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S2 E6 Chris Winwood: Endurance cycling, backcountry and working in adventure (AUTO TRANSCRIPT)

NB. Accurate transcripts take time/money beyond my current funds. I am slowing working through, but in the meantime this transcript has been automatically transcribed. Unfortunately there are errors in it, making it difficult to read in places.

If you would like an accurate transcript, please email and I will provide one asap (no cost to you).

FRAN (in studio): Hello, everyone. It is Fran here on just before we get started. I have a couple of super quick corrections to this episode. You might have noticed. I dropped it quite late last night and there were a few mistakes I made. So first off, Chris rode 375 kilometers. So just 100 kilometers I missed off there. Sorry about that, Chris. Secondly, I wanted to say the music, as always, is from Kev Row on Soundcloud. He does offer some great public domain music, so thank you Kev for that one. Here we go, on with the show.

CHRIS: I look back. There's a couple of things I did like uh, my dad actually took me on a cycling, like not very far. When he got home the heat three a four k down from their house. He said, Look, you still did it. You're still doing it. It's fine. You didn't. Nothing's changed there. You're still riding a bike. Ah, that hasn't changed everything. You can still do this stuff.

FRAN (in studio): Hello, adventurers. I am Fran Turauskis, and you are listening to Seize Your Adventure on today's episode is, in fact, the last big chat that I have recorded for this season. There are gonna be more episodes, but they are going to be a little bit different. So you have some new things to look forward to over the next couple of months. But in this chapter day, I spoke to Chris Winwood. Now you've heard me mention Chris before because he is actually one of my patrons. But I was introduced to Chris about a year ago via the British Columbia Epilepsy Society. So Chris is an epilepsy education and outreach worker for the B.C.ES. In the summer last year, Chris also raise some money for them by doing a cycling challenge from Prince George to Jasper, which for those of you like me who don't really know British Columbia is a pretty sizable distance off 275 kilometers in just two days. So Chris is pretty hard core. He is also a ski instructor, and he's based way up in Prince George in the vastness of Canada. Up there on on Chris's Facebook page, the diaries of an epileptic duck bag otaku, he has beautiful pictures of pine forest and trees and rocks and mountains Onda, all of that kind of thing that you would expect off an adventurer based in Canada. Now the conversation today is very similar to conversations that I've had in the past. I've often talked about the fact that doing adventure sports and challenges and getting outdoors can help someone keep a sense of themselves through an epilepsy diagnosis. On this conversation with Chris is no different. We do talk about that, but in it we also talk about what came before that when the epilepsy took away his sense of self. So Chris did a B A in nature based tourism at university. His independence really relied on being healthy and able to drive on his career, relied on him being able to get out and do adventures in a professional context. So when he started having seizures when he was 21 it changed his life entirely. Andi, I just want to give a couple of content warnings for this episode because Chris does talk about his depression due to epilepsy, misuse of alcohol on a moment of crisis that comes in the middle of the conversation. But towards the end of the conversation, we do talk more about his adventure challenges on the massive bike rides that he undertook. So the second content warning I have is that there is thesis more list of swear words in this. To be honest with you, I kind of forgot that it was a swear word until I was editing it. So if there is anybody who doesn't like swears, just be aware of that. But hopefully it won't stop you from enjoying this. So here it is. My chat with Chris Wynwood.

FRAN (to CHRIS): So you said that you moved over to Canada when you were 14. So when did you start having the seizures? I just confirmed that

CHRIS: it was 21 when I had my first well noticeable seizures full of tonic clinic. I was working as a landscaper and work. Told a under a really hot sun. And, um, just didn't drink enough water while I was at work. Got home, Supposed to go mountain biking with a friend. And unfortunately, he was unable to make it, so I just kind of went whatever. I'll just go by myself. I've been a lot of not biking and sent in local area. Just drove their government like out. Just went really easy. Short ride. Um, and I didn't drink enough water when I was doing that, and I had eaten, so I just dropped 10 minutes before I was gonna get in my car. That does scare me.

FRAN: What would the limitations you were given when you have that tonic? Chronic seizure? Did they say that you couldn't drive for a certain amount of time? Did you get your license essentially revoked for the moment?

