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FRAN: Hello, adventurers. I am Fran Turauskis and you are listening to Seize Your Adventure. So today is in fact, International Podcast Day, which is why I have held the episode back for September to give you this one. Now this episode is, in fact, taken from Seize Your Adventure’s Instagram Page. Some of you who follow on Instagram will have noticed that Frankie has been taking over quite a lot recently, so she's having a very exciting adventure at the moment. Out in Spain, and I thought you'd probably want to see what she's doing a little bit more than me sat behind a computer at the moment. Frankie and I had an Instagram live chat about a month ago, just before she moved out to Spain on today's episode is a slightly edited version of that chat for you. So for those of you that didn't see that chat, this is your chance to learn a little bit more about Frankie. If you have seen that Instagram live already, don't worry. Frankie is working hard on her episode in her spare time, so you'll be getting a brand new episode from her in the near future. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy this one. And if you would like to hear a new episode, you can actually head over to the Patreon page. So if head over to patreon.com/seizeyouradventure patrons that are signed up at the $10 and above amount are actually getting a new episode today as well. So for $10 you get bonus episodes every month on Do you get content between the seasons as well. So if you are enjoying seizure adventure and you'd like to support on, get a bit of bonus episodes do consider heading over there and taking a look. But for now, here is my chat with Frankie from Instagram Live back in August. Enjoy
FRAN: Ah the moment of truth. any second now. Hello.
FRANKIE: Okay, this is really exciting, eh?
FRAN: So I believe you are newly back home. You just got back this afternoon from your holiday. Is that right?
FRANKIE: Yeah. So I supposed to come home about a week ago, and I ended up making some friends, as they generally tend to do all over the place on DH. They gave you place, Teo. Stay there, Had a spare room. So I stayed for a little longer, dude or surfing. I let skateboard finally did some more walking, yoga, climbing. It was great.
FRAN: I'm super jealous. So obviously saw a little bit of you doing something with your family and your teaching your problems to surfing is not the first time that you managed to get them to surf?
FRANKIE: One of my brothers had done a little bit of something before on these travels, but they'd never served with me. They've never seen their service. That mean that we've all got into independently and I was like, Okay, right. Those of you that don't know we're gonna we're gonna all get today, so hopefully we can do more as a family.
FRAN: Yeah, that's so awesome. Well, thank you for letting us watch that your little family gets governors. Well, it's really nice to kind of get insight into how you kind of building adventure into your life. Essentially. You did ask folks for some questions when you're doing your lives. So I have a few of them written down here. Couple of the questions were quite similar, so amalgamated them in places. But the first thing actually was pushing it all It was just a comment from Jared, who was obviously on the podcast. Then I just said “you are so rad!”. I agree that it was just a comment from him there.
FRANKIE: I was going to say it's just a mass of compliments to hear that from him because I reached out to him originally when I first started getting really sick with my seizures and they became a ninja born, that scene that he had been serving through, I guess a Google search or something, because I just I was desperate to know if anyone served with this condition and I reached out to him and then you obviously put me in contact with you. So it was great fun. And then I love to see that he's seeing me going on and thriving, knowing that he kind of put that in place, which is pretty cool.
FRAN: you know what I mean. Jared is just definitely was one of the folks that was out there already, just nice and easy to find. And he's doing kind of great stuff in terms of just making that awareness, like you say, just a little searching. You confined him quite easily. So awesome guy or some compliment, Totally agree. There were a couple of questions about how how you got into something. So how old were you and how did you start serving?
FRANKIE: So I didn't really grow up doing it. I've always loved the beach. Loved the sea. I reckon I had a couple of lessons when I was younger because I remember me and my dad and that buying a foam board when I was around nine or 10. And actually, I didn't use it all that often. And I only got back into it when I was doing a bit of travelling. So grow into union. Took some time out, talk English in Latin America. And I got to Ecuador and I met another boy on DH. He sort of walked on the beach and he stopped his money, got to me, and I was just sitting there reading my book, minding my own business. And he said, “Hey, do you want to come surfing with me?” and I I don't know why there was something in me that just couldn't say no. So, yeah, I became really close with him and some of his friends and ended up slacking off the rest of my travel plans to just live with them and do a lot surfing before they drop me at the airport to fly home.
