Monday, November 24, 2014

The story of the tattoo

I had some questions about the tattoo. I got it because I wanted to be like Doug Sumi. End of blog post.

In a more serious way, I thought I'd share with you my tattoo and my full reasons behind it. First:

Photo credit: Graham Watson
Alright, so there's my new tattoo. It healed pretty quickly and I'm getting used to seeing it on myself.

As a little back story, I've always been a very vivid dreamer. My whole life I'm used to having lots of dreams and great recollection of those dreams in the morning. If not a dream, I'll be able to recall what I was thinking about before falling asleep quite regularly. I dream often - occasionally three times a week.

Since the my accident and TBI, I've had zero dreams.

That's a small exaggeration. I had one dream about five weeks post-crash and nothing before and nothing since. That dream was very vivid and very clear- and as I woke up and recalled it- it was quite powerful. Having had a blank slate for such a long time made this dream feel extraordinary.

In this dream I got a tattoo of a plus sign on my left wrist. I drew it out in a very specific Sharpie and was able to get a feel on if I liked it enough to get it.

I thought about it for several days, then decided to find that Sharpie. Thinking about it more, I started to see the reasonings behind the plus sign. To me, I think of the plus symbol as a visible form of positivity. Math nerd. Throughout my whole recovery in the hospital, I'd always try to find the good in whatever was happening. I'd look to unlimited extents to find the positive in things, and it truly helped me deeply while suffering in the hospital. I knew that this recovery will be a long road and being positive through it will be something that I always need to rely on.

I drew lots of options in a notepad, and tried out several variations on my wrist in Sharpie.

I decided on the outline with open ends because it also represents a crossroads to me. This accident has been life-changing and will always be a part of me. This tattoo represents how I have and will carry myself through this recovery and the rest of my life.

Continuing on, the more I thought about my dream the more it made greater sense to me. The wrist seemed like a good spot for many reasons: It's easy for me to see, but also not flashy. It's visible to me while I'm riding- so even though I'm riding the trainer- I can be positive while I'm doing it. Also, you better believe that when I win again, it will be very visible in the victory salute. See that! That's being positive right there.

So I drew countless plus signs on my wrists, talked to my "tattooed friend" (asked Tre some questions) and finally got it done after lots of thought to make sure that I was not blindly following a dream like some crazy person.

I never thought I'd get a tattoo. I never thought I'd put such weight into a dream. I've been craving normalcy, and a dream is a semblance of that. Also, I was super tough guying this whole process. I thought that I was invincible and nothing could cause me pain through the tattooing. WRONG! 98% of the tattoo didn't bother me, but going over the tendons was definitely a much more noticeable pain. I've got lots of respect for people who get teardrop tattoos on their faces now!

So that's that.

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