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Finally Back in the water | VANTOM Co Founder Tim Cram

Today has been one of the best days of my life and here’s why.

Just over two years ago I had a scary operation to remove a large tumour deep inside my neck that was causing pins & needles and loss of strength in my left arm. I was told by surgeons I had a 50/50 chance of losing partial if not all movement in my left arm due to the complexity and delicate nature of removing the 25cm square lump. Sweet baby Jesus that never happened, however, I lost all feeling down the left side of my face, ear, shoulder and upper left arm which took me quite a while to get used to. My amazing chiropractor worked his magic week after week to get that flexibility and movement back I required to return to physical activities including hitting the waves.

Our family in that time was also hit with another challenge with my partner being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD doesn’t only just impact the survivor it indirectly impacts entire families heavily. The families of PTSD survivors I admire greatly.

I rallied the family last night telling the troops, ‘we’re getting up at 5.30am to got to the beach’! My 8 year old son was like, there’s no way Dad I’m getting up that early. I told him it was important for us as a family to do this together and he agreed. We packed the car with surfboards, breakfast, his school clothes and off we went to Seaworld Beach.

Gearing up in the carpark was just like old times and you couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.

I paddled out, fast losing the strength in my shoulders and arms, but the determination to catch that first wave in two years kept me focused. I turned and paddled into the wave snapping up quickly, going right on my backhand and getting smashed on the close out. I looked to the beach and could see Vanessa and my son Jett with their hands beating in the air. I was totally in the moment without a care in the world. I was back!

I only caught three waves but the childhood memories of many years surfing in Portland came flooding back. I grabbed my son and took him out on his boogie board in an effort to pass my surf skills onto him. I shoved him into some whitewash and he shot into shore laughing all the way. I watched Vanessa wander into the distance walking up the famous Surfers Paradise beach.

We had showers, got our son ready for school by feeding him breakfast and getting him kitted out in his school uniform. Vanessa got herself ready for school tuck shop duties and I got ready for work. We all did this in the seaworld beach car park, sharing stories about how much fun our morning was. Normally we’d be all intermittently rising from our sleep, watching TV while eating breaky, lazing in bed until the last minute before getting ready or just slothing around the house before our day started.

Instead of my routine work day at the same old familiar desk and PC, I decided to do something completely  different. I’m writing this blog from our local Library where the peace and tranquility is bliss and I’m still smiling.

This morning I broke routine, caught a wave, watched my son catch a wave, saw my princess beaming for the first time in a couple of years and are working in peace at the local library. It’s been one of the greatest days ever!


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