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well ..................... my story ..... OT+T ...... >>>>>

October 21 2010 at 6:39 AM

hammer  (Login HammerHammer)
High Heid Yin
from IP address 121.208.118.93

ouuuuffff ........

.........................here goes ...............

.......................................click backspace at ur leisure u might need it wink.gifwink.gif


many close mates know its been a difficult time of late on many levels for allot of us sad.gif

but i have been overwhelmed with AMAZING emails where risti i knew only from posts actually
shared their PERSONAL story with me , i just couldnt believe how strong this website has made
us and has blessed us at the same time , i was working on this earlier in the year , i REALLY
wanted to wait ,, till i got it perfect but u know , i dun think that will ever happen so here
goes nothing wink.gif

for all those mates that reached out to me in the last months and made my heart sing , thank YOU happy.gifhappy.gif

here is mine fwiw in return wink.gif


......... My journey from able body walking watch collector to a
down under paraplegic paneristi ! ..........

It was in 1999 when searching the Internet to source rare and exciting
WW2 Military Watches and Tools that I stumbled onto what was once ,, a
military Secret , Panerai , the rest is history , how could I have
known that my life was about to change so profoundly and completely ,
I couldn't happy.gif

I found the most amazing thing I had ever seen , it was a Panerai Watch happy.gif

Id been an avid watch collector since I was a teen but everything
changed midway through 2000 when I discovered the website
www.paneristi.com the pin dropped , from that moment on I was
empowered in such a spiritual and passionate way , it warms my heart ,
I could have never known how this website and the community of m8tes
that I would come to call my family would change my life happy.gif

Having some major medical problems in the early years of 2000 i found
myself continually stuck in hospital and in bed for months on end
albeit this did afford me the opportunity to visit this site and the
passionate paneristi on an hourly basis , 24-7 for months on end ,
years in fact , but what was amazing to me was that I would open the
forum feeling terrible and in pain , depressed , lonely and miserable
then within minutes I was able to loose myself and divert my attention
to looking and sharing pictures and stories about these beautiful
watches and the m8tes that felt the same was as I did , when i logged
out i was happy , passionate and excited , i felt GR8 , my doctors
used to call it divisional therapy happy.gif

I think at first I was drawn to these watches for the rugged but
simplistic look , italian style , design elements , and visual
stimulation , then I started learning about the history behind my
brand , going back to the early years of 1990's I was fascinated by
the story of these tool watches , the significant link to Sly Stallone
(hey bring back the 80's) and the SLYTECH Panerai's from there the
quest for knowledge finally brought me to the DNA of the brand , the
Vintage Panerai Watches from the late 1930's through to mid 1960's .
The DNA of my brand is unmatched by any other watch marque IMHO , none
carry the rich history of honor , loyalty , courage & the exploits of
the famous men of the Decima Mas with the very first ever Panerai
Wacthes and Tools they became masters of insidious warfare that might
nearly have changed the course of WW2 , a hand full of men wearing
these Panerai Tools !

Men of Honor & Code !!

I think it's quite iconic that the exact watches worn during WW2 are
worn today by collectors , and they don't have a dateline , the look
every bit as awesome today on the wrist as they did 70 years ago ,
that's rare IMHO , and unique to Panerai . Perceptions are a Funny
Thang happy.gif

I felt that my life as a collector had new meaning and I , a new
passion that exists to this day more than ever , with every hour that
passed from the start I fell deeper and deeper in love and lust lol ,
but I could never have anticipate just how much this love for these
watches and the people behind them would mean to me , to my family ,,
and that it would be ,, possibly the very reason I'm still alive today
happy.gif

I ALWAYS went to paneristi when I needed passion and incitement and it
always delivered no matter what time of the day or night in any
timezone there was always mates online from one part of the globe or
the other , paneristi was always online for me when I needed something
and it has been ever since , I enjoy so much to be able to contribute
and be there when a mate needs help or support , that's what mates do
for each other !

