Ivan I's Footblog

Keep a diary of what you're hitting, what's frustrating you, and your goals.
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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by C-Fan » 12 Jan 2014 18:02

Yeah, plus i'm sure you'll be one of those kids hitting nemesis in a couple years, since you're still in college and you play a lot.

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by isirc10 » 12 Jan 2014 22:37

I held off so Ken could get his post in - and I was not disappointed.

Back is not feeling any better, but I guess I will just hang out with the club this week and see how things progress. Thanks for the posts all - Enjoyed Doug's post especially :lol:
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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by isirc10 » 21 Jan 2014 19:46

... and we're back! (that was awful, I know)

Kinda. Back still hurts when I am sitting down, but gives no trouble when I am kicking or standing up. Right now, the worst pain is coming from the muscles surrounding the muscle I pulled, which were probably working extra hard while the other one healed.

Played a bit with Nate, Kat and Khoa yesterday. Drilled my flip atomic for the first 3 hours, then worked on spinning for the next two. Had a nice break in between with a shower and some food. Finally got my flip atomic set to cooperate when used midstring. Some highlights:

:arrow: spinning mirage, legover, pickup
:arrow: gyro legover, clipper, pickup
:arrow: lots of atomic links on both sides
:arrow: 30 contact run to finish the session

Still terrible at spins, but whatever. They are fun until you get dizzy.
And now back to homework. I already have a lot to do, and it's only the second week of the semester. Nothing more to report.
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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by krustykrakk » 21 Jan 2014 21:33

Benjamin J. Babyak

I kick, therefore I am.

Did ya look at it?

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by isirc10 » 08 Feb 2014 00:26

So stuff happened and I kicked and more stuff happened and now I am not kicking again due to screwing up my hip. Taking a week off until I can walk normally again.

In the meantime I have been drilling the hell out of atomic drills:
:arrow: pdx mirage > atomsmasher
:arrow: pdx illusion > omelette
:arrow: tap > legover rpt
:arrow: tapping pickup rpt
:arrow: atomic osis > pdx mirage rpt
:arrow: doing 10 legbeaters at the end of each session on both sides
:arrow: fusion BS

Stepping has been put on the back burner because it was making my shins feel shitty and overall I think I might need to revisit how I do them before I transition to harder tricks. I have been biking a lot more and playing racquetball recently since I haven't kicked in a week. Still working the legs but doing it carefully. When I do kick, I end up teaching people at the club tricks. Doing that has really refined my osis and legovers, and I can now do 30-50 legovers without breaking a sweat or thinking about them. Also worked on SS butterfly (from clipper) for the first time in my life and found it to be a very pleasant and relaxing reset trick. Thanks Kat for bringing that one up.

Currently working on a badass trailer for PSU Jamps. It's gonna be like no other footbag trailer I have ever seen and I am super pumped to film and edit it. Just hope there is nothing serious with my hip, felt almost like I dislocated it or jammed something in the joint. Not a good feeling. Pretty much ruined the next few days for me.

Till later modified. Stoked to see all of the new activity in the section. Keep it up guys. I will be back sooner or later, and I will show the world that you don't need to learn pixies when you have atomics.
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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by isirc10 » 11 Feb 2014 23:08