FRAN: Yeah, that's all. It was just so nice when you just find something that you weren't expecting in terms of, especially the surfing here, which is carried on. But, you know, just being open to that kind of change in plans.
FRANKIE: Surfing brings you an adventure wherever you go. Like this weekend, for example, I just was gonna go and hang out by myself. Have a few friends come down to see me. And then I just got chatting to a group of people that were just so like minded and so interesting and they were like “Hey, we don't really want you to go home. Why don't you come stay at our house for a while?” which was pretty cool. So I backed over the moment to get my ducks in a line because I'm going to Spain, Teo. But before that, I'm going to go back to Wales and stay with them a bit more on. Just do more suffering and have more fun.
FRANKIE: Yeah, that's on call. So we'll come on to Spain in a little bit action of you folks have asked about. But for the moment, how how old were you? So Yes, it would have been just after I was about 19, you know, get struck. Yet 19 is when I started getting into it and then I spent the last, like, two years just being obsessed with it. And Caselli, the Manchester Birmingham land box situation, say I'm fortunate enough to have my driving licence. But before that, when I couldn't drive because messages weren't great, I'd be hitching a ride to the beach with my friends every other weekend. Just it becomes an obsession, and it's really, really dangerous.
FRAN: Well, talking about the dangerous in a slightly different sense. You won't be surprised to hear that there were a couple of people asking, Do you have to take extra precautions because of your seizure history? Or is there anything that is dangerous there or what? What people do to help if you were to have a seizure?
FRANKIE: Yeah, my relationship with surfing is very different to everyone else is, especially because I have these seizures and these events, and that is something that I'm going to talk a lot about in my own episode off the podcast - just gonna plug that little bit there. So I'm gonna be talking to some friends about, like, their perspective on surfing with me and how they perceive my safety in the water. It's definitely been a difficult journey with a few near misses and one not so near miss. It's really about my relationship with my body. It's taken me time to like a tune up toe, Really, how I'm feeling and how I can be safe. But as long as I know, I've got enough energy to paddle out and paddle back in again when I'm on something that I'm generally all right. But I can. The precautions I tend to make is to never surf alone. So I've always got a friend in the water with me that knows that I have this condition. So should I encounter any trouble they be looking out for me. I always tell the lifeguards if there's any other beach, I just pop in and say “Hi, I'm Frankie. This is my situation. These are my contact details. I'm going for a surf now. I should be fine because I know my own body very well. But just if I wash up, don't be too surprised, I guess”. But, yeah, my main thing for me is knowing my own limitations, which that has been quite difficult. It's something that it took me about two years to learn, and I kind of realised in the past week that I know now when I'm overdoing it, which is this pretty cool. Because I've got lots of been done in the last 10 days, but maybe a few days ago, really massive swell. And there's a new break that I have not served before, called the Harbour Trap, which is just outside my friend's house. So it was pumping. It was amazing and everyone's going “Come on, let's go out, Let's go out, Go out!” And I was so tempted. But I was so tired, and I just before I would have gone out and surf that and then today, at that day, I was just like I'm looking me. Sorry, can't do it. I ended up going to the skate park with my friend Andi. I came home that evening on. We were just watching TV or wherever, and my I don't have seizures anymore Touch wood. But I do still get, like myoclonic jerks and other things, and my arm had, like, a myoclonic jerk episode. I ended up grabbing it so hard I got a bruise. So obviously that was just from skating and overdoing it so much. But had I gone in the water that could have been really serious.