As the years passed I had the chance to physically meet many of the
mates I had made from the site , it's funny really when u make friends
in the cyber world you dont ever expect to meet them , you tend to
tell them things that you wouldn't feel comfortable telling some of
your closest friends and family , Ive seen many mates go through so
many things some full of happiness and some full of tragedy ,, each
week for years mailing back and forward building the mateships and
feeling the Spirit and Love of the Paneristi world wide , then in 2005
I traveled from Australia to Italy the birthplace of Panerai and
attended my first Pday , a global meeting of paneristi in Germany ,
for the first time I meet many of these mates in the flesh yet Id come
to know them on a very deep level , I knew things about them and they
about me , it's impossible to put into words the feelings and emotions
! When we meet ,, it was like meeting a family member u have known
all your life , it's amazing the feeling !!! ! MAGIC !
BEYOND explanation , if I had to try ,, you prolly wouldnt get it
anyway , sometimes a picture says more than any amount of words , I
think of images like the group shot at the first so cal gtg in 07 , I
see so many faces and instantly am overcome with emotions & memories ,
and image can help those that don't get it ,, GET IT happy.gif

MSC_2814.jpg

I toured Italy & the EU in 05 >>>

http://www.network54.com/Forum/353391/message/1136752626/Dream+Believe+........+Magic+Happens+%26gt;%26gt;%26gt;

with my best mates and the famous marks that were historically correct
to the early years of Panerai , visiting the most significant shop of
sig Ferretti in Monte cantina , De La Penne's memorial , La Spezia
(wow) and the appreciation I had for my brand grew exponentially ,
panerai & paneristi had become a way of life for me , the place I
would turn to when I was happy , when I was sad and all the times in
between , the community became my family and so it went for some more
years !

I had a life Id worked so hard for , not by luck , that I CHERISHED ?
I was top of the World !

Then on nov 16th 2006 my life took a different turn , I woke up that
day ,, just like any other day ,, only this day was to be different ,,
this day would see all life as I knew it END so completely and for
ever , I suffered a spinal cord injury just below my neck , a BAD ONE
, I often think back to that moment in time and space when everything
changed so completely and forever and I wonder were there any signs ,
or even a feeling , something just odd enough to make me say , be
careful , but u know there just wasn't , it felt like it would be as
any other Thursday , I was wrong about that sad.gif

note to self life is fragile !!

Nov 16th 2006 I arrived by helicopter to the PA hospital in my city
of Brisbane Emergency Dept after a boating accident , having suffered
a horrific spinal cord injury and 2 heart attacks which must have
happened whilst in shock during the 2.5 hours prior to my careflight
rescue >>>>

Funny ,, I didnt feel a thing !

can u imagine having a heart attack and not being able to feel it !!

I WAS TO LEARN THAT WAS JUST THE START OF THE MADNESS sad.gif

There was a Double Dislocation of T4-5 vertebrae , Fracture of the C1
, Fracture of the right hip , fracture of the skull , 2 broken ribs
and numerous other injuries , I had multiple surgeries , infections,
secondary complications ,, it was about 12 weeks before i could get up
and spent 6 months rehabilitating and living in the PA , Spinal unit ,
a time I would come to value dearly , they were teaching me how to
LIVE again EVERYTHING and ALL aspects of my daily live had to change ,
my world was torn upside down , its was a very different life indeed
but with there help , finally i came Home sad.gif

it was nearing the end of my treatment as an inpatient I discussed my
future outpatient rehabilitation with my spinal Physio Specialist and
tru blu M8 Josh , seeking advices on what might sense for me and where
I might continue to search for any recovery but more over improved
function as it was my desire whilst the injury was new, but that was
going to cost allot of $$$ money and would mean moving to the other
side of the world and live there for nearly 8 months , what happens
with the family , wife , one son in grade 1 and my princess only 6
months old what would happen with them ??

SURE I HAD A 10 YEAR PLAN !!!

But it never considered THIS and or the EXTREME COST OF LIVING with
such an injury sad.gif

I had EXACTLY No idea how I would be able to do this ?

my m8tes on paneristi banded together to host gtg's and staged fund
raising events and auctions all over the world and all to raise money
that would help my family and i transition back into the world as a
severely disabled paraplegic , the help they gave me got us through
the entire first and much of the 2nd year after my discharge , They
enabled me to search out the most progressive rehabilitation program
in the world and attend for 8 months , it was the hardest most intense
physical therapy exercise based recovery program u could ever imagine
, ouuuuffff !!!

we couldn't be the family we are today without this help , to say I
valued everything , well ,, how does one communicate this ? It's
impossible !

