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It’s been a wide open fall/winter over here in the Meston camp. The trucking business is booming; phones ringing off the hook and seems like the trucks barely cool down from one load to the next. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a little MX/MTB fall riding in the midst of the fourth quarter hustle. Hoping to get some time in on the slopes. I have still been dealing with health issues, chronic immune suppression and fatigue. Turns out I had a staph infection among other things causing inflammation. Maybe I am overly impatient but I didn’t have much luck going through our healthcare system to get my situation sorted. Thanks to Jared and his recommendation, I started seeing Corey Deacon at Neurvana Health, so excited to get things resolved on that front and get back to it! You can check out the episode that Jared and Chris did with Corey, super informative!

I would be lying if I said being “laid up” for the past 5 months has not taken a toll on me. I think my soul heavily relies on getting out and being active and connecting with the people and the world around me. After dragging my tongue in the spokes in my final few races and calling it a season, I thought the best course of action was to rest. I took it to a whole other level though, I did absolutely nothing. It’s debatable but I do believe I made some healthy choices like trying an elimination diet to see if it would positively influence my auto-immune markers. Aside from that and a few other things, I did nothing.

The goal was rest and sleep, so I would sleep in without an alarm and go for light bike rides. This habit fueled complacency which led me to the soul focus of rest. Some days I wouldn’t even get outside anymore! I don’t need to go to far into detail but I am believer in being a product of your environment and eventually I felt like an age old Twinkie that got pushed to the back of the shelf in a rural convenience store. Ya ever go to a gas station in a tiny town in Saskatchewan? They don’t push a lot of goods out the front door, and some of the stuff on the shelves is collecting dust. To be fair to myself, I have never dealt with something so debilitating but I neglected a lot of the things that keep me motivated and sane.

With all this downtime, what better time to catch up on all my TV watching, social scrolling and news watching! I’d like to think I became a pretty good critic of the digital world in this time. But I was guilty of what a lot of critics are and that’s letting my emotions influence my logic. On quite a few occasions I had written out a pointless repost of some left or right wing article trying to share my two cents only to delete it. What is it going to achieve? My personal views, like yours, are swimming in a sea of 7.9 billion, unless you live in the echo chamber of Facebook (soon-to-be Metaverse). Login to Twitter, it’s a bloody war zone on there. By the end of my intake, I want to find a childhood toy, curl up with a blankie and suck on my thumb. Turn on the news and its just as soul sucking.

The point I am trying to get at is we’re currently living in a very strange world. It’s very interesting to me how small things can compound over time to what we see them as in the present and as history proves, we will probably deal with many more cycles like this to come. It feels like a social experiment where there is a question of “What will happen if we do this?” I feel we are currently living the result of the answer to this theoretical question (whatever it may be). Although I am not a fan of powerful people that make decisions out-of-favour in empowering the individual or fail to make tools available to the individual (because no official is laying their head down at night wondering how YOUR day was and if you put food on the table and paid your bills), I am not here to share anything political.

Relationships are dwindling or tearing apart, family turmoil, civil wars online. Hell, even Sloaney Bear and I have had our ups and downs through this. While navigating the chaos and hoards of finger-pointing information, I think we all can agree that we are grasping the importance of self (interest and investment in you, the individual), our house (our atmosphere and environment) and our circle (family and friends). But along the way we seem to be ultimately overlooking the people that exist outside of our bubble or people that were once in it but we deem no longer to have a place. People we pass or banter with online, that we do not know or have had the opportunity to formally meet are all on the same mission as you and me. The term, “we’re in this together” is greatly undermined but holds so much more truth than we realize. At the end of the day, we are all trying to cater to the factors I stated. Compassion and empathy seem nowhere to be found lately or its there but its drowned out by keyboard wars or some BS on the news. But maybe asking ourselves questions as to why we’re getting certain results, reactions, or encounters and why the people on the other end are behaving the way that they are. If we feel attacked or threatened, we are going to react, its fight or flight, it’s in the human DNA. But I don’t think people wake up in a day excited to start a shitstorm. Not to justify poor behaviour but at bare minimum to make sense, maybe they feel like they were done wrong? I think most wake up hoping to be happy, healthy, productive, safe and financially stable. I know I have a lot in common with a person with those goals. I’d probably get along with someone with those goals. Though the way we achieve them may look very different! I may not agree with them, and without an understanding I may actually criticize them but I can at least respect that we’re both trying to live our lives the best way we know how. For example, one person might think eating oranges will save or better their quality of life, they may even feel others should eat oranges too! Another might not subscribe to that idea and have their reasons as to why, but both are ultimately trying to do what they feel as an individual is right for them.

A lot of people know that I am a big advocate for mental health and for me I go through peaks and valleys. The past 5 months have been a grind, a pretty tough valley, but plugging away. Grinding away figuring out my physical health. Getting back to work has helped a ton, keeping me busy and moving and interacting with people. Adjusting to being a supportive boyfriend on the other end of a long distance relationship while Sloane is working towards her dreams in Edmonton at law school. I’m still not perfect at investing in my “circle” but everyday I try to be better than the last, checking in on my friends and family. It’s also become a big goal of mine (and I’m feeling the weight of it) to help my parents achieve their goals. They have done so much for me and our family, I want to repay them. Those seem to cover my current “factors”. I am trying to live with more compassion and views of empathy and asking questions of the sort. What are these fellow people trying to achieve? What are their goals? Are their views and actions just a different way of trying to achieve similar goals and cater to the factors behind them? Because at the end of the day I want to be happy, healthy, productive, safe and financially free and I believe that you do too!

Love you all!

Side notes:

  • Dylan Wright is awesome and I am jealous of him and also pissed that he has set the damn bar so high *Anyone want to help me get to Europe to race an MXGP??

  • Rest peacefully Brad Gutek and Dale Ludwig much love to the families and all of our moto friends touched by these two

  • We would love to take Bent to the next level, side hustles are a lot harder than anticipated, lets see how we make out

  • Good luck to Julien Benek, Guiallme St. Cyr, Cole Thompson and Jess Pettis in SX

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