It's been a month since Dave passed but it still hits home with me. Dave was a legend and icon I looked up to for so many years as a young teenager growing up.
X Games was introduced in 1995, and I believe it was 1996 or 1997 when I started watching. I have a Ride BMX magazine somewhere in my garage (I have to dig it up) of when Dave on the cover. At that time there were rainbow coloured lines the sides of the ramps.
X games was still just figuring itself out then.
Dave was a pioneer in the sport and became so good at riding he began setting records. Dave was the first rider to ever pull a double backflip. He won 24 medals at the X Games which stood as a record until 2013. He even tied Tony Hawk and Joe Parsons as the fastest to reach 14 X Games medals.
The dude was unstoppable.
Tonight I found an update on what happened and the sadness still resonates. All the action sports icons who speak about Dave were guys I looked up to for years. I wonder if they deal with depression as well. In fact, Carey Hart acknowledges that he does:
When you watch the video or read some of the posts people made, if you too are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, keep these lessons I learned in mind.
Number one - Reach out for help. Call your friends. Seek a doctor. Talk about it. Don't hide it inside. Dealing with the demons you are facing can destroy you if you let them brew too long. I know from experience. I've let it go too long in the past. After my Dad took his life it was hard and then again after the Olympics. When you let it go too long it takes that much longer to get out of it. You need to be willing to ask for help.
It's common to think "Hey, I can handle this. I've got it on my own."
The truth is, you don't. Or you would have handled it by now. Accept that you need help or you wouldn't be in this place today. Get help now.
Number two - Accept help. That means when someone offers for you to try meditation or medication, prescriptions, yoga, going for a walk, reading a book, or seeing a psychologist... whatever it is, that you accept that suggestion and TRY IT. Don't expect everything to work out but give it a shot... and keep trying to find a solution until you find something that does work.
There's a solution out there. You are not alone. You are not in the dark about this.
We are more alike than we are different.
Don't do what Dave, or my dad did. When you take your own life you may solve your problems, but in reality all you are doing is passing them onto someone else.
Dave left behind his wife and two daughters. My dad left myself, my sister, and mother behind. I struggle with those thoughts the most. Neither my mom nor my sister do, thankfully. I can tell you however that like Carey hart said, I'm not too stoked either of these guys did it. We have to think about that now every day.
Taking your life gives others permission to do the same, and you need to break the cycle before it starts.
Choose to keep on fighting my friends, because if you give up now, your story is over. Don't let a silly thought be the end to the rest of your life.
Find a way to keep on fighting. Your life is worth it.