CHRIS: So what happened with my first seizure? Is that the physicians here? This isn't to tell. You can drive a six months on, end your life and goes, you know, books in your in your house, and it doesn't come out of the locker is not mandated to inform the driving authority that you have had a seat here. Yes, I would say that a lot of people either straight up don't tell their doctor that they're having seizures because there's a lot of frustration, I think, particularly with length of time. I I just simply said, Yep, six months. No driving will reassess in the in the six months. Beyond that, of course, it's doctor's discretion. Six months is the minimum for a non provokes, easier three months. Work provokes here. So you know, if you can trace the roots lives the seizure ho. I didn't sleep enough. This meds drank too much. Then you can say a three month seizure free with doctor with good conversation with your neurologist. Then they can confirm that you can drive or is it is whether it works.

FRAN: Yeah, that's really interesting, because it sounds like in in a way is very similar to the UK We, the doctors don't have to inform the DVLA about seizures and things like that, but we have toe own up to it if we've had a seizure. One of the things that I find is the not driving I've never driven even before I started having the seizures is something that I kind of decided. Teoh Delay. It does make nature, Andi adventure sports less accessible. The amount of things where I have toe ask someone for a lift or I can't do something because I can't get there by public transport is just incredible. And I think it is one of those things that for me, because I never had it, I didn't miss it. But certainly it is. I think the thing that a lot of people find the hardest is not being able to drive and concertedly see why, especially in other countries like Canada in America, where it's so integral to your your society and the distances that you're talking about. What did you do during that six months? Did you have someone that could drive you around? Or was there another way that you dealt with that

CHRIS: U S O the first six months that that first time period? So it's kind of put all of this first seizure into perspective. I just come back from an outward down trip in Colorado and Alaska and done a lot of climbing. I developed a lot of really cool outdoor skills as well as interpersonal skills. I might come back to Prince George hoping to continue all of that growing. And I remember I promised myself that I was gonna move out, that I was gonna finally leave the nest Galangal. My parents lived 20 minutes outside of Prince George, so it's not impossible. But I moved into Prince George into the town. Most I moved into town. I was able to gain access to the public transit that was available on from from town. It was a little bit easier to manage, and I just brought my mountain bike with me and mountain like to university. If I missed the Buster, if I could get the bus, I got bust. So it didn't require a chef to move as far as that goes. And I was lucky enough that I was relatively close in the university and climbing gym and other areas. And that's what I could figure out roughly where to where I work you get to.

FRAN: When was the last time you had a seizure? You currently seizure free or you?

CHRIS: I've been seizure free Oh, Ghoshal. Anything? Last one was October 2020 15 e trying yet on the altar. But 29 seed I was down in Vancouver visiting friends. And, uh, actually, I'm having my first meeting with the BCS on the second day of the trip I was getting from my friend's house to the sky train system in Vancouver. Vancouver's public transit system is just amazing. And if I hear people complain about it enough, we're and I was actually on the not on the stairs, thank God, not on the platform itself. But I was just about to get on the stairs and I dropped. No, but, you know, I just came to ambulance and everything, like, you know, you're in a foreign, that I don't live in the bank. People say I have no idea I'm going. And that was because I wasn't playing the on my ID. No, on a city that I don't live in in a very large city biter living. And I'm country mouse in a big town mouse setting. And that is very much, very much what it feels like when I go down there. But that was scary. I'm lucky I had friends and the members of the BCS, Cam and Paul, they just were excellent because I sent them a message. And I was, like, So funny story. I had a seizure on the way. Do you think it so I won't be making our meeting? And I'd given. Paul actually came to the hospital one with really, dear friends Curtain Kelly. And they're definitely both those guys are instrumental me being able to even be here both in the support sense and mental health sense.

FRAN: Yeah, that's something which you are very open with. And there's a few videos that I have seen you've done on Facebook, and you shared on your Facebook page in particular...

[Audio from one of Chris’ Facebook videos. Wind noises.]

CHRIS (on video audio): the diagnosis itself greatly changed who I was of the day that I found out that this was gonna be something that wasn't going to go away. It was gonna continue. My life has been in the back country of Canada. Um, all of my training, my career, my aspirations have been in the mountains on lakes of North America. So when I was diagnosed, I really felt that epilepsy had done me and I thought I couldn't do anything I wanted to anymore. Um I felt it was so restrictive. Um, and I just shot down.

