episode 105 | Jun 20, 2023
Experts & Industry Leaders
Experts & Industry Leaders

Ep. 105: Officer Down

10-33 is the radio code for “Officer in need of Immediate Assistance”. It is also the aptly named title of the "Ten Thirty Three" podcast hosted by retired police officer Nathan Kapler. Nathan is incredibly honest in sharing his struggles with mental health, addiction and dealing with the trauma he has sustained through life and through his career with the RCMP. His hope is that others may benefit from his perspective and experience and he uses the power of story to continue his lifelong dedication to assisting those in need. June is mens mental health awareness month and this episode was created specifically to provide nuance and shed light on a topic that is stilly highly stigmatized. If you, or someone you know is suffering from negative mental health speak up, reach out, contact a mental health professional or, in an emergency, contact emergency services.
Available for listening on:
applepodcast logospotify logoyoutube logochartable logo

Ten Thirty Three Podcast - https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/ten-thirty-three/id1604674610
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/tenthirtythreeco/


Nathan Kaplar June 2023.

[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Badder, and this is the Silvercore Podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with the skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years, and we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and educational content we provide, please let others know by sharing, commenting, and following so that you can join in on everything that Silvercore stands for.

[00:00:40] Travis Bader: If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore Club and community, visit our website at Silvercore.ca.

[00:00:51] Travis Bader: Alright. I already know that we're gonna be in for amazing podcasts on this one. The difficulty with doing these podcasts is sometimes our excitement gets ahead of us and we will start talking ahead of time, and usually the typical thing I usually say is if I could only press record the second a person comes in the studio and keep it recording.

[00:01:13] Travis Bader: After we finish a podcast, we're gonna get the most raw, the most honest conversation. This is one podcast that I don't think that's gonna be the case in policing. People have heard the terms. 10, 4, 10 codes used on the radio. Ten four. Affirmative. 10. 10 negative. 10 20. What's your location? My favorite, 10 99.

[00:01:36] Travis Bader: Let's have a coffee break. On coffee break. There's 10 33. 10 33 officers in need of immediate assistance Today I'm joined by the host of the hugely inspirational and positive 10 33 podcast. Welcome to the Silvercore podcast, Nathan Kaplar 

[00:01:56] Nathan Kaplar: wow. Um, thank you Travis. Uh, an absolute honor to be here. 

[00:02:01] Travis Bader: This is gonna be an interesting one.

[00:02:04] Travis Bader: So we're in June. June is Men's Mental Health Month. The 10 33 Podcast deals a lot with mental health, primarily with mental health and ways to make people better. You come from a first responder background, you bring that experience and what you've learned. You've had some difficulties and you are brutally honest in how you share that in your podcast, which I find inspiring.

[00:02:31] Travis Bader: Can you tell me about the 10 33 podcast, how it came about and why? 

[00:02:37] Nathan Kaplar: Oh, great question. Uh, years ago, obviously, when I went to training for the R C M P, They did a fantastic job of training us on how to deal with incredibly, uh, horrific scenes, um, situations that just were completely surreal. Uh, they were ever evolving.

[00:02:58] Nathan Kaplar: How do we manage threats? How do we manage people? How do we manage these dynamic situations? And at the same time, they created this culture that it was very much okay, and it should be recognized that when you get into these, these situations, you need to also know a 10 code, 10 33. Hmm. You need to, at times be able to ask for help because you might get involved in a shooting, you might get involved in a situation where you know you're gonna lose your life.

[00:03:29] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. And you need backup and you might be alone. And the, the RCMP is notorious for this. A lot of their members work alone. Right. So they do a great job of training you for these dynamic situations and preparing you for the field, and also making sure that you are okay to ask for help in the line of duty.

[00:03:48] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. But what happened to me was when I got home, that's when I fell apart mm-hmm. From all of this trauma. And I didn't know how to ask for help outside of duty. So when I, later on down this road, this journey that I've been on of learning how to, you know, better myself and improve my mental health and improve my overall health, I knew I had to launch this project and call it ten thirty three mm to make sure that we can all ask for help outside of work as well.