Cautiously played today for the first time in a week. Was a short session, about an hour and a half of shred. Was already warmed up after my racquetball class and went straight to my basics drills to see if my hip would start bothering me. Thankfully, it didn't, and there was only one instance where it reminded me that I mistreated it and I immediately stopped to stretch for about 5 minutes. It was a strange session as the floor was incredibly dusty and I couldn't get any traction at all on the court. Every trick I hit had to be very tight and vertical, and my balance had to be perfect or I would just slip and drop the bag. This was a nice indicator of which tricks I struggle with and which ones are on lockdown.
I learned that I could do 100-150 atomic sets without feeling fatigue in my legs at all, ending on various tricks, muted and not muted. I am getting very excited how efficient atomics are becoming and how mindless certain tricks are becoming (on both sides!). Atomsmasher BSOS wasn't much of challenge today, and I even had strings where I hit atom>atom and kept going (this was something that I could hardly do three weeks ago). I even got some nice legbeater>stepping links which was exciting. Practiced hitting atomics out of any trick ending on toe that I could hit and found that all of them were relatively easy to get. I especially liked PDX mirage> muted tapping butterfly RPT. Worked on some drills with tap and tapping pickup (muted) with a lot of success.
Ended the session with some attempts at fusion, tapping muted torque, atomic torque, atomic drifter. While I am bludgeoning my flip pixie into submission using the brute force method, my atomics have picked up the slack and are making footbag very enjoyable. I am almost tempted to say screw pixies for now and just focus on atomics - at the end of the day, its about having fun, right? Everyone does pixies and the same old pixie tricks. Sure I will want to learn them eventually so it's not a hole in my game, but I think the next month I will focus on getting atomics into my strings, like I did with stepping before winter break. Who knows, maybe I will actually be decent at them? Can anyone say backside alpine fusion? :twisted:

Just kidding about that last part. I think.
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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by MetZelRio » 11 Feb 2014 23:13

I'm recording audio to text for this:

"backside Alpine fusion"

There I just said it.

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by C-Fan » 12 Feb 2014 08:35

Atomics are definitely cooler than pixies. I'd much rather watch somebody's game if they've mastered atomic over pixie.

Hope your injuries go away. Just remember to listen to your body and adjust accordingly. Sounds like you're doing that already.

Challenge: tap record on both sides.

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by F[uns]tylin' Eclectic » 12 Feb 2014 15:22

isirc10 wrote:and I even had strings where I hit atom>atom and kept going (this was something that I could hardly do three weeks ago).
I also said (basically) the same thing as you sometime in 2012. It's a good thing to say. Props. Kinda weird but I'd like to see Tapping Dyno and Tapping Reverse Whirl from you. Tapping Drifters are going to be easy for you before you know it, too.

I agree with Ken. I'd rather see you shredding dense with Atomics that Pixies. Great job on starting the "solidify atomics" process. It takes a lot of work, but you're so close to having them solid. I think your's are better than mine, to be ever so honest.

Keep it going.
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"Yeah dude it's all mental. Then it's physical" ~Evan Gatesman

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by boyle » 13 Feb 2014 04:53

I think that if you have a strong atomic set, it's not going to take long to add a couple of pixie moves in the middle to really extend that toe game. Like the other guys said, a focus on atomics will be much better to see.

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by isirc10 » 18 Feb 2014 14:02

Well I figured I would concentrate on atomics, and all of your feedback has certainly given me more motivation to get them as consistent as possible. Have been playing two or three times a week, still have some bruising in my hip that feels weird every now and then but everything else feels fine. Turned my ankle playing racquetball and was still able to kick the next day, which is a testament to how footbag has strengthened the muscles around my ankles and increased flexibility. At this point, the limiting factor in my physical ability to play is the amount of sleep I am getting on a daily basis.

Drifters have been getting faster and smoother, and I am getting pretty close to hitting atomic drifter. Torque is starting to show up in runs and ducking is starting to be a trick I go to when I get tired in my strings. Overall good signs.