Sometimes words mean more than any image >>> M8TES is Bloody GR8. u bet wink.gif

I gave it everything I had , everything 110% , I gave blood trying ,
in the end the dream of ever finding recovery had to be let go , no
matter what I did or hard I tried , nothing , actually worse than
nothing cause in the process of trying to walk again , I destroyed
both my shoulders , there finished now , funny I destroyed my
shoulders trying to walk yet now i must walk forever with 2 destroyed
shoulders , hahahaha , well at least I will always know I tried , for
me there is no questions left unasked , I'll never look back and
wonder what could have been , do your best in this life , sometimes
it's enough sometimes it not , but if u give ur heart & soul that's
all that matters , the rest is up to the man upstairs , I can live
with that happy.gif

My RISTI M8TES gave me this chance , blessed fo sure happy.gif

ill NEVER FORGET happy.gif

Sometimes in this life there are NO 2nd Chances , sad but true sad.gif

Nov 2008 I learnt of some new secondary complications ,, like a poss ascending
syrinx , dats no Bueno and least of which was 2 shoulder reconstructions ,
the first in Jan 2009 , 17 weeks in bed, hoisting In & out by crane only
once a day for an hour , unable to even sit up or drink from a cup , 2009
proved to be a difficult year with almost 9 months in bed , whilst 2009
was a HORROR year ,, the worst ive ever had sad.gif(( Surprise , surprise ,,,
surprise AGAIN , when the going got tough and times were dark I would go to
the forum and loose myself , it got me some THROUGH of the darkest days
that kept coming and coming ,, from days to weeks into months into years >>

I simply don't know what I would have done without www.paneristi.com happy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gif

After some time the pain relief meds just didn't work at all , but the
pain relief from paneristi u bet , my M8TES gave me soooooo much POWER
& PASSION ,, all this from what ??

A watch geeks forum in cyberspace ? Does that ever happen ?????

Once in a LIFETIME if u ask me happy.gif

I was determined to make sure 2010 was going to b a cracka , I adopted
some coping strategies to make this happen , planned our first family
holiday since the accident (id been to states twice for rehab but was
training 6 days a week and buggered each night wasnt much of a
holiday) our return to so cal and meeting again the hundreds of mates
that came to visit , they EVEN Threw me a BDAY GTG , i hadnt
celebrated a bday in 5 years it was a trip of dreams for me for US !!!
Meeting 200+ people before we returned home happy.gif

my family had the chance to feel wat I do , REALLY feel the LOVE ,, no
doubt the best was watching them enjoy the risti's in April @ that
MEGA GTG ,, they felt it just as I do and sharing such an amazing &
life changing experience with all , I was ever so PROUD to have them
by my side as all of the risti have been since the day I found the
passion and community that is paneristi , we've been on this journey
together since day 1 and will be till the bitter end ,, u bet happy.gif

Everywhere we went over the 6 weeks there were Risti waiting , to help
with every aspect of our time and give us the god oil on so many
things to make our holiday awesome , the day we all went to Alcatraz
,, the dinner at Jimmys place , the function that mi hermano Chad held
at the BH boutique , what a treat ,, and the trip to Vegas , well u
know how it goes ,, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas happy.gif
.......... hahahahaha happy.gif

It was the BEST holiday we have HAD !!

upon my return DU i was BACK on the medical merry go round for a repeat of
the first shoulder reconstruction (it had failed) in July , im just starting to
be able to get up from , nightmare stuff , by nov ill be back in the saddle
again ,, albeit in Jan , it all starts again with the other shoulder , when
its all said and done these shoulder surgeries and time immobile stuck in
bed (and all that goes with too much for a koala to bear) will be near a
WHOLE year , ouuuuuuuucccchhhhhhhh 1 year in bed out of 3.9 years sad.gifsad.gif

My WIFE and family sacrifice allot for my crazy love of Paneristi & Panerai ,,
so often i cant go play with them or do something thay want at that
moment ,, as i was online doing risti stuff ,, I think they kinda felt
it before but now >>>> They REALLY get it NOW , so much more than just
a watch u bet !!!

A mate summed it up pretty bloody well in a mail the other day ,
finding the courage & strength to speak out online from my heart
about the 3.9 years of hell we've been through surely is NOT easy ,
many new mates have not heard the whole story only bits n
pieces here n there ,, and I was surprised when landing in cali to
have risti asking me about how I had my accident , wat has life like
living with a COMPLETE HIGH BREAK PARAPLEGIA ,, I wanted once and for
all to start at the start ,, and finish at the finish ,, and in doing
so bring the closure I've been wanting/needing and dreaming about for
so very long ,, too long fo sure ,, happy n sad. I had that chance at
the 10-04-10 So Cal GTG , the most special night of nights !!!!

all my risti mates are family , I mean there is a BERRY special connection >>

>>>>>

all this .... from a website ?