[00:04:20] Nathan Kaplar: Because there's immense amounts of shame and guilt, uh, in, in the society of men,

[00:04:28] Nathan Kaplar: but also as police officers and first responders. We don't, we don't know how to ask for help when we start to go down with this stuff, this mental health stuff. And it's so common. 

[00:04:38] Travis Bader: It's like a badge of honor. I'm tough. This doesn't bother me, right? I don't want to be the weak one on the team that's crying out saying I was affected negatively by the situation or what I might be.

[00:04:48] Travis Bader: If it's a physical injury, not a problem. It's self-evident, right? Oh, you broke your arm, not a get a cast on it. Month later you're gonna be good and might be a little tender for a bit. Right? The mental health thing. Not so self-evident. 

[00:05:01] Nathan Kaplar: No, not at all. 

[00:05:03] Travis Bader: Not at all. What were some of the warning signs? Like we, we, I'm sure we're gonna talk about where things went cuz you were very open about mental health and addiction and recovery process and, and how you worked through this.

[00:05:19] Travis Bader: What were the warning signs that maybe weren't self-evident to yourself that you might be able to see in somebody else or somebody might be able to see in themself? 

[00:05:29] Nathan Kaplar: That's a really good question. I think, I think at the beginning stage of my journey, I started to have awareness into some aspects of what was happening to me when those changes initially happened, because I could see myself still as a very healthy individual when I first got into policing.

[00:05:45] Nathan Kaplar: So the change of taking myself from that very healthy level to now kind of starting to see certain things happen where I didn't like it and I was starting to acknowledge, okay, uh, I stopped dreaming very early on in my journey of being a police officer. So the mind just stopped having these dreams, and I remember kind of having this feeling of about a year in and going, why am I not dreaming anymore?

[00:06:08] Nathan Kaplar: Really it was, and it felt like a very kind of, the body just felt very empty and void. And I remember thinking to myself, okay, so I'm not having good dreams. I'm not having bad dreams. I'm just having no dreams at all. And that was kind of the first significant step, I would say, to me kind of going, you know, cur with curiosity and saying, okay, what's going on here?

[00:06:30] Nathan Kaplar: So I actually reached out to a psychologist then back in about 2008 in Whistler, and we started to kind of explore, you know, what's going on. Uh, but again, I was still a very young man and I couldn't piece a lot of this together. Back then, we still weren't e we weren't even really talking about mental health openly either.

[00:06:47] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Right. And there still really wasn't a focus or an awareness to, you know, what does men's mental health look like? Or what does P T S D look like? I had no idea what PTSD t s looked like. So if I even had it at that time, I wouldn't be able to, to say, Hey, this is what I'm going through. I didn't have the awareness or the education to talk about the symptoms either.

[00:07:09] Nathan Kaplar: We barely had in, had internet back then. I was still using a flip phone. Right. Like I was still like, you know, T nine M texting was still a thing. Right? Right. You didn't have access to the things you, you have now. So I think at the time I was very aware that those small changes that were happening were happening and they caused me to have concern and curiosity.

[00:07:30] Nathan Kaplar: But as time went on with the symptoms and as they grew, I actually stopped having the ability to be able to pay attention to, okay, where am I? And it was this very slippery slope of now my mental health is eroding and I'm no longer really able to check in with myself to see where I'm at. Mm. If that makes sense.

[00:07:49] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. So, and that's kind of the danger of mental health, right? Like, when you're healthy, you can pick up on, okay, I'm not doing well here, here, here, you can make the little adjustments, but if you don't really, you know, attack the root of the issue, over time the body just starts to learn to adapt to this new state.

[00:08:06] Travis Bader: Well, how do you find the root of that issue? And how do you know that there is something actually going? Do you have to hit rock bottom? Like what's, at some point you'd start realizing that things aren't clicking, right? Maybe memory recall isn't the right, or maybe you're responding in ways that are just inappropriate.

[00:08:23] Nathan Kaplar: I think for me, like my, my journey at that time was I was, uh, I was, I left my family, uh, I left my support structure, right? So I left those people that were closely attached to who I was, my identity, uh, and I left Alberta and I came out to BC and I was basically alone with a whole new bunch of people. So it becomes very easy to kind of hide yourself now in this new environment and create a new version of yourself, where now you're starting to go through some pain and suffering.

