There is a small, encouraging voice in all of us. Urging us forward. Telling us to get after the things that set our soul on fire and get amongst life.

It can be so very hard to let go of our inhibitions and follow that voice that resides somewhere deep within us. There is more often than not a brasher, louder voice that likes to use reason and logic to talk us out of chasing these little ideas. A louder voice that points out the easier route. The safer option. 

It is surprisingly difficult to pursue the little ideas. 

But sometimes, while we are busy doing what we think we should, life gives us an almighty shove in a different direction. It is kind of like she is forcing our hand, leading us to a point where it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore that little idea we have buried somewhere deep inside ourselves.

STOKEDNZ was born out of one of those moments. When life gives you such a solid slap across the face that the idea of throwing caution to the wind and giving something a crack actually starts to seem a little less daft. 

It began with a seemingly innocuous OTB (over the bars) mountain bike incident. From all reports I got up laughing. But the following twelve months spent recovering from the resulting traumatic brain injury were not such a laughing matter. 

Looking back of course, it is always easier to see. At the time, we battle and fight against the black moments of life, cursing their unannounced arrival on our doorstep. We resent the enforced deviation from our previous and often comfortable equilibrium. But these uninvited departures from the plan can open the door to opportunities that otherwise would have remained hidden. Could it be that our darkest moments are simply life shoving us towards something else? Testing us. Unsettling us from the comfort we have built around ourselves. Urging us to take a leap. Make a positive change. Try something different. Explore further. 

I was a typically bright and bubbly human who thrives on the outdoors. The emotional turmoil, and the physical, mental and environmental restrictions that resulted from my injury were a massive adjustment. But it is also kind of funny how life has its own agenda. Because, as it turns out, when you’re not allowed to read, look at a screen, or ride your bike for months on end, you get a lot of time to think. And, it also turns out, that provides just enough space for amazing little ideas to take shape and spread their little roots a tinsy bit deeper into your soul.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like you just leap and it all happens easily. Change is hard. Being out of our comfort zones is, at times, terrifying. Starting up a small business involves hours of doubt and questioning and huge amounts of sheer hard work. Letting go of what was, for what could be, can be an almighty transition. 

But I also love seeing what can happen when people let go and get after it.

There is nothing quite like facing yourself and your fears and seeing if you can push past them. I tend to think that when we do, when we battle across the obstacles in front of us, or swallow our pride and give hard and challenging things a crack, we are always stoked that we did.

That feeling of working out that what you’re capable of is so much more than you realised? 

That’s the feeling we are about. 

Being stoked.

Stoked is when you push through the lung screaming, leg burning phase of a climb and make it to the top of a mountain. Stoked is when you finally ride that line you’ve been chicken running for months. Stoked is when you nail a jump. Stoked is when you catch the wave. Stoked is when you manage to get out of your warm bed in the early hours and witness the fleeing magic of nature unleashing a sunrise in all her glory.

Stoked is what happens when you take the risk. The path less travelled. 

That feeling of weary happy fatigue that sets in at the end of a day’s adventure with your mates? We call that being stoked.

That feeling of putting on warm dry clothes after stripping off under your towelie (hooded towel poncho) and ridding yourself of your mud splatted adventure gear? Oh, yep. We call that feeling, being stoked.

That feeling is what we are all about. 

Resetting our ideas of what we are capable off. Getting after that thing that sets your soul on fire and lights up your passion. Following your dreams and getting amongst life.

Chasing the stoke.

Sharing the stoke.

Life is short, do cool shit friends!

Debs x