Oliver Lam-Watson first caught our eye on Instagram. He has a superb talent for photography, however we really fell in love when we found his YouTube videos. This guy oozes creativity. He’s an Architectural student, who travels to gorgeous cities, documenting his travels through photos, videos, and his sketch book. We’ll let him explain more about that…
When we were finally able to track down this charming, British artist, we found out that he was training for his first Spartan Race. We ended up chatting a little bit about his training and about his day to day with his Stix.
At the time that this post is being published, Oliver just completed his race only a few days ago. He sent us a few Spartan photos to add in here as well.
With every new interview we do, we are continuously amazed and inspired by the gratitude and resilience that these individuals exude. Oliver is one of these people. Thank you again for putting yourself out there, and for being a great addition to our community.
You sir, Defy Convention.
What does Defy Convention mean to you?
Oliver – Everyone has limits. I think that when you have a disability, people assume your limitations for you. They assume you can’t carry things, or walk up a set of stairs, or that you can’t run 5K in a Spartan Race. And, I think these are the conventions of society. I think that when you defy convention, you take those assumptions that people have of you, as someone with a disability, and you completely throw them out the window. Showing people, society, and yourself, that you can actually do those things and you are not going to let them hold you back.
Do you have any passions in life, and can you tell us about those?
Oliver – Well, I study Architecture, however I am more passionate about the creative aspect of that. I enjoy the photography, the film making, the drawing, and making models. I always make sure that I have a sketch book handy when I am travelling. It’s always a sketch book, a pen, and my camera.
For me, it’s exploring, it’s doing new things, and creating things based on the places I go.
What is your favorite thing about your Stix?
Oliver – For me, I think that it’s that I have always been very embarrassed about being on crutches and growing up being on crutches. I grew up as a teenager having these big silver hospital looking things. Those things that separate you from your friends. I was constantly having to change the rubbers, or I’d be slipping over things, or my hands would be hurting. The thing that I love about SideStix is that, not only do they allow me to feel more comfortable, they’re black and they’re cool looking, and they’re great for someone like me who has had trouble coming to terms with my disability. I find them quite liberating. They allow me to get past the whole, I have a disability. It allows me to focus more on myself rather than the fact that I am carrying around two massive crutches.
And I think more than the mental and phycological aspect of SideStix, is the practical aspect. I slip a lot less now, I am able to go running. I can feel confident the way an able-bodied person would if they were to go running, or travelling. You know, the way they aren’t worried about their feet falling out beneath them or wearing a hole in the bottom of their crutch. I can focus more on what I want to do, and what I enjoy. That is my favorite thing about them.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Oliver – Waking up and feeling energetic. Going out for a run on a hot day and feeling the sweat drip down your forehead, and you know that you’re doing this for yourself, you’re not doing it for anyone else. You’re not rushing to answer an email, pay your bills, do a favor for someone. You’re doing this all for yourself. No one can tell you you’re not doing it right or that you need to push harder. You’re pushing yourself. And, at the end of the day when you come home, you feel great. You feel like you’ve achieved something for yourself. Then maybe going out with some friends, taking my camera and shooting some film, and just doing the things that normal kids my age do, and not letting my crutches hold me back.
What are your top 5 ways to keep motivated?
Oliver – I watch lots of motivational videos and I listen to music when I am working out. Generally, motivation is great but it doesn’t actually get you anywhere, in terms of actually doing something. It’s strong habits, focus, grinding away, and just doing it.
If I had to boil it down, I would say:
- Motivational music
- Motivational videos
- Strong habits
- Friends and family
- Pursuing a passion that you enjoy
Your passions motivate you.
Do you have a message for other crutch users?
Oliver – Try to come to terms with yourself, and accept yourself, and own who you are. Say, “You know what, I have a disability but I’m going to make the best of what I’ve got.”
Another thing about SideStix that is really good, is that, you really encourage people to get involved. You don’t see other companies, really getting a community together, and making it about them, and uploading pictures and having people really wanting to get involved. I’ve connected with a couple of people on Instagram, who use the same crutches. And you think, oh wow, he uses the same crutches as me, that’s really cool! SideStix creates a whole community.