[00:08:50] Nathan Kaplar: From the job, but you're able to also mask it because these people really don't know who you are either. Mm-hmm. So I didn't have the right support structure in place so that they could give me that feedback, that real time feedback of Nate, hey, you know, you seem a little bit more ha hypervigilant, you've been working too much.

[00:09:08] Nathan Kaplar: Are you avoiding something? Are you taking your time off? You know, how are you sleeping? You know, what's going on emotionally for you? I didn't have those kind of deep-rooted people in my life that were heavily rooted in me and my success. So I think the answer to that is we've gotta get better at, you know, if we're gonna do this mental health thing, we definitely have to have an emphasis on community and connection, uh, and conversation around, uh, other people.

[00:09:35] Nathan Kaplar: And they actually, the success to your mental health actually exists in having those connections with others, right? Because we, what did we all go through? In in Covid, right. Social isolation. We all got a chance to pull back and hide. It's amazing 

[00:09:50] Travis Bader: how much that last couple years of social isolation has affected society and some people don't even realize to what extent.

[00:09:58] Travis Bader: No, I'm sure you've probably heard of that. I think it was Harvard, Harvard study. The longest running study on uh, I think it was the premise was happiness in a person's life. Have you heard this one? Go on. So I think it was out of Harvard, 80 years. They go and they follow groups from different backgrounds and different regions and they say, what's the number one predictor of happiness in their life over the long term and overwhelmingly strong social connections.

[00:10:33] Travis Bader: And that was it. Strong social connections, having a good friend network, having a good family network, having this set up in a way that it's, uh, you can have those checks and balances and you have that level of stability and that's gotta be rough. If you've left your friends and your family and you go into a brand new place and you don't have anybody to give you those, you've now got a new social network you're, you're creating, but you're probably not showing them the true you, the five year old, you the one that they grew up with.

[00:11:04] Travis Bader: Right. 

[00:11:06] Nathan Kaplar: Our identity is deeply rooted in others. And there was a point in my journey where I saw kind of how. A specific event that happened to me when I was in Mounty, how, uh, I did fear for my life and I was swarmed as a police officer. And I, I actually thought I was gonna die that night. And I thought my partner might lose her life as well.

[00:11:27] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. And I remember developing this complete distrust for people and that drove me to a place of social isolation before we entered Covid and also embraced social isolation to try and tame this pandemic. So even before that happened, like you, you joke with cops and it's kind of a running joke, but you know, before we, before we went into Covid, we were all like, Hey, perfect.

[00:11:51] Nathan Kaplar: We've been doing this social isolation thing for years. We got this down pat. We will, we will gladly not see anyone. Mm. Because we go through these unique experiences with people where we, we, we don't have that trust anymore with people. Mm-hmm. And we do start to tend to socially isolate. And that's a very dangerous thing.

[00:12:08] Nathan Kaplar: Very, very dangerous thing. And I learned that firsthand. So the thing that has actually helped me the most bring me back to, uh, a better place of mental health and more success and just happiness again, and, and creating kind of a, a better world for myself has been because I've been open to connecting back with people, sharing my story, being vulnerable and authentic, and rooting my identity in others.

[00:12:31] Nathan Kaplar: And that's how you do this. Can you tell me about that swarming what happened? Yeah, for sure. We were working a night shift, uh, in Whistler, and I remember walking through the village that night, and it was just a night where you could just feel it in the crowd. Something was off, like it just had this omnis feeling and everybody seemed to be especially messed up on drugs and alcohol that night.

[00:12:53] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. And we ended up getting a call that I believe a few people were running around the village with a two by four with nails in it hitting people. Mm-hmm. So basically now you have a, a stabbing in progress. So a bunch of us rush out and we eventually get to a place where there's a group of about maybe 50 people that are all stacked up.

[00:13:15] Nathan Kaplar: They're in tight. We can't tell what's going on. We can't tell if there's a fight inside that group. We can't tell if someone's down, are they giving, you know, uh, services to that person to help them with their health. We had no idea what was going on and. When I talked to my, the person I, I was there with this other police officer.