FRAN: You've absolutely hit on a couple of things that obviously it can be dangerous, but a Yeah, a sport like given skating but surfing in particular, climbing all of these things that we do. There are dangers there anyway, so having that awareness that there is an extra danger is number one, and you are sharing your condition with the people you're surfing with with the life guards, which is so important, and it's something that I hear over and over. It's something I advocate for all the time. If you are wanting to do anything but particularly women men, just thoughts that trust with people and being able to actually share it is crucial because if you don't speak to people and they aren't aware, there is the potential for putting other people in danger and, I think what you're doing there is by being very open and honest. Everybody is able to say whether they are comfortable with you having the condition and comfortable with the surf that day and that kind of thing, and I think that that's so important. And, like you say, over the past couple of years, it's been a little bit tricky and you might put yourself in danger at times. Unfortunately--
FRAN: --but you have now got to that stage where you made decisions to not do something to keep yourself safe on. It could well be that you would have been absolutely fine, but you didn't want to take that risk
FRANKIE: because there's been and I'll talk a little bit more about this in my episode as well. But there's been times where I've taken that risk and that hazard of me having seizure has realised itself, which obviously isn't great for me or my body, but it's actually the tall it has on other people. Yeah, I couldn't live with that anymore. Get got really difficult for a select group of people that are in my close friendship circle, and I had to really re-evaluate what I wanted to do and how I was gonna have to change my behaviour if I wanted to keep these people close to me. And I didn't want to jeopardise my whole surfing career, if you will, because he wouldn't want to go with me because they knew that I was alive in a sea. So it yeah, it's taken a lot of honesty and a lot of trial and error, but managing my time, managing my body, telling my friends, telling lifeguards on I'd also recommend if anyone was thinking about getting into it but didn't kind of have the same community, or whatever, this-- I actually snaped mine, so I'm not wearing it-- But I've usually wear a little silver tag on it that says, Frank New York to you. And then whatever medication I'm taking and then on the back, it's got my dad's phone number and one of my friends phone numbers, which are always really good because if you do wash ashore or something happens and you end up in the care of a lifeguard or any anti, they always have your details then and know how to give you the best quicker.
FRAN: That's on you and I have spoken a little bit about it. Like you say, you're going to go into it in much more detail in your podcast so they won't talk about it. Talk about it much more, but obviously, just to say everyone who's watching when you when we do it in the podcast, there is always that disclaimer there: Everyone's decisions when it comes to adventure, sports and epilepsy are going to be different on, as Frankie said, their decisions, which she has made in the past that she wouldn't make today on down some be aware of with yourself when you're you're out there and doing things as well. So yeah, it's just good to be able to share those stories when you're ready to share them, essentially.
We have another question, which you were saying, If you're looking at getting into surfing, I think this is generally rather than specifically if you have sieges. But how is it? How is the best way to get into served in? What would you recommend for someone like myself? I still managed to go on and do it yet!
FRANKIE: I know, I'm desperate to get you in the water. We have so much fun, I'd say. Go on and do it. Just go and try it. The best way to do it is go down to the beach, find a local surf shop on talk. Say “hi. I've never surfed before. I'd love a lesson.” They'll usually give you a quick hour and they'll do a better demonstration that I did the other day more. That's one, because all serving structures are qualified beach lifeguards. So they're proper professionals that can handle and one in the water. But we're going to go and talk a little bit more about their qualifications. In my podcast episode, Yeah, I'd go down to beach and just say hi. I want to try surfing and hope that they've got spot for you. And then after you've had that initial lesson, it's all very, very personal. How you go from there, I have found on a lot of my other friends have found that you become a better surfer the more time you spend in the water, he almost feels directly proportional, having the basic fitness to like stand up on the board and paddle around in the water yl great helps because as soon as you've got the technique, you can only improve from that. But like the most important thing is, if you're a beginner, don't It is tricky. It's really hard to stand up, and it's really hard to catch a wave. But you've still got enjoy the times that you do, because it's really corny and people say all the time. But it really is true that the best surfer out there is the one that's having the most fun. So you just you just gonna go out?
FRAN: I'm gonna be an awful sturfer!
FRANKIE: I know what I was at the beginning, and I remember I ran from my university sir committee on my speech. Teo get elected was I never thought I'd love something. I suck out so much and you know what? These days I am a little bit better, and that's really exciting because my like your progression, it becomes addictive. It's like smoking, but worse because you can't always get in the sea, and you just like I just want to go for a surf.