In other news, I spent the last 3-4 days working on the PSU Jamps trailer which was a lot of fun to film and edit. It was the first time I had done something so complex (storyboarded and all). I got to ride a horse after we finished shooting on Saturday, which was probably one of the most enjoyable things I have done this year. Some of the editing was time consuming and I will admit that I was completely clueless when I started out. Filming took about 7 hours and editing took 11-12. However, I learned a LOT and am now fairly comfortable using Adobe AE and Premiere to edit footage. This should make for some awesome footbag videos in the future. Sure, the footage needed a lot of correction and I would have done some things differently, but I am very happy with this as a first effort at a "polished" video production. The trailer was shot using my new NEX 5r camera, which I have grown to love the past few weeks. Photography/cinematography has turned into a bit of a hobby, and I think it will grow well alongside footbag. Last Worlds made me realize how much the footbag community relies on video to stay connected and grow, and hopefully now I will have the right equipment to create videos that people love to watch. I have some footbag videos that I have watched 20-30 times and still enjoy, and I hope one day I will be able to give back to the community with similar videos. I want people to click on my links like I click on Mads or Jays videos, expecting something mindblowing and not being disappointed. One can always dream. (I would also kill to have a player who could hit whatever I asked them on film, but that is asking a lot so lets just forget I even said that)

Anyway, enough with the film talk and future aspirations. Time to get back to getting my game where it needs to go in order to be that player myself.
Oh, and thanks for all the great feedback on the video on here and FB - It is nice to know that others enjoy the product of my labor as much as I enjoy the process myself.
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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by boyle » 18 Feb 2014 17:52

Reality is boring, more talk of future aspirations!

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU) - A summary of the past 48 hours

Post by isirc10 » 25 Feb 2014 13:49

Hey modified. The last few days have been the worst that I have ever experienced in my life, so I think I will share them here before my memory blurs it all into oblivion. No happy endings here and it’s pretty lengthy, so if you don’t feel like reading it, I won’t be offended. Writing this post took a few tries, but I think it was worth it to get it out of my system.

On Friday and Saturday night, I had this terrible feeling that I was going to lose someone close to me and I could do nothing about it. It wasn’t just a fleeting thought – my whole body just felt terrible and I was actually worried – I am not superstitious and always look at these things as coincidences based on stress or sickness. I even asked Ryan if he had felt this before, but I don’t remember his answer. I didn’t give it much thought, but it was very worrying when the feeling repeated for a few days.
On Sunday night, as I was heading home from Train club after our open house, I got a phone call. I was just about to unlock my bike and ride when I got it. It was one of my friends from Russia, Anastasia. I met her when I was visiting my grandparents at their summer home when I was 5 years old. Since then, we became good friends. She was in a relationship with my best friend Ilya, who was born 5 minutes after me, in the room next door. My mom says I knew him longer than I knew my dad. We were neighbors and grew up together until I was 2 and we moved to America. He stayed in Russia and I would visit him in the summer every year until I was 16. We were like brothers and talked every few days through Gchat or Skype. His father succumbed to alcoholism when he was 4 and once he started attending university in Saint-Petersburg, his mom fell out of communication with him as she settled with another man. This only made us closer, and he was very much a part of my family. We would always celebrate our birthdays together over Skype. I talked to him last Thursday, asking what he wanted to do for our birthday, and we couldn't decide and postponed the decision till the next time we talked.

When Nastia called, I knew something bad had happened. It was too late for her to be calling me, and her voice had absolutely no emotion. I can’t forget how empty it sounded. She told me that Ilya had been hit by a truck as he was walking home from work. She went out looking for him when he didn’t come home to their apartment and saw the scene with the police cars and ambulance. He died immediately. She and I were his only contacts under “family” in his phone (which shattered but still turned on). Some bystanders said they saw him step out in front of the truck, while others said the truck jumped the curve as it turned right at speed. During the conversation, I said nothing. She wouldn’t have heard it anyway. I don’t remember who hung up the phone, but I just remember being in a daze when it happened. I had somehow unlocked my bike and was already on it. I pedaled up the hill, waited at the light, and kept going when it changed. Ryan caught up to me and passed me saying something. I don’t know what he said, but I think I replied with something like “I’m fine, don’t wait up”.

