, those themes of hope and compassion were signatures of the walk. I learned how to love (myself and others) again, how to reinvest in life after becoming .. pretty much a living ghost.

It was an unexpected delight to see people (like my friend Einstein, met in Ulladulla) take those themes and wind them into their own lives. I had an instinct that I could create a map showing a path to fixing a broken life – but I didn’t know for sure if people would be able to successfully follow it.

Oh yeah .. and I dropped my Captain Australia sunglasses in the loo.

It’s been more than 2 months since I finished the walk, and in my sloth I’ve been regaining weight (inching back up toward 100kg again, although nowhere near where I was pre-walk (140kg). Radiation induced thyroid damage and being 50+, weight gain is no joke.

But now I have this little superhero character still alive inside me, so I can never slip too far. “WAKE UP SIMON”, I can almost hear him urging. “Get your arse in gear, mate”

I’m not broken, or at least nowhere near as severely as I was after my cancer treatments and subsequent decline, but I have allowed myself to slip somewhat. All good though, getting back on track 🙂

My focuses .. foci ? .. in the short term are:

Developing a series of children’s books framed around people I met on the walk. To the right is a kind of proof of concept cover mockup. I’ve reached out to a bunch of standout characters already, and everybody is interested and seems to love the idea.

But importantly, *I* love it.

I need to make money, I need to get in front of the mortgage and pay for my kids’ schooling and whatnot – but at the same time, I’ve decided if you don’t LOVE something, you simply should minimise it’s footprint in your life.

Been working with my lovely friends and business partners Graham & Geoff to get the travel insurance company (murdered by our drastic COVID strategies) back up and running, but that’s less of a labour of love. I still see value and meaning in it, especially in bringing ethics and integrity into an industry that I personally am a bit iffy about. Partnered with ALLIANZ, one of the largest insurance companies in the world.

And aside from that – health. Walking. Walking. More walking. As I lose more weight, I introduce jogging, stairs, general athletics like clambering up and down over picnic tables. My goal is to put all this obesity and health stuff behind me. 100 days is the deadline.

So. Getting on track.

Sure, I did SUPERHERO UP FOR SCIENCE! but I haven’t woven that relentlessness into my day to day life just yet. I did bring back hope. I did get to keep many of my gains – like I don’t really morbidly dwell on cancer any more. And I have kinda fallen in love with myself. But I’m not a go-getting dynamo in a day-to-day sense (yet).

But I’m starting. And I think the key is … try and do what you love.

And do something meaningful, and ideally kind. Every day.

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