How Surfing and Skateboarding Changed My Life


what’s going on guys? my name is Michael
Regan and if this is your first time here, this is work for avocados! In honor
of the decade wrapping up, I’m going to be getting pretty personal with my
experience the past 10 years. This is my experience on how surfing and
skateboarding has changed my life. Dealing with drug addiction and where I
came from. And now the heavy stuff. sometimes getting to a better place
means coming from somewhere pretty ugly I’m not proud of a lot of things I’m
sharing with you today, but I am proud of how far I’ve come. In order for you to
understand who I am today, I need to take you back to 2010. I was dealing with
serious bouts of depression, several suicide attempts and
someone had reported me in to the Dean of my school and I was Baker acted. I was
taken into custody in the middle of the lunchroom because they felt I was not
only a danger to myself but I posed a risk to everybody else. I told someone to
tell everybody to leave me alone. I was sick of the bullying, sick of the
harassment…I just wanted to be left alone. Somebody decided to take that as I
was going to harm everyone in the school and the principal sent out a letter to
all the parents mixing me up with another kid in another school who had
written a manifesto that they were going to shoot everybody. The principal told
all the parents that that was me. I came back to school labeled as a
terrorist. Luckily not everybody believed him. So after dealing with that the tail
end of my high school career, I found some sort of budding promise doing music.
it was a way for me to vent a lot of my frustrations and I eventually joined
cross country and track. The pessimistic nature of it all seemed to fit perfectly
in with my depression and suicide attempts at the time. You just commit
yourself to an hour of pain and feeling like you’re gonna die on the inside
and I overdid it. I trained too much and I wound up getting stress fractures in
both my legs and having to be put in a wheelchair for the last month. And there
went any shot I had at a scholarship, I went from top prospect on the team
to another kid with no direction. my dad was a pastor so I always dealt with
being the preacher’s kid, the expectations, the constant moving every year due to
ministry work. I was very much an outcast. A quiet loner. What was the point? I’m not
going to try to make friends you’re just gonna move me. When I got into music, I was
surprised how supportive my dad was. And for the first time in my life, between
that and him being supportive of me in cross country I felt like like a wall
had been broken down and we were finally able to connect. It was pretty
short-lived though. After I graduated that year my dad was diagnosed with lung
cancer and he died three months later on December 23rd 2010. He was a very
authoritative, centralist figure to our family. When you take out someone who
makes all the decisions and choices, everyone left behind kinda has to find
their own path and relearn who they are. I moved out at
18. My dad was a surf photographer in the area during his last few years of his life.
Surfing wasn’t something that I had ever wanted to get into. It just seemed boring
to me. So I got into surfing as a way to feel like I had some kind of connection
to the man who was no longer here. I was working at Taco Bell at the time. I broke
my wrist skateboarding while I was going back to
school for massage therapy, so I was doing massage therapy clinicals with a
broken wrist. I was just using my elbow on my left arm still working the Taco
Bell drive-thru. I would elbow the soda fountain to get the drinks out
of there. I got involved in the service industry at about 22. As a lot of
people can tell you about the restaurant industry,
it’s pretty wild on the inside. Constant drinking, partying. I was offered Molly
one night and I had a brief four or five month stint with that. Until we gotten
some bad Molly. Anything like “Molly” is cut with a bunch of crap. We were
basically doing meth. Did the massage therapy thing for a while. As a male
massage therapist, I got thrown into a couple very uncomfortable situations
where I had proposals thrown at me. so I decided to go back to school to be an RN.
the nurses who were taking care of my dad and his last moments of life were
very impactful and moving. I go back to school I get all the credentials that I
need take all my classes go to orientation for my RN program the day
before I’m supposed to start my program I get a letter in the mail saying I
failed a drug test, that I was banned for a year for testing positive for THC. That
was that. In my mind I justified it. I’m not that nurturing type of
personality, if I had a loved one I would want someone more nurturing to be in
that position. And that was the excuse that I told my mom. Surprise mom that’s
what it was, I know you’re watching right now. I decided to settle for my AA and I
started taking adderall when finals would come around. I
had a really bad run with adderall, pulling all-nighters, studying just cram
it and take the test, do what I need to do and forget about it. I started taking
Adderall at work. More tables more money , more energy more tables. At this
point I’m doing adderall once or twice a day it was getting really bad. I was
dropping weight drastically. I’m 150 pounds any amount of weight I’m losing
at six foot tall is a lot of weight. Then I started drinking on adderall.