The ride home was surreal. I have never ridden that slowly. I kept wishing I was in a dream where I could just wake up and snap out of it. That never happened. I got home, parked my bike downstairs, got inside, headed straight to my room and just lost it. I hadn’t cried in a long time. It was the most helpless feeling in the world, and I have no idea if it helped or not. I think I might have cried for an hour or so, and then fell asleep from exhaustion. That didn’t last long, as my dreams just kept replaying the events I had heard over the phone and I was drawn to the question of whether he actually took his own life or if it was an accident. I could not accept that it was a suicide. I distinctly remembered the day in June when we were 16 where we sat on a decommissioned bridge and talked about life. We promised each other that when the day came and one of us left the earth that it was not going to be suicide. It was too selfish.

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep for very long. I woke up around 11 in the evening and headed out. I posted on FB about my loss, without any particular reasoning, and grabbed my bike. I rode out to Mount Nittany (a small hill 4 miles away with a nice overlook of the town which I had climbed countless times before). The ride there was very relaxing and I didn’t think about anything. I might have still been in shock. Surprisingly, I did remember to wear my helmet and had my phone charged. I got there and hiked to the overlook at a moderate pace, in the darkness. The moonlight was enough to illuminate the snowy trail and the hike isn’t particularly difficult. I got to the top and just sat there looking at the lights of the town, the buildings on campus, the roads with the occasional car driving through. I don’t remember if I was thinking about anything, I was just there alone on the overlook and it made me feel at peace.

At some point, I remembered Nastia. I hadn’t talked to her when she called, so I decided to call her back. She picked up after 4 rings. Her first words were “In ten minutes, I won’t have to worry about this anymore” or something along those lines. I don’t think I had ever heard anything scarier in my entire life. I knew she wouldn’t hesitate to do it either. I pleaded for her not to hang up as long as I was talking to her. Apparently she and Ilya had gotten into an argument that morning and she thought he killed himself. I immediately messaged my other friends in the city and told them to go to Ilya and Nastia’s place as quickly as they could and to be prepared to stay there for some time. I spent the next 4 hours pleading for her not to end her life. The only replies I would get were silence or quiet one word responses. I cannot describe how desperate I was. There was no way I was going to lose another of my close friends that day. Toward the end of the 4 hours, she finally responded with a request for me to sing one of the campfire songs we used to sing in the summer with Ilya and our other friends. I made it through that song, but it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I doubt I will ever sing it again. By that point, some of my friends had arrived and I convinced her to let them in. I stayed on the line until she promised me that she would call me back in a few hours. Hanging up was a terrible feeling. She was still in shock. She didn’t have any feelings. None of my appeals to logic or emotion could have gotten through. I had just hoped I had done the right thing, that I had done enough.

The sun was rising as I rode back to State College. It meant nothing to me. Looking back, it was the lowest I had ever been in my life. Riding back, I remember thinking to myself that if I got hit by a car at this point, it wouldn’t have mattered. It wouldn’t have made anything worse, or better. I still shudder thinking about how dark my mind was. Thankfully, I didn’t see a single car as I made my way back home. Exhausted, I went to bed. I didn’t remember any dreams I had, there was nothing left of me. I sent everything over the phone during those 4 hours. I woke up around 10 or 11 on Monday. I didn’t bother going to my first class. I did a quick presentation for my second class and the professor let me leave halfway through it as he knew something was wrong. About five minutes after leaving, I finally got the call I was promised. Nastia made it through the day, and was starting to slowly emerge from shock. I spent the next 2 hours talking about how it was an accident and not suicide; how I knew that he would never do it. She just listened.

I can’t describe how hopeless and powerless it made me feel. I had come to terms with his passing the previous night on the mountain, and made it my life’s goal to keep her alive. I was her life support. I had never done anything like this in my life before. I always hated talking on the phone, and here I was trying with every last breath to will someone on the other side of the world to keep living through her nightmare. She refused to talk to her parents; she barely spoke to my friends who had been taking shifts staying at the apartment, helping her however they could. At the end of the conversation, she broke down and started crying. I don’t know if it was something I said, or if it was just the time that had passed, but suddenly she responded to something. It may sound strange, but I breathed a sigh of relief. There was hope still. However, the next few hours were going to tough as reality hit her full force.