FRAN: I did hear this a lot from surfers that it is, like, literally like an addiction. It doesn't growing me ever so slightly.
FRANKIE: But the thing is, everyone talks about surfing as if it's a sport, which it definitely is a lot like physical fitness activity, but it's a lot of it. It's it's not just a sport for a lot of us. It's a lifestyle or ah, like a pastime were just a way of life. I e really explain it that out there,
FRAN: Ask someone for help.
FRANKIE: Yeah, yeah, always always ask for help. And don't-- like, if you're a beginner surfer, don't ever go out if there's no lifeguard on duty because that can end disastrously. Like the waves might be massive because there's a huge storm swell coming in, and that's great. But if there's a current that's going to just take you out, then there's nothing that anyone can do, especially if no one even knew where you were going. So, yeah, tell someone where you are you going? Make sure that it's always like a guarded beach and just have fun.
FRAN: And again, those are just kind of basic things that pretty much every episode that I talked about, it's that basic stuff that epilepsy, whatever condition you have, whether you have no condition, there are basic health and safety things. When you're going out and doing these sports, let someone know where you're going. Do it with someone if you aren’t confident, have the right gear. You know all of these when you're going out and doing that essentially.
FRANKIE: And I'd say, in particular-- I know it was aimed. It was a general question, but I would say if you particularly, if you have a seizure disorder, obviously take actually care of yourself. Make sure your body is properly fueled to do so. But also remember that in the winter the sea is three months behind the actual seasons. So in surfing, winter is January to March, sometimes even February to April. Wear a hood, wear a wetsuit hood. Because if your head gets cold, if you get brain freeze, that's not funny. And I noticed that I at the beginning was very, very, very concerned about dipping my head under the water to get under the waves. Just ‘cause all my other friends have complained like, ”Oh my goodness, I've got brain freeze. This is so cold” and I was there like “Yeah, and my brain is very, very sensitive”.
Yeah, like because all of us that have these kind of conditions that we don't always know what you guys are in there. Such wide, diverse symptoms when everyone is like “Oh, epilepsy. So you must not like flashing lights”. And I'm like, “Well, I don't really like flashing lights. No, but there's so much more to it than you even believe”.
FRAN: Again, it's like... epilepsy, it's so great to talk about because it's such a misunderstood condition, but it does fall into those categories that other conditions have similar things. My-- slightly different generation, but my dad has a heart condition. He had a heart attack a few years ago, and so he's been told, “Don't do cold water swimming. Don't go into a swimming pool that’s too cold” and that kind of thing. So it's speaking to doctors as well if there is anything you’re concerned about--
FRAN: Make sure you do your research if you're doing anything new, is always good, whether that's speaking to someone that knows or how about looking up some of the blogger posts and listening to some of the episodes, but lots of research. Lots of talking to people always going to get you into a better, better places. Internee. Let's go cheque If I missed any questions, Um, what's your favourite place to, sir?
FRANKIE: Oh, this is tricky one. I've been so fortunate to have been able to surf all over the world. I'm really I love travelling, but I'm very good at making it work for me. So I use of cycled world packers a lot where you could do work exchanges on a lot of the time so you can go and work somewhere for six weeks and stay there for free and be fed. And if you could go somewhere with surf, then that's that's the best opportunity. I I don't know the place I learned to know. Oh, that could all always hold a special place in my heart. But where I've seen last week, this is a place called Borth, mid-Wales. Best place in the world. If you ask me my family. My family has a home there. We've had it. It's been in my house, has been in my family for a very long time because my dad's dad built it with his own hands, which is pretty crazy.
FRAN: Yeah, family history there.
FRANKIE: It's always really booked up in the summer because everyone wants to be there because it's such a lovely place. But in the winter we get these grizzly sort of winter swells and you get really good surf there recently because they've added rocks to the sea as flood defence, which is creative, non traditional rake. So, no, I ever remember people surfing there. And then in the last five years it's exploded and everyone's in the water, which that's not always great. But it's but you get some really good, really big, unexpected days there, and you can go out and it's different every single time on, and it's just it's just my happy place. I take a lot of my friends there. I meet a lot friends there, and yet, so Borth. I'd say Borth is one of my favourite places in the whole world. It is close as well.
