Mental Health Awareness
With the recent shootings in Las Vegas, much has been said recently about mental health. It is important to educate people about habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or might even signal the existence of mental health problems. These include risk factors such as risky sex, prescription drug misuse, internet addiction, excessive spending, marijuana use, and troublesome exercise patterns. These are problems that can plague all of us if we don’t take evasive action. Here are a few tools and resources to raise awareness about the risks associated with these types of behaviors in hopes of helping other people detect early warning signs and seek help early.
My Own Mental Health Story
I’ve been motorcycle racing for years. And while some people call me crazy for doing it when I have only one kidney and am 62 years of age, I defend the choice because racing makes me sane. So, in honor of Mental Health day, which is held each October, I wanted to share a few of my ideas about how to improve your own mental health, along with ways my goal to solo the upcoming 50th Baja 1000 next month:
I’ve been racing most of my life. And, during that time, I’m almost always shooting to achieve something specific. This isn’t by accident. If experience has taught me anything, it’s that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Admittedly, I didn’t make that up. But it’s true. You won’t achieve anything if you don’t shoot for something. So, whatever it is, come up with a goal you can get excited about. Then, start to train. My own goal to race the Baja 1000 was born out of my love of motorcycle racing and adventure. If you would like to share in it, I am offering a front row seat at this year’s race, in the form of a sponsorship. More on that later.
- Take care of yourself.
As any athlete will tell you, you need to make it a priority to take care of yourself. This includes your thought life as well as your body. That means you need to eat right as well as exercise. I know you’ve heard the phrase, sound mind, sound body. As a Chronic Kidney Disease survivor, I’ve learned this lesson more acutely than my healthier peers. I must take care of myself because I only have one kidney left. You may have two working kidneys. But don’t take that for granted. Make sure you get a screening blood test to measure your kidney function. The test isn’t complicated or expensive. Your kidney function can be measured with blood work taken during any routine physical. I suffered with kidney disease for years before figuring out the source of the problem. Don’t make the same mistake.
- Surround yourself with great people.
If your pit crew sucks, you won’t stand a chance of making it out alive. This is equally important in life as well as while on the racing circuit. I’ve come to rely on my friends and teammates, who help me make it through races and encourage me between. If you’d like to experience the camaraderie we enjoy heading into and along the way in the Baja 1000, ask me about the sponsorship opportunity. I would love to share the experience with you.
- Get serious.
If you don’t train hard, eat right, exercise and hang around the right crowd, you don’t finish the race. If you want to achieve a goal, you need to work hard or it could slip from your grasp.
- Have fun.
Achieving every accomplishment in the world won’t mean a thing if you don’t enjoy the journey. I make it a priority to laugh and enjoy life along the way. That doesn’t mean I don’t get discouraged or lose steam. But it does mean I make sure I focus on what matters – friends, family and fun. Life is short. Make sure you laugh.
About the Race
The Baja 1000 allows drivers to compete in one of several vehicle classes – from such small and large bore motorcycles, stock Volkswagen, production vehicles, buggies, trucks, and custom fabricated race vehicles. The course has remained relatively unchanged over the years, alternating in a point-to-point race from Ensenada to La Paz, or a loop race starting and finishing in Ensenada.
About Dennis Rogers
If you believe in what I am doing – calling attention to the importance of kidney health by competing in a race that most sane people would never attempt, please donate today. Click here to donate to my GoFundMe campaign. Or, better yet, if you would like to be part of the team this November, contact me to ask about the fantastic sponsorship opportunity.
Follow my videos learn from my experiences, laugh at me or with me. I will share my knowledge of what in hopes I’ll be able to help others along the way. The best advice I can give is to get to know your kidney health. A simple blood test can reveal how well your kidneys are functioning. So, ask your doctor for a test. It will be time well spent.