[Wind noises and video fade out]

CHRIS (to FRAN): Mentally, the mental health aspect of epilepsy is really like challenging. I'd say epilepsy is an invisible disorder. You don't see it. It's not like a wheelchair. It's not like chemo patient that left you something that you don't see until you see the senior. So the mental health aspect of it for me was I was gonna be a mountain guide, so I would I just come off outward bound. As I said, I was literally on top of my game of it. It's not ever been I was in the past mental place I've ever been like my birthday was in September. I was planning where which mountain trip I was going to be doing on that I literally was on top of the world. But after my first seizure, I probably sunk into about 18 months of butter, depression and desolation. Not that you know, that I showed it. Not that I was always 100% aware of it, but I was on on top of that leptin medications. I was also on various antidepressants, and I can't recall the name right now and Of course, those things are an entirely different kettle of fish. You know, you you missed a dose of epilepsy Medic medication, and you're more likely to have a seizure. You miss a dose of an anti depressant and you think you're really good for you Missed it, and then you miss it. Naturally, you just you break down. So I was I am put myself in a situation where I was so trained and so ready for the outdoors, then, having had a seizure, I was going to trying to be in a very professional capacity in a very unpredictable environment. So backcountry mountaineering, these air environments where stuff can go wrong very quickly if you're not clever on making decisions and ah, the my my neurologist at the time, who I will always say is a really good neurologist. Really good guy. I've met him outside of a patient on text and even I in a patient contact seems lovely now, but unfortunately, he didn't just say no one's gonna sign up. You might get that. And of course not really what you want to hear and that that definitely has started a downward spiral and from there I was trying to figure out what I was gonna do. I look back, there's a couple of things I did like, uh, my dad actually took me on a cycling, like not very far. When he got home the beat 3-4K down from their house. Let me just rode back to the house and he said, Look, you still did it. You're still doing it. It's fine. You didn't Nothing's changed there. You're still writing it by and then weekend zones. We did a better that more remote this time round. So it was again just the way of saying to me, You're still doing these things. This this isn't that hasn't changed everything. You can still do this stuff. I was at university at the time that was in and out the Iraq and Tourism Management program, and I was I was so lucky to have some amazing professes and fellow students that were just so simple wanting to me the outdoors accessible. Yeah, those people have got me through it. But there were still times where I was drinking pretty heavily a lot and not being surrounded by people that understood necessarily the drive and the need to be outdoors. I was with a friend group that were, I would say, good people but didn't get me 100. Is that, um, they didn't really understand seizures, and they didn't really want to engage in the outdoors in the same way I want, though. Lots of issues there, but as a result of the Depression and as a result, so many things. My mental health took serious downward spirals. I drank way too much. Goodness knows, they're why I wasn't having continual. See, here's the amount of how tall I was drinking, and I know now that I'll call. It's a significant it's so capable of ripping you apart. Um, if you don't have good friends and you don't have the walks, people and things that you want to continue to do, then it becomes such a challenge on. I didn't got some really negative habits. Ah, lot of drinking a lot of things like that. I was lucky enough that I actually had an old friend actually moving across the street that what's your new address? And I gave him my address and goes, There's no way you're living it. Yeah, there is. We had a good giggle about Buddy. What came over it is housecoat and slippers in the middle of winter. And so he had a mountain bike. I and I announced like so we would just go mountain biking periodically. So you got me out a swell, and I don't think anyone really knew anything. Does have a real conscious efforts on my behalf to really think about that. I was the press. There was definitely time periods. As I said when I was like, OK, I probably need my antidepressant nor any Don't talk to someone about it, but I don't think I ever really related it to the apple app. Kind of related it to school, just fastens of getting other things done in relationships. And it was definitely there was so much other things going on that I'm no, I don't think I ever equate it entirely with epilepsy, but looking back on it now, it like, No, that's where it started. Epilepsy definitely was a major contributor to that, because after the seizure, you have to redefine or help people try and understand if you're not with a group of people that want to try and understand we're just not is not that they don't want to They just don't understand how they can understand as it were. That's how I would put it. So unfortunately, I got very depressed. I think I mentioned in my video with B C s. I have my friends, Jordi and Thomas. I was very, very intoxicated one night, and, um and I was very down and and they were like, We're gonna come get you. And they passed the phone off onto, uh, forties love. And she said, I'm holding a rope and you're gonna hold on to it until they get her. You're gonna wait. That was the lowest time I probably experienced. And without those guys, I honestly don't know if I'd still be here today. So it was a very, very tough time for me on again. Start on my alcohol and things like that. So it becomes very apparent that you need to continue to do things in spite out back. Alexey, you need toe do those things. So I basically, as a result of all of these problems, are all these things that it started toe happen. I related that I needed to have made your life change a za results epilepsy and was lucky enough that I basically just started hanging out with different people. Sometimes it's sad to say, but sometimes it is a good thing for everybody involved. It's not just for you. It's there for everybody involved. You know things aren't working of just for you. They're not working out for everyone else. So on and go often frowned upon. Teoh have ah, giggle about seizures. Onda. I get it like that. What People don't don't like the do it. One of the things that going to fight depression was having a giggle about it, Having a bit of a truck all on the fairway say, if I wasn't laughing back, let's see, I'd be crying about it. You know how that takes form and what that looks like for each individual person means can differ. And I totally respect as to why people on handle that themselves.