FRAN: And some, you know, especially yeah, because we could have gone away. There's lots of boats that having to come back to the UK at the moment, and that kind of thing is that sometimes the UK is best. We got some good things out there.
FRANKIE: It's fantastic as well, because I am very lucky that my family trust me to have a key and just come and go and leave the place tidy. So it's It's 2.5 hours from where I live in Birmingham, but when I’m in Manchester, again 2.5 hours so I could go down, occasionally skipped the odd lecture, go down, stay a couple of days for the weekend, get loads of good surfing in and come back as if nothing ever happened. It's City is really exciting and really nice.
FRAN: Yeah, absolutely speaking a little bit about uni, there was a question about how, who I completely lost it-- ah what your plans after university? What are you doing next?
FRANKIE: They change daily. My academic career has a long way still left in it, which is really, really exciting. So idea. If anyone didn't know, my degree is National Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response. I also do Spanish so, bit of a mouthful, and there's a lot of content involved, but again, I love it. I love to give myself a challenge. This involves a placement year, which is coming up next. So I just finished my second year and I've got my year out and then come back and I've got another year. I had so many options for this placement year and I was So I got. I found myself a lot of really interesting voluntary roles or internships in Ecuador, and Peru, and Mexico, either working in education or working with Venezuelan migrants to access the legal system. And it was I was so excited and then, Covid-19 happened and it's all been a bit of a nightmare, to be honest. It's been really upsetting because I had to see a lot of my plans all to pieces and that was-- that's quite difficult. I do struggle with a change of plan, but I kind of stuck to my guns because my university would be emailing me every day. Being I can't it's not too late to change your mind and just go to University of Barcelona and do it online. So I am quite proud of myself, this one. I stuck to my guns and said No, I really don't want to do that. I'm gonna I'm going to find a job if it kills me and I did. So I I got a job in Mexico. I’m supposed to be going in September to work with an organisation called Monsieur Mexico that takes kids out of gangs and gets them into education and like, teaches their family values, and also teaches them to surf. So they can get valuable jobs, viable employment in the surf industry when they turn 18. And that's amazing. And that is still on my to do list. But the university has not approved it cause I can't travel to Mexico just yet, So I've put that one on the back burner for now and on the first of September, I just accepted a job in a place called Canyon Data in Spain and I'm going to be managing a surf camp next to a hotel. I had the interview the other day. I was put in an interview for just a job in the hotel. And I was in Wales, I didn't have any WiFi, so I sat on my uncle's drive like I did when I was doing my take over. You know, I like them and I saw it said, “Look, this is really embarrassing to admit, but I'm doing this interview and I don't even know who I'm interviewing for because I've got out through an agency. I said, This is really embarrassing. I'm on holiday. I haven't got any WIFI. I haven't been able to research you guys. I'm doing this interview blind, but I'm really interesting. So just ask me whatever you want!” and the gentleman that was interviewing me was so, so lovely. And he was like, “Well, what are you doing on holidays?” Asking me all about myself. And so I was obviously telling him about my surfing and all these things I wanted to do. And he said, “Well, I was actually interviewing you for this job, but I've got space opening in, like to manage my surf camp and I think that you'd be perfect for it.” So after the bank holiday, me and my dad's going to embark on a little road trip, gonna drive to Spain and my Dad’s gonna fly home, and I'm gonna be there stuffing till about April. It is really exciting. Now that's gonna be so much fun.
FRAN: Congratulations. Okay, 19. This is like you say, sticking to your guns. Just kind of plugging away and it came good.
FRANKIE: And I think those times where my heart headedness is definitely been my downfall and I've gone and done something just because everyone told me that I couldn't. Over the years, I've had to learn what hills to die on kind of thing. Pick my battles as such. And this one's paid off, which is really exciting.
FRAN: Yeah, it's awesome. I was gonna try and get some money together so that I can come over and visit you there. Maybe we continue. I always go back to Spain when a breakout.
