“Concern is static,” says Mark Mathews. “You’ll squash it.”

Ahead of you fall underneath the spell of Mark Mathews and his prey-to-predator alchemy as proven within the movie The Different Aspect of Concern, let me describe the illusion of the Fearless Guy.

He’s, within the way back summer time of 2016, thirty-three years outdated, of reasonable peak, sporting a small overlaying of pink fur throughout a big domed head, with darker hair tumbling over a small chest prior to mountain climbing a pot-belly and disappearing right into a withered adonis belt and pubis.

We discover the Fearless Guy residing in a Sydney beachside suburb referred to as Maroubra, a as soon as down-at-heel neighbourhood well-known for its gang war and legal episodes now being gussied up by way of builders, a diaspora of Parisians attracted by way of the close by French faculty and creatives pushed out of close by, however dramatically dearer, Bondi. 

He lives within the rented ground-floor condominium of a beachfront block, colored yellow, that was once constructed within the nineteen-thirties. 

His two-bedroom home options waist-to-ceiling home windows, each and every full of the startling color of the Pacific Ocean, fifty metres away. 

The home windows don’t body blue at the scorching December morning I seek advice from to inspect his newest browsing harm, a proper leg that was once virtually misplaced to a surgeon’s knife after it was once came upon the dislocation of his knee right through a abdomen churning wipeout had choked off an artery. 

As an alternative, we discover the Fearless Guy reclined on a five-hundred-dollar microfibre living room chair in the similar puke yellow color because the condominium development, blinds drawn, a blood-stained white sheet strewn at the surface. 

On slightly fold-out desk is a zip-lock bag the dimensions of a Beverly Hills housewife’s handbag full of oblong blister packs containing government-approved opiates of differing origins and strengths. 

“I will be able to’t stand having a look on the ocean and no longer realizing if I’m ever going to surf once more,” he says.  

He grimaces. 

“I’m fortunate to not be in a wheelchair.”

A couple of months previous, he was once running with the Australian photographer Leroy Bellet, who made his identify filming surfers from at the back of, a thorough methodology that almost invitations crisis, on a undertaking for power drink corporate Pink Bull.

The pair had been towed into an three-storey top reef wave at the NSW South Coast. The wave went underneath sea-level, because the ledges the Fearless Guy favours are at risk of do, and he jumped off when the lip in entrance of him began to collapse. 

The physics of water transferring vacuumed him from the ground of the wave to the highest and he landed foot first at the reef.

“To start with, I assumed my leg was once damaged,” says the Fearless Guy, whose nickname “Chalk” references his innumerable accidents together with a shoulder harm on a ten-storey monster in Hawaii that had stored him out of the water for the former 9 months. 


“I’d best simply began browsing once more.”

After this 12 months’s wipeout, he was once installed a full-body brace and brought by way of helicopter to health facility. 

“The primary op was once an artery switch. After the surgical treatment the document got here out and informed my lady he wasn’t positive I might stay my leg,” he says. 

He stored the leg.

Now he ain’t so positive he’ll trip a wave, any wave, no longer even one foot, let on my own the twenty-foot monsters he’s constructed a occupation on. 

Because the morning solar tries to penetrate the darkish subject material of the blinds, he drags himself off the simple chair and scoops up his aluminium crutches. 

“I fucking hate this stuff.”

A glance. 

“I hate those extra.”

He tosses his zip-lock bag right into a plastic bin, ties a knot within the liner and hobbles out to the development’s garbage boxes.

The Fearless Guy chooses ache over dependancy. 

He is aware of harm, the inertia that follows and a reliance of opiates will poison his thoughts up to his physique. 

“It’s gonna be difficult, however I’m no longer going to be a junkie.” 

It’s a work of theatre I’ve noticed prior to. 

When the shoulder was once torn from its socket on that ten-storey wave in 2015, a physique of water described by way of the very well-known Hawaiian big-waver Shane Dorian as “some of the greatest and heaviest waves I’ve ever noticed”, his surgeon stated the view from inside of his deltoid was once an “explosion” very similar to the mess he’d noticed on a motocross rider he’d operated on two months previous. 

The Fearless Guy had come again to Maroubra to get well. 

Then, as now, the blinds had been drawn, simple chair wheeled out from the storage and the zip-lock bag opened. 

However as ache aid grew to become to wish and his thoughts started to run alongside darkish tracks, the medicine had been binned and the sunglasses opened. 

The street to a wholesome, non-dependant restoration from catastrophic harm ain’t simple neither is it lovely. 

It’s an apprehension of a ache so deep it seems like your bones are being eaten from the interior; an apprehension that the ones loads of humiliating rehab periods are needless and your leg or shoulder is rarely going to serve as in any significant sense. 

As simple as it could be to drift on an artificial cloud, the Fearless Guy doesn’t glance away.

On each events, I used to be there for the dumping of the medicine within the out of doors boxes and the squinting of his eyes because the blinds had been opened and solar flooded his lounge.

His eyes modify to sunlight. I see him actually grit his tooth. 

He tells me he’s been afraid of the entirety: small waves as a child, large waves as a teen, everlasting incapacity on account of some dumb wipeout and, maximum of all, and comically given what he now does for a residing, public talking. 

And the way he has spent the closing fifteen years finding out no matter he can to find, self-help books, peer reviewed clinical research analyzing the behaviour of the mind in nerve-racking scenarios, philosophical dissertations at the that means of lifestyles and the frameworks, from the vintage religions to the cosmic, to assist him create his personal road-map to residing a lifestyles liberated from worry.

He is aware of being crippled doesn’t all the time imply a damaged leg or twisted backbone. 

“Need and resolution is dynamic,” he says. “Concern is static. You can squash it.”

“How?” I ask, having a look on the swelling of flesh and tissue on his leg, colored red at the back of a unfastened bandage. 

“That,” he says, “would fill a e book.”

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