???????

These people really cared ? i could FEEL that , they went though it
all with me on paneristi , and sometimes when u forge a bond with
someone going through adversity and grief it's a bond that goes deep ,
really deep on so many levels .... my father always used to tell me
that ..

The real measure of a man is not he he deals with Opportunity
(everyone seems to deal well there lol) but rather ADVERSITY !!!!! we
can't can't change what comes to us in this life but we can choose to
empower ourselves with our actions and spirit , this is the real
metric of success for me , this is what defines us as human beings ,
ME >>>>> I'm A PANERISTI happy.gif plain and simple and I live by that
CODE !!!

Sometimes letting it all hang out is exactly the therapy that enables
us to move forward and start a NEW , dats exactly wat it meant for me
, I've got the rest of my life to concentrate on now ,,, & the future
moving forward happy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gif

Telling the story gave me the chance to finally let it all go , and I
did just that on 10-04-10 , I found my self the day after the gtg (my
1st day of my 45th year) with a new chapter of my life to start , the
pages empty , ready to be written.

As these words start this NEW life ,, right here and now I'm so
excited and happy that I can finally say "I would not change a thing"
about the accident and injury ,, www.paneristi.com did that for me >>>
can u imagine how that feels ??? CAN U ????

The accident has given me chances and opportunities Id have never had
otherwise ,, and I've found passion ,, love and emotions Id have never
known or felt had that fateful day in November 2006 ,, not have
happened .

No matter what >>> IM HAPPY happy.gifhappy.gif

I canne believe i can honestly say that , but in so many ways im happy
it happened , i wouldnt change a thing ,, even if i could >>> i know
now an intense and earth moving LOVE & a sense of FAMILY that i can
barely come to terms with and ,, it touches my soul ,, my heart and
all that i am , have been and will be .

I made the date of april 11th the day for everything else to start new
, it is so written !!!

To all my mates that came to San Diego from all corners of the Globe
and those that shared the journey with us right here on Paneristi >>>>
THANK U THANK U & THANK U.

I won't close with any M8tes is Gr8 comments or it's so Much MORE than
just a watch , or the watch is just the GPS to find the mates &
families behind the watches , I won't close with anything like that .

No because ,, I just did.

I sincerely hope that makes more sense to you now than it did before happy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gif

@ this moment I'm most excited as we acknowledge the 10th Anniversary
of Paneristi the decade We have spent online in this amazing community
.................... My FAMILY ........ www.paneristi.com ....

............. I think we can be PROUD of So Much MORE than just any Watch

.................... Thats PROVENANCE .......... M8TES is GR8 ..............

Pretty POWERFUL STUFF if u ask me happy.gif

After 10 surgeries , 2 more waiting & countless other hurdles in the
first 3.9 years ,, today I know that ,,,,, Everything is going to be
alright !! life rolls on , so will I as the proudest paneristi that
ever rode a wheelchair happy.gif

Life is about Choices , I Choose to Live a Paneristi happy.gifhappy.gif

Now ,, if only I could look in a mirror to see if ?? I could be proud of
myself ,, but I can't sad.gif ..................Someone bugger mounted the Mirror
to HIGH , for the love of sweet Jesus , I'm only 5 foot tall wink.gif


Well that's my Risti story ... whats YOURS ??? happy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gif


PS
Tony E ur email brought me to tears last night , thank you for sharing it with me >>>

U and my M8TES here are my inspiration happy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gif

so go on , share your risti story id love to hear it happy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gif



.

.





So much MORE than just a Watch wink.gif

What Watch ,, it's the M8TES behind my brand that I LOVE ,, the Watch is just the GPS wink.gifwink.gif

A decade on ,, I COPY it now ,, More than EVER b4 >> it's a PANERAI & behind every Panerai is a PANERISTI happy.gifhappy.gifhappy.gif

And dat , SIMPLY blows me away ,, U Bet....................... BBQ & Drew RIP wink.gif
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Feel the Passion ,, Respect the DNA ,, Cheers & Beers ,,, Hoo Roo Hammer happy.gifsad.gif
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