I found out today that the legendary action sport athlete Dave Mirra died from a self inflicted wound. It’s not uncommon to read articles about extreme athletes dying at a young age, but Dave Mirra’s death was different. I’m still trying to make sense of it. Somehow depression snuck into his life and got the best of him. Which seems strange because Dave was an innovator who piled on medals at the X-Games. According to wikipedia here are just a few of his career accomplishments :
He won a medal at the X Games in every year from 1995 through 2009, with the exception of 2006. He won 24 medals at the X Games, including 14 gold medals, which stood as a record until 2013. In 2005, Mirra won the Best Male Action Sports Athlete ESPY Award
As the action sports world and myself are mourning the tragic news, I felt nudged to explore this unmerciful monster called: Depression. I know that Dave is not the only action sports star who has fought it. This monster takes you on in an invisible mental war. Its easy to assume that people that can double backflip a BMX are emotionally on top of the world. But it’s simply not true. Sometimes even success can lead to depression, especially when the “glory” days seem to be behind us.
Depression is often masked by those that struggle with it. No one likes to admit weakness, but according to surveys it plagues about 10% of our nation and it’s said that 25% of college students struggle with it.
So what causes it? HURT.
Somewhere, some place, a person has began to feel hurt.
Hurt can hit a person in a variety of way:
A person can try to conquer depression by drinking more, but it won’t work for the long haul .
There are no quick fixes, but here are some ways to help you face-off with this monster and kick it out of your life.
Caleb Bislow the author of Dangerous and founder of Unusual Soldiers..