FRAN: It definitely is something where if you're in it, you can. You can do what you need to do to make you carry on, and sometimes that's taking the piss out of your own condition

CHRIS: Exactly

FRAN: what you say when you when you have the right friends. When you have the right people, you know how much you can push it with each other, don't you?

CHRIS: Oh, yeah. Um, but on after that, you can get people feel comfortable. So therefore people want to ask questions. It's not that big of a deal. There's no you've taken that stigma away from epilepsy. You need this life. I don't If if If you come and ask me questions, I'm gonna give you answers. But it's one of my colleagues are you said this was in training for my big bike ride. He always used to ask me is like, Where you going? How long you going floor and when can we expect you got? And so if I was over that time period, which I never waas but he would have come and look for me, someone would have come out and looked for me, and that's again. That's just something you can do in the outdoors. That's something everyone should do. Period is someone who's done a lot of, ah, risk management. You always leave a trip line. You always even if you're not epileptic, your you don't have seizures. You always say This is where I'm doing this where I'm gonna be this day. This time everyone does it.

FRAN: I think it's always really interesting that comparison because I I say that it kind of works both ways. If you've had epilepsy, you're used to doing your risk assessments all the time, wherever you're going, what you're doing. So it kind of put you in a good position, toe, You know what to do. Things that are a bit more adventurous because you're already quite usedto to seeing where the danger is and putting things in place and precautions in place. And similarly, I think quite a lot of people who like yourself usedto having those precautions in place for the adventure side of things. It sets you up quite nicely to be able to look after yourself with the epilepsy and with the seizures potentially.

CHRIS: Oh, yeah, like it's definitely something that, um you know, changes. And some people say to me and kind of, you know, no As grizzly bears out news, these animals are all fairly dangerous. There are a number of different ways You have to manage the risks independently in general. So I always say, with epilepsy, all you need is a second person in the bush with you. Right? But before I had epilepsy, I still wanted a second person with me Because bear attacks said some very rash or a bad one. If you're in a group but in the back country and thinking in this country, I personally am very of us. The idea of doing remote trails by yourself in general, like I mountain bike in areas where I know I'm gonna find people. So in Jasper National Park, you got a series of small day hike, stay trails that air fairly frequently used, used enough that bears they're gonna be kept out of the way. Or if you would have a seizure, you'd be found, and we're not. Not biking is something you already wear a helmet for. So if you fool, I have Ah, regardless of how you do it, you had still protect. Yeah, So you just manage the risks in accordance with what you're going to do. So you probably have also seen the video of Helga on Choco trashy. Helga made that trip possible. Not only is she already done on the planning for it, but she also was just like whatever. You have epilepsy. No biggie. She's the first responder. We both have significant training and first aid. We both know what to do, man. But there was never any point where Affect even came into the equation. It was just like you. If you would have to see your head, what would we do? Equated to the same thing is if you had a rough for one, your head walk would you do? Because no Empire Lee dissimilar the damage goes by Rockies, Actually, probably worse than a the senior. Yeah, you. The only thing is, you kind of have to be more ready, like Okay, this is a bit more likely of God bit supply of marriage with me in my backpack on God. Good. Make the news the no. She knows what she's doing. I always had an evacuation plan. If anything got really bad, even on the even on the hard part of the trails, the golden staircase, the crime would have been stay where we were unfilled. The mystical state was on. Don't fit enough to go on on either go back down or continue up to the next campsite or to a safer area where we could just chill out for a bet on, then continue to walk, and we take it a little slower, right? It would be a different if, instead of things

FRAN: which is just on exaggerated version of what you do in in any situation. Essentially, if you were out shopping, it would be the same thing. You wait until you're ready to move on, and then then you-- you do it at the pace you need to do it. It might be a little bit further until you can rest properly.

