“I had no sense of drive or motivation, so I was heavy on drugs and alcohol and in trouble with the law.”
My name is Norton, I am 24 years old and I am from Matapihi.
Before joining Tai Wātea, I was doing seasonal work, living a normal day by day life. But I was bored. I had no sense of drive or motivation, so I was heavy on drugs and alcohol and in trouble with the law. And I was really unfit. I felt like I was going nowhere and not progressing in life.
My lawyer had told me about this course and I wasn’t too sure about it because I didn’t know anyone and I’m quite a shy person, as you can see. But then I met the team and heard about the course and everything they do for you, so I thought I’d give it a go.
This course has helped me in so many ways. The biggest change I’ve seen in myself is how much I have grown in confidence. I wasn’t too confident before Tai Wātea, but being around positive people has helped bring out the best in me. This course has helped me give things a go and to take opportunities that come my way.
It’s also helped me with my anxiety and drug use. At times, I let anxiety get the best of me. Social situations with people I didn’t know were overwhelming and I would freeze up. I was so frustrated because I didn’t know how to overcome it, but it’s just the way my mind was. I realise now that my anxiety was triggered because of my drug use. I was smoking heaps of weed – like an ounce every three or four days. The drugs used to control me – I was dependent on it, heavily. Sometimes when I didn’t have drugs, it would make me go mad because I was so dependant on it.
“Throughout this course, I have learned how to overcome my anxiety and control my drug use.”
Throughout this course, I have learned how to overcome my anxiety and control my drug use. My anxiety is still there sometimes, but I know how to manage it now. This course has allowed me to be open about anything and helped me to be honest about things that are happening in my life. My drug use has dramatically decreased as well and it no longer holds me back from things I want to do.
Tai Wātea has also helped me get more active and work on my fitness. Before this course, I barely did any exercise. But with all the sports we do on course and surfing, I started to notice my health getting better and this motivated me to do fitness in my spare time. I can physically feel the difference in my fitness now and I’m a lot healthier than I was.
“Surfing makes me feel happy and free when I am out there on the water. If you have any problems from the day or the week, it doesn’t matter anymore when you’re out there.”
Surfing makes me feel happy and free when I am out there on the water. If you have any problems from the day or the week, it doesn’t matter anymore when you’re out there. The only thing you’re thinking about is the next set! I can’t wait to get my surfboard through Live for More so I can go and surf in my own time!
Tai Wātea has taught me how to humble myself. I have also learnt how to lead by example. I have learnt to persevere in life and not give up. There is so much that this course has done for me and I am so thankful for everything yous have done to help.
I would like to thank Krista, one if not the most caring, loving, helping person I’ve met. If it wasn’t for you and your knowledge and guidance, I don’t know where I would be or what I would be up to… thanks. The brother Jared, from hearing your story about your upbringing and your journey on this course, to where you are… it’s so inspiring. I think you’re a great leader and mentor for the young people on this course. Too much my bro. Sean, I just think you’re the man, straight up. Such a happy, encouraging, uplifting person that I needed on this course to make it through. Aisha, for your story which was quite touching and helped me so much. You guys are amazing! THANK YOU SO MUCH!