It was about 4:30 in the evening when I first talked to someone about it. I met with Kat at a café and had a smoothie and a coke while I went through everything that had happened. It was nice to talk to someone in person, someone who had feelings, someone whose life hadn’t just been shattered. It refocused me and allowed me to get some of the built up stress and sorrow out of my system. I felt bad doing it though, because it was very generous of her to spend her time listening and sympathizing and I was essentially dumping the sorrows of my life on her. At 5:20, I left and went home before immediately leaving to go to the train club. I needed to do something with myself, and building stuff was always my most effective coping strategy. One of the alumni members of the club, Mike Greene, stopped by to get some work done and offered me help. We talked about it for some time and I came to a better understanding of Ilya’s life and how much he meant to me. Mike also reassured me that I had done the right thing with Nastia, and told me of an instance when he had to call one of his friends to keep him from ending his life. Nick also FB’ed me and talked about his experiences, which brought my spirits up. I went home around 1:00 am, feeling a lot better. I watched some Top Gear with Ryan and laughed for the first time in days. Also caught up one some sleep.

Tuesday I woke up around 8:30, then went back to sleep knowing that I didn’t have it in me to go to my racquetball class. I finally opened my eyes around noon and saw that Nastia had IM’ed me. I left the apartment to give her a call. The next two hours were me listening to her cry. Everything had hit her. I was caught off guard. Then I snapped and screwed up. She started saying something about there being nobody left in the world to love, and that she was all alone, to which I responded with “do you know how many hours I spent talking to you these last two days? Do you know how hard it was for me to listen to silence? I don’t know if I could have lived if you had killed yourself. How can you say nobody loves you?” After that there was silence. Then after two minutes of sobbing she hung up. I felt terrible again. I tried calling back but I got voicemail. I messaged my friend who was at her apartment and he said she was in her room with the phone turned off. I didn’t know if I could have screwed that up any worse.

An hour later, she called me back and cried, apologized, and made me feel like an absolutely terrible human being. She counted the hours I had spent on the phone with her and the messages I sent. It was my turn to be irrepressibly sad. The only consolation was that she realized that she was not alone and that I too had lost someone who meant the world to me. She promised me we would make it through this. I teared up, overwhelmed with sorrow and a sliver of hope. I asked her if she would try to sleep tonight and she promised me she would try. We ended the call, and I could not image how hard it would be for her to see the bed empty. I messaged my friend who was at the place and talked to him for an hour. He brought his German Shepard over and he lay on the floor beside her as she cried herself to sleep. The bed was empty for another night. I told him to mention rearranging the furniture or having her move out of the place when she woke up.

It is now 4:45 pm on Tuesday and I just finished my third attempt at typing this up. I am going to talk to Kat about this in a few minutes, and will talk to George tomorrow. Things are moving on and looking up. I still am torn to shreds by how Anastasia must feel, and hope she calls me when she wakes up. Keep her in your prayers if you believe. And thanks for the support my friends. Your messages and kind words have been keeping me afloat during these last 48 hours.
Ivan Iakimenko

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by Allan » 25 Feb 2014 16:11

My condolences, friend :)


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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by Cass » 25 Feb 2014 16:32

<3

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by sen » 25 Feb 2014 17:21

I don't really know you Ivan, but I want you to know that you and your friends will be in my prayers. Also, you did an amazing thing with helping Anastasia. As emotionally drained as you were, you were there for her to help her through her loss. You are amazing.

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by boyle » 26 Feb 2014 05:59

Heavy stuff man, that must have been, and will continue to be, something incredibly difficult, especially considering you being so far away. Two things show the impressive nature of technology these days - one, that you can support a friend on the other side of the world through a real crisis, and two, people from all around the world can support you.

Talking helps and it's great to have your friends around, and writing things down to just get this feeling out is a great help too. Sorry to hear about this news, I hope things improve for you soon.