CHRIS: Exactly.

FRAN: Your first video that you filmed there. You filmed it at the end of the Chilcote trail on ditz in the Yukon area, I believe. And not in the video. There is this beautiful lake with the quintessential mountains behind it. Can you explain how hiking that trail came about? Why did you choose that trail And how How did you find it?

CHRIS: Oh, uh, build a trail is, um something that's normally on your bucket list for for a while. It's a big bagel. Eventually, my first a year out of university, I wouldn't work for the National Outdoor Leadership School in the Yukon and I've been see your face for some time. I was actually during that time. I was 12 months eager free. So was totally ableto Dr Enjoy the You comb on. My job was essentially going to do all the ah, all the equipment, Jack. But when I was up there, you can't imagine how big and how wonderful on how beautiful evil is. It's a normally healing place for me. I took a lot of things further that summer. I became much more with four of a hard core road. Biker is doing a lot more road cycling on That came about as a result of seizures as well, but I often went to a place called the Haines Junction, and that's right on the edge of Awami National Reserve, a protected area, and it is just astounding. And I remember sitting there, Justin share all of the size of the mountains. I went back and I hide trailed by myself, which it's a very well used trail of my defense, and it is just so beautiful up there. And I remember how much how good of a feeling it was when I came home and I who went back, Teoh, my work a burden Ski village and I had a hell go with me there and she said, So I'm going to do the Children trailed with summer, and one of my friends is just packed out. Um, and I need another person to do it. There's another person also on the trip and you put a lot of back country hiking experience and you know what you're doing. I said, Yes, of course. I'll totally take the choke a trail with you and it just kind of spawned from from there. And I haven't done many big multi day trips. I've done overnights like hiking up to an area camping overnight men from, But this was a multi day. We did it in three days total. When held in first, set it up, hit booked campsites that were kind of close to together on the American side on the Alaskan side. And then once we got over to the Canadian side, things were a little different, and we could teams things out. I think originally it was done for four days, but we ended up doing it three. So she just invited me on this trip and there was no way that I was been say no. Oh, I did it on dumb. It just brought it about that I have done this stuff before, but it was so so long ago, remember sleeping in the back of the truck and getting up the next morning and being like, Jeez, I really hope I don't disappoint. Held in this has been years since I've done this, You know, you've got friends that you really care about their respect for you. And it is one of the people that I'm very much was like, You're someone I really respect. And you're a wonderful human being. You got me through so much stuff and I don't want you respect for me. I hadn't appreciated that until I got to the end. And so But we had a blast. It was just one of those things. You know, A friend tells you they're gonna do something this jump on board. And it was again a real feel healing experience.

FRAN: Oh, it's gone to the list. This is getting very Stop speaking to people, cause every time I do, I'm just like, OK, so that's six more things on my list stuff to do.

CHRIS: I mean, my list keeps getting longer too I totally get that. Yeah.

FRAN: You were saying that you started doing more road cycling on and that kind of thing partly because of the epilepsy and that you couldn't drive as much anymore. Was that one of the reasons that you decided to do a very long bike ride for the BC Epilepsy Society to race and money?