FRANKIE: Cool. You know why I was going to say is it's gonna have this conversation with you privately, but I'm probably gonna carry on posting a little bit content while I'm out there in my downtime. I'll have nothing much today rather than friends gonna give me a skateboard so I could get good at That's well say, yeah, I just sort of doing that. I'll put a bit more content. But if any of my friends, or any of, like, the followers, or anyone in this community needs to come to Spain for a holiday months against him. So I think just send me a message. We could book you in and I can teach you to surf and it'll be great.
FRAN: You are going to get inundated now, there's gonna be so many people...
FRANKIE: I don't think that I'm not that because the thing I love about surfing is not just the sport or like not just the physical activity of doing something but the people, the kind of people that it attracts. Yeah, everyone I've ever met that surf has been so welcoming, so friendly and so they've got a really fresh and precious perspective on life, always up for anything. This cat that decided the other. And I just as much as a lot of surface hate the water being really crowded because so do right if there's no two people in my line, if I'm not going to be that happy about it. But that is overtaken by the fact that I want to share my passion for surfing with this many people as possible. I've got friends that I just keep taking surfing, being like you will fall in love with it like I do. So I have someone to suffer in the future. I Yeah, guilty that want this. She can't be that shared passion. No, no, it's the Connexion I have with other people that surf. It's almost like telepathic, but that's being streaming weird. So yeah, let's dial it down a little bit. But generally surfers are fantastic people and I would like to introduce as many other fantastic people to that community. We'll also advocating for us all to be safe.
FRAN: Do you have anything else to leave us with? Is there anything you'd like to say before?
FRANKIE: Yes. So I'm gonna drop a little self promotion. I've got a lot of content coming out in the next couple of weeks, I'm gonna be coming out with my very own episode. I've got three beautiful friends that I've got lined up to interview at the moment, and I might have one more extra special guest if I could talk him into it. But that's all under wraps. We’re going to tell my story, but we're also gonna have a little look at my friend's story because it's very easy when these traumatic things are happening to you to forget that it's not just you that's impacted by this. I've got so many friends that have had really, really awful times trying to deal with me and my health, and I think it's really important that we give them the opportunity to say, “Well, this is how I felt about it and some of the decisions I've made that I'm not proud of”. Some of the times I've surfed when I shouldn't have done have definitely impacted them. And I think it's time for me to address that and to share that with other people because, like I say, something's really exciting and it's really addictive, and it's very easy to get wrapped up in it. But you always have to put your health first and I only learned very recently.
FRAN: Well, I'm super excited for it, for exactly the reasons you said there. I think it's gonna be really interesting. Teo, get that perspective from a field of people in your life essentially and yeah, yeah, it's gonna be an awesome episode, so well, all of you out there. If you know, already subscribed to Seize Your Adventure, go ahead and subscribe now. You should be able to find it on all your podcast storms. Anything apple podcasts fortifies did job wherever. You are going to subscribe now so that you do not miss Frankie's episode because it is gonna be a pretty awesome one. Thank you so much, Frankie, for the takeover last week.
FRANKIE: I had so much fun. I got to run around and pretend to be an instagram for once for the day.
FRAN: It’s not pretending you did it. You did it.
FRANKIE: everything when I was with me. I'm not of me for, like, running around with my phone from being like, hey, guys. But high enough Did I call? It was great fun. And I just managed to take a whole, like, two weeks surfing trip and call it research. So what more could you want?
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FRAN (in studio): Yeah. So there we are. I hope that just gave you a little bit more of an idea as to why Frankie is such a great person to have on the Seize Your Adventure team.
So just a reminder that Seize Your Adventure is supported by patrons. If you would like some of that bonus content I talked about head on over to patreon.com/seizeyouradventure, you can sign up from as little as $3 a month. That gets you the Seize Your Adventure newsletter. And we have a new tier as well off $5 a month on that one will just give you bonus episodes between seasons so that you won't miss Seize Your Adventure. That's all for today. So until next time, safe adventures, everyone.