Everything was just spiraling out of control, until one day I passed out in the
Denny’s bathroom. And my friend who was with me luckily went into the men’s
bathroom and found me passed out on the floor. that was the last time I did adderall. it’s basically meth, it’s an amphetamine.
it was something that I was relying on heavy. I felt like I had a superpower. So
stupid looking back now. That was it, I knew I needed to get clean. I just got super
involved into surfing and skating, giving me a fresh perspective on what it was
all about and what was important. so I put it all away. I was at work one day and
somehow I got a hernia. I had to have hernia surgery and I was out for like
another month. I just felt like it was one thing after another. A lot of it was
bestowed upon myself admittedly. That was a whole nother recovery and it took a
while to get past that. I was like dude, I got to do something, I’ve got to
get out of this town. I have to get out of this this restaurant, this restaurant
is killing me. So I tried to move to Colorado. Injured my groin like six
months down the line. It happened like right before I went to go move, so I
spent like a week and a half in Colorado but I was scared that I had another
hernia complication n and I didn’t have any insurance. I went back home and
luckily my buddy Krymsen let me crash on his couch and he was telling me about
this program called Workaway. Where you work somewhere for twenty five, thirty hours
a week and in exchange you get a free place to stay.
I begged my boss for my job back just for like two or three weeks so I can
save up some money and I ran away to Mexico and Central America. I felt like
that was the start of me really making a positive improvement on my life. I was
learning Spanish, I was surrounded by so many new things, new experiences. I
traveled through Guatemala. I went broke in Guatemala.
you can check out that story right there, I’ll put a link up there about my story
in that. I felt like I was doing something really special. Like this is
what life is supposed to be about. I got a form of Dengue while I was down there,
but you know it comes with the territory down there. so I go back home, yeah I
wound up working at the same place literally like six or seven times. I like
came and went so I would just come, work for a few weeks and dip out. It
wasn’t until this year actually, 2019. I realized that I’ve been running from
death. That I was so affected by my dad dying, I felt like if I didn’t get all
this adventure out of my system now that I was gonna die tragically in some
accident somehow. I’m very thankful for how everything turned out, because there
were many many many times that things could have gone very badly. Dry-heaving
passed out that Denny’s bathroom really woke me up. I really honestly believe
that if it wasn’t for the surfing and the skateboarding that I would not be
here talking to you guys today. Go this day, I’m still learning to accept that I
don’t know what’s best all the time, I’m not as great as I think I am… I’m happy
to tell you guys that I am two weeks of not smoking weed either. I don’t think
that the Green is necessarily bad but smoke is smoke at the end of the day and
with my dad’s lung cancer I just can’t justify it anymore. I believe it has a
lot of benefits but I’ve been doing it every day for more than 10 years now. I’ve
been high off my mind, so how do I even know that I like it? Every day is a new
experience in trying to figure out who I am. You know, you do something like that
for so long and that’s your identity. I’m still trying to figure out who I am, I’m
still trying to figure out where I’m gonna go forward..I’m not running anymore.
I’m not running from myself anymore. this is definitely a much different YouTube
video than you guys are probably used to seeing me posting. I’d love to hear from
you guys on your thoughts on this channel. Where you think this channel
should go, what you’d like to see more of. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot off my chest.
I’m sorry if I overwhelm you guys with this, but it is who I am. Every day is a
step forward and I’m super stoked to be where I’m at right now. Thank you guys
again, if you enjoyed this video, if you feel like this video might be able to
help somebody, share it with them please. Press the like and subscribe button! I
will be seeing you guys next Thursday with a fresh video, I’ll see you guys.
thank you so much I love you guys