CHRIS: Oh, my gosh. Earn their like, There's that's ah. Okay, so my road biking career is such a weird one, because as a mountain bike, I was looking like it's like doing silly. And now I've become one. And, um, it came about for a couple of reasons. Number one. You couldn't bet two places to go mountain biking. And in Prince George, we're very lucky. We have two different areas, But you know, your friends, they're going nothing biking with in town and they don't want to drive 20 minutes out of town. You come and get you even though they will like I've got friends that holy would have done that. But it's a long way for people to come on, but I'm just like you know what? No, it's OK. I'll find something else to do. And, I mean as, um as my Facebook name, which is still way too long to pronounce and deal with the diaries of a knuckle up Victor I go talk comes from you. I feel that my life is so much at odds in every absolutely every way none of my one of my interests, and like none of this stuff aligns, which is fine has Ah, I like to be like that. But it came from the fact likened amounts like so I couldn't get people to bring any places on. That also came from the facts that I I was very much looking around for a new TV show to watch, and I happen to enjoy anime. Hence the otaku point in the name um and it was a cycling job and I was watching and I was like, Damn, that's really cool. That's really cool. I like that sport. And so in woman are speaking. Ankle, etc. Inspired it in another manner of speaking an enemy inspired it on road biking just became all consuming to a certain degree, I would never say on the avid cyclist. Anything like that. I will say that I really enjoy cycling and I will go out a lead to do it. But, yeah, I know it's just because you can go straight from home, You can go fare from home, you can enjoy it, and I live in a pretty nice area. So just get to go and, uh, explore and I get to go and see things that I probably wouldn't have gone to seeing in the car. So it's really nice. And as a result of the show, which is all about like racing is, that's the premise of a lot of shows. You have to have a competition on dumb, really remember thinking men, they're breaking really long distances in a really short amount of time. They don't like packing, and it's just the road bike on them in a team. And man, that would be really cool to do nots. Definitely something I want to do. And I was like, How can I make this reality? What can I do to progress? This just so happened, think a you know what running to Jasper would be pretty cool. Maybe I should do it for a cause. I mean, I talked about it a little bit on a road trip. As I said in one of my one of my videos on. Then I happened to go and talk. My friend Joe, she said to me, Ok, cool. I'll be a pilot car. One of the dates. One of the times we're doing this, we're making it happen. Uh, excuse me Not to do it now. Yeah. So yeah. Conversation with my mother. Followed by a definite We're doing this from a person. You know, You have those people in your life.

FRAN: How far was it in total?

CHRIS: So just for a week did it from train stations, train station, principled station to Jasper train station. And it was 200 kilometres on the dot the first day. And what bride on then? It was a further 175 from a bride to uh, Gaspar. Yeah, it was really cool. I really loved it. My dad actually joined me for swelled, not small portions, but for portions of the of the ride as well, which was really fun, really good to see all the support. So that was really nice.

FRAN: And is that something which you-- you completely set up yourself. It wasn't part of a challenge that is already set by somebody else.

CHRIS: Well, just because I wanted to do it, it was Yeah, I fundamentally started. Not as an excuse to do something I want to do. But the more I thought about it, and the more I got to reflect on it, the more it became just so powerful for me to turn around in kind of safe. Yeah. Perhaps he hasn't stopped me. It's not about it became that the entire trip became this metaphor because it rained. It rained and it stormed. It was windy. It was nasty all the way. Jasper, like at a couple of nice spells where I could take off my jacket. Naturally. Just cycle inner regular jersey. But no majority of the time. It was windy and rainy. Right from the word go, Super windy is super rainy right out of Prince George. Yeah, but right at the ends, right at the end, we Ah, there's one spot just before you get into gospel. Where they've been working on the high wage has ah very unstable cliffs beside it. So classic roadworks red light. What have you and I and I had to stop and, um, still raining on. I was shaking. Apparently I was shaking. I did. I I didn't feel it. Joe was tolling. Heard the grace saying, Bring the blankets, Bring the blankets now. But he's going to go. He's gonna go because just then they're going. Oh, well, you know, your legs were destroyed, but you're just so I was so voters that and then about 10 minutes later, 20 minutes later, when we pulled into Jasper, that's something. And it was literally like, this great metaphor of epilepsy was so difficult all the way up to this point of so many challenges raining all the time. It was really, really difficult. But the very end life waits. Life is here now, done it on something. And to me, that was just crazy. Andi, Even today, people tell me how awesome it was a nice spill. Sit here, Go. I just took a shoes on and pedals is nothing. There's nothing that amazing about this. I just did it. And I actually prefer to emphasize that because anyone can do it. Anyone with epilepsy get outside and do something for me, it's cycling, Andi, In being normal, I don't think it has to be abnormal for us. It's not certainly my normal. We just have to do. Definitely. As we've been talking about, I might have done it to raise money for epilepsy on I'm really proud and happy that I did. But I probably would have done it anyway. Yeah, just turned into a really cool event. People still say, Oh, you did so well. It's so amazing. I still said, Here you go that this thing

FRAN: you ain't seen nothing yet.

CHRIS: I'm fine. I can't go on. We'll hit it even harder next year. But so what? More mattered to me was just just telling people. But this is normal. This can be your normal epilepsy doesn't take us away. You just do things slightly differently.