Tony is right too, you did something really amazing.

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by C-Fan » 26 Feb 2014 07:07

Wow, that's brutal. Props on pushing past your own emotional distress to help out your other friend though. As Dan points out, it's great that we live in a world shrunk by technology, where you can have a positive influence on people half way around the world. I hope writing your post was cathartic for you, and I'm glad you have such good friends at PSU to help you out as well. Withing you nothing but good vibes, Ivan.

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by isirc10 » 26 Feb 2014 12:04

Thanks guys, it's been rough, but we are on day three now and it is strangely calm. It's almost like life has decided to move on and let us look back on Ilya's life without having to worry whether the people you care about will still be there the next morning. Nastia has been calling me more frequently, no longer crying (I am pretty sure she is physically unable to at the moment). She did get some sleep last night and was in better spirits during the day. Mornings and evenings are especially tough. My friends have been over at her apartment to comfort her and do shopping/cooking/laundry and I am incredibly thankful for what they have done, just because I asked them to. If there is anything that I have learned over the past few days is that true friends will do anything for you, be it listening to your troubles or finding the will to keep living.

I played footbag for the first time in a week this morning. It felt surreal being alone in a racquetball court and watching the bag rise up and down from the simplest clipper sets. I don't know if it was lack of energy, sleep, or just a massive amount of stress, but things moved a lot slower than I expected them to. After about 20 minutes that feeling left and I was back to my usual self, hitting atom>atom and then dropping the ensuing ss butterfly. :roll: Some things never change. I hit a few decent tiltless runs, but didn't really care how hard I played or what I dropped. Consecutive clippers were just as fun as consecutive ripwalks or drifters. This was just stress relief. It also showed me that I need to start taking better care of myself because I was dying after 10-15 contacts of easy stuff. Point taken. Sometimes I forget about my physical needs when I am worried or stressed and won't eat or sleep for a few days, which can't be good. Will be working to correct that since things have started to stabilize. Still feel mentally drained though, it feels like all of the phone conversations have been leaving me with less and less of myself in my head. Might sound weird, but that's how I feel. I discuss a lot of things internally and I am really missing that part of me right now.

Nathan's going away session is this Friday, and I don't know if I will kick, but I know I will still be there regardless of how I feel. Definitely gonna miss kicking with him this spring, as he is often the inspiration for the club's sessions. We will all be dropping on BOPs and he will walk in and throw down a beast. Then people will start magically hitting sick 3s and runs of 30+ contacts all of a sudden. Eventually I want to be that good.

As Boyle said - reality is boring (or a bit too exciting at times), more talk of future aspirations!
Thanks again my friends, I am once again reminded why the footbag community is so awesome.
I think Kevin said it best in an FB message: "keep your head up and live life in homage to those who helped bring fulfillment to yours"
Till later.
Ivan Iakimenko

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Re: Ivan I's Footblog (PSU)

Post by F[uns]tylin' Eclectic » 27 Feb 2014 22:41

Just know you did the right thing. You're an incredible person, Ivan. I can only imagine how it's been for you. After reading the story, I understand why you feel how you feel. If he knew what happened, he would encourage both you and Nastasia to keep pushing on and succeeding in life. I know it will be hard, but you'll get through it all. You're one of the strongest (mentally) guys I have ever met.. If anyone can deal with something like this, it's you.

I'm really glad I ended up meeting you through this crazy random sport. First you were this kid who came up to our circle, said you had Lavers, and turned into our student, then we were flatmates who learned a lot from each other, now you've become one of my best friends. You might not realize it, but you've really helped shape me into who I am now. Thanks for being you.

PS. I'll always have an ear open for you… unless they both fall off. Then just text me.

Good luck, buddy.

(sorry I didn't comment last night, I was really busy and didn't wanna leave a short crappy reply)
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"Yeah dude it's all mental. Then it's physical" ~Evan Gatesman

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