In a nutshell, Move2Live is an opportunity for anyone who may not be feeling right about things in their life to connect with people in an open and inclusive way – where the focus is not about the competition of exercise, but rather the positive benefits that can come from engaging with people, with the added health benefits that exercise can provide. We even throw a beer in the mix (or whatever your choice of beverage) in one of Adelaide’s most inclusive, community spirited and hospitable watering holes and my second home, the Grace Emily Hotel.
To me, the great idea about Move2Live for me is its simplistic way to bring people together and the ability to focus on serious social and community issues like mental health and suicide with a positive approach. There are no loopholes or joining fees, no policies and procedures and most importantly no pressure and no judgement to participate, yet it offers multiple types of value to a broad cross-section of the community – well, at least that’s what I’m telling myself. Haha!
“Sometimes I completely ignore that there is heaps of cool shit I’ve done in my life. I focus on how everything sucks.”
First of all my name’s Michael Petkovic, I’m 38 and live in sunny Adelaide, South Australia. I’m doing a bit of freelance work in an agency and really enjoying it at the moment because I’ve got flexibility and time to focus on my mental wellbeing and I’m finally starting to sort a few things out in my world and in my head which I’ve neglected for some time.
Before I ramble on, I guess I should preface that I’m going to be pretty open about myself and my thoughts in these blogs. I think that in order to help myself and others, I would like to share my experiences in the hope that if there is someone else out there possibly feeling in the slightest way similar to know that they are not the only one. I want to give up a personal side of me to talk about mental health because as a man I think it’s important to acknowledge how you feel in order to improve oneself. That’s my take on things anyway. I think as humans and particularly my case as a white male that’s had a fairly easy run at life, I want to make improvements on how I impact the world. It’s time for me to dig deep and give something more back to the world. I think it can only be a good thing to expand our thoughts and appreciation of things bigger than ourselves. Perhaps then, we may have less things in life that actually bring ourselves down because we are practicing things like compassion and kindness. I know, I sound like a bit of a twat, but I was once the guy who believed in none of this bullshit. Something has happened to me in the last year or so that has flipped the switch.
Let me be clear about things here while we’re getting to know each other. I may refer to a lot of things as a male and it’s most certainly not my intention to draw away from anything from any other gender or anything else. I’m just talking a lot about my own personal thoughts and beliefs that I have created for myself and I’m putting pen to paper to try to make sense of it, so I can be a better person and evolve my thinking.
A lot of stuff I guess that’s going to come out of these blogs is around my relationships with people, my lack of self-belief, bad habits and a highly addictive, intense personality and more than likely – Japan. I’m like one of those I’m like one of those dogs that spends his life growing up around a family of birds, therefore I end up thinking I’m a bird. I basically feel like I’m Japanese in spirit, but on the outside, I’m just white dude with a deep, monotone voice. Going to Japan though has given me the courage to do many, many cool things and develop the person I am today in a profound way. See, I’m already starting to go on about it…
Sometimes I completely ignore that there is heaps of cool shit I’ve done in my life. I focus on how everything sucks. The good thing about that is that I’ve gone and seen someone to help me try to process a lot of that thinking and work on strategies to make changes. That type of thinking has dominated the last several or so years of my life and is completely self destructive and really not healthy because I’ve lost a lot of things I loved because of how I allowed my headspace to become. I think that’s where I’ve kind of lost my way. Shit ain’t that bad. There’s always a chance to steer the ship in the right direction. Being aware of it and doing something about it is often difficult to recognise or often takes a while to realise and that’s exactly what I was doing – just letting my thoughts get worse. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone else, or am I completely crazy? I’m just glad I did something about it before things got really bad.
“I feel like I want to ramp up how I do Move2Live and the only way to ramp up activity, funnily enough, is by ramping things up…”
I could have spent months analysing the hippest name and branding for Move2Live, but I don’t think I want to waste that time on something serious like people taking their own lives or succumbing to depression and anxiety in other ways, so I just put the two elements I want to focus on “moving” and “living” in the name. They’re pretty important to life in general in my eyes. It was called Run It Out, but I was already excluding people in that name because people wanted to walk or use a wheelchair, so that didn’t last long either which is for the best, so we’re sticking with Move2Live, everyone.
I feel like I want to ramp up how I do Move2Live and the only way to ramp up activity, funnily enough, is by ramping things up…
So, I’m in the process of building a website where I can house my blog on in the future so for now it’s a free WordPress blog, but more importantly, I’m doing my best to make relationships with important community organisations, research institutions and like-minded individuals out in the community contributing to creating awareness around mental health issues. I want to have a proper thing going on by the end of the year. My vision for Move2Live is to just get more people to come out and exercise, and reconnect with people at a human level so we can all start feeling better about ourselves. I get it, it’s a pretty utopian vision, but for me that’s what I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to do. I think doing this is what I actually want to be doing with my life.
Image: Cliff (left), Keith (right) and myself in the middle. Taken on week two of Move2Live back in Jan 2017. One support crew, 2 participants – the start of it all.
What you can expect to read?
I was just about to write that I’m going to play this all by ear, but then that kind of goes back to the side of me that I’m actively trying to improve. Hahaha – what a doucher! So no, I’m going to have a plan which I’m thinking of right now as I type… Um… I guess I’m going to talk about:
- Losing a mate to suicide and its affects on my and my friends
- My running life
- My mental health
- Key life experiences that have impacted my mental health
- How Move2Live is doing – News and Updates
- Some of the amazing people who participate in Move2Live
- Mental Health in my community
I think that’s a pretty good starting point to work from – now my next personal challenge is to go and write more blogs about these things so that you can read them – hopefully. I’ll try and keep them a lot shorter too, but also depends on what’s coming out of my mouth at the time…
I definitely don’t want you to think that I’m a narcissistic person or anything, but I guess I’m just getting personal because that seems to be the way that works for me. I want to build trust with anyone that reads this, that it’s ok to have some fucked up thoughts sometimes, it’s just what you do about it and how you can positively move forward which is important.
Anyway, that’s enough rambling for now. Check out the Move2Live Facebook Page (for now…) for more details
And also my Instagram accounts:
Image: One of the biggest weeks to date. 20 participants, all legends and all from completely different walks of life. I was pretty chuffed to see so many people come along to a concept that was only an idea weeks earlier.