FRAN: Yeah, I have to ask everyone this. Even though everyone has very similar answers, they're all slightly

CHRIS: different. Little

FRAN: very poetically said So if I were to say, What does adventure mean to you? What would you want to be?

CHRIS: Adventure is Oh, man, that's-- a It's not difficulty.

FRAN: (laughing) You knew that it was coming!

CHRIS: I knew it was coming. Adventure... that the problem is from when you're was trained at university levels thinking about this kind of staff. It doesn't know that it becomes a very pop. But what does adventure means? Me adventure essentially, is just going out. Onda who thinking your boundary? Just that little bit. You can push your boundary a massively like I did with my bike. You can push your boundary a little bit and just seeing an engaging in things. You don't even have to push that boundary. But it's just mm out on seeing new things on maybe even seeing old things in a new way Every time I go out on my bike ride as a result of all, Oh, my journey, I always think I'm going for beautiful. This is because I'm still here and because I'm so doing this lots adventure. It's variant saying things on taking them for what they are. Going out, going crazy bike, crazy climb, crazy height, crazy, live, live life to the full. That's what this comes down to.

FRAN (in studio): If anything in our conversations day did affect you, or you would like to talk to someone about your mental health and how you are feeling because of your epilepsy or otherwise. There are a couple of numbers and websites in the show notes for you, so you can contact mind. Epilepsy, action, epilepsy society. All have epilepsy hotlines on There are some of the services available in Canada is well, those are in the show notes for you. If you would like to see more off Chris on, watch some of the videos that we talked about in the chat. You confined him on Facebook. He is @thediariesofepilepticdirtbagotaku and that is linked in the show notes for you because, as Chris said, it is a bit of a tricky name. You can also find him on the BC Epilepsy Society website and I really recommend watching the video off him on there. It does give you a bit more insight into the cycling challenge that he did. So do you go and check that one out? It's linked in the show notes. So this episode was really difficult to edit down. In fact, for a couple of reasons, I think that Canadians are actually really just very friendly and chatty. My conversation with Chris was a very similar length to the one I had with Amanda last season, so I had over two hours worth of raw audio to deal with. If you do want an insight into just how difficult that was, I will be posting a little bit about it for my patrons. So if you sign up as a patron, you are supporting the work that I do on the podcast. But you do also get a few extras each month, including the patron only newsletter, and that goes out every month. I just sent one today. If you'd like some of those extras, head over to Patrick on dot com. Forward slash sees your adventure. Support starts at just $3 a month, so if you find that you are getting value out of the work I do on, do you do want a little bit of extra stuff? Do consider signing up there. If you can't support financially, I understand believe may. If you would like to support in a different way, please do share the episodes, write reviews on Tell me if you do it because I do not always see these things. But I do appreciate it also thank you as I said at the start, this is the last chat of the season. But don't worry, there are going to be a few more bonus episodes coming out on. Of course, if you saw the Instagram live earlier this week, my behind the scenes helper, Frankie is working on her own episode as well, which will be out next month. And I'm really excited for you to hear that one. It's gonna be a really interesting look at some of the people that were around Frankie when she was going through. Her diagnosis is Well, that is all from me for today. But as always, there is a little bit left from my guest to close the episode. So I'll leave you with what Chris says, and until next time. Safe adventures, everyone.

FRAN (to CHRIS): Is there any particular advice that you would give to someone that has just been diagnosed with epilepsy?

CHRIS: Don't panic. You will figure this out. You will have to make investments. Um, you will have to change some things and how you do. But those adjustments mean that you will be able to do the same things you were doing before just doing them slightly differently. Switch small things out. Like switch a belay for a gri-gri or being a bit more cautious about where you're planning your routes. Do I want to go that close to the really big cliff when I could over here? Because my objective isn't the big cliff rethinking some things, but it doesn't mean that you have to stop. I mean, OK, unlucky in counting months between seizures. But to those people, even to those people look ah, having multiple seizures a day, you can still get outside. It requires that you just got a little differently. You just wanna on pump. Trail is if you go with a friend and if you've got good friends that were with you don't really get friends and bigger with me Not necessarily always when I want to do them, but we we always plan, and you can still do these things. You just have to make the adjustments do it. The outdoors is not out of your reach. It's within your reach where you just you just have the work, you're it out, and it's worth working and figuring it out because it'll make it'll make you feel so much better. I know I feel better when I go out through a nature. It's where I get all my healing done.


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