[00:13:35] Nathan Kaplar: Um, we kind of have different versions of how this transpired. So I try to be careful about how I share the story, right? Mm-hmm. My perception was that, um, this officer got a bit too close to the crowd and the crowd pulled her in. Mm-hmm. And I remember just thinking, oh no, this is bad. And I knew if I didn't get in there right away, that there was gonna be a massive issue to her.

[00:14:01] Nathan Kaplar: And I actually did. I feared for her safety for her life. Mm-hmm. So I knew I had no choice but to go into that crowd to pull her out. Mm. And as I start to weave in through people and I'm, I'm not even, you know, declaring anymore, Hey, it's the police. I'm just shoving people out of the way. Mm. Cuz they're not even responding to, Hey, it's the police backup.

[00:14:22] Nathan Kaplar: They're just so gone from, you know, substances and, and whatever. As I get close to the center, my, my recollection of the event was that I saw my partner on the ground getting kicked and stomped. And it was the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life. Because you care for your, your brothers and your sisters.

[00:14:46] Nathan Kaplar: Absolutely. And to see something happening to them, my heart broke in that moment and I was so scared. Mm, so scared. For myself, yes, but also for her. And I knew that there was, there was no time to have a motion that I had to take action. So I did just that. I picked her up. And at the time too, I re, I do remember she, she had her hands over her head and she was trying to protect her head as kicks were coming in and they were basically curb stomping her to a degree or trying to, and picking her up.

[00:15:28] Nathan Kaplar: I just shouted, put your back to mine. I'm gonna get you outta here. I had no idea how, but I was gonna get her outta there. So we talk a lot about, on my podcast, we talk about fight or flight and the significance of it. Uh, and I hit, I would say probably my most significant adrenaline dump I've ever had in my life.

[00:15:49] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. Where the body just goes, okay, now, now we're very worried. We're very scared and we've gotta switch this on, and we've gotta jump as much dump as much adrenaline into the body as possible to get you ready to respond. So as I'm, as I'm having this bodily reaction of, you know, going through this trauma in the body's dumping the adrenaline into the muscles and it's getting everything fired up and you can feel it like it's electric.

[00:16:18] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. Right. It's, it's like the body just gets supercharged in that moment. And I'm thinking to myself, do I pull my gun out? Do I pull my OC spray out? Do I pull my baton out? What am I pulling out here to get me outta here and to get my partner outta here and also make sure I'm not injuring someone else?

[00:16:34] Nathan Kaplar: My goal is to not kill someone. Hmm. So when I'm standing there thinking about, okay, first use of option here that I'm thinking about is my gun, because I just saw my partner who's possibly losing her life, punches are now coming in on me as she's got her back to me. I'm fearing for my life. I don't know if I'm going home anymore.

[00:16:52] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. I've got a, I've got a girlfriend at home. Mm-hmm. I don't know if I'm gonna be able to crawl into bed with her at the end of this shift that's heavy. Mm-hmm. To get into that place in life as I'm going through this moment. Do I pull my gun out, I rule it out. There's not enough space. Punches are coming in.

[00:17:12] Nathan Kaplar: I need my hands to defend myself. My hands almost like the matrix, right. I'm doing the neo thing where I'm kind of blocking and moving and everything slowed right down Trav. Yeah. Like, it was amazing. It was almost like time had stopped and I had this ability to, to see punches coming in and to see things on a, a microscopic kind of level that you don't get to ha have that experience when you're not in that extreme fight or flight.

[00:17:35] Nathan Kaplar: The body has a really cool way of really making sure it's flipping the odds in your favor to respond to these incidents so you survive. Mm-hmm. And this is exactly what my body was doing. I run through the rest of the options, the OC spray, the baton, all these things. No, no, no, they're not gonna work. I spray people.

[00:17:51] Nathan Kaplar: I'm gonna get sprayed now. I can't see. Everybody's going crazy. I can't baton anyone. I don't have the room to swing the baton. And I was like, I don't have anything on my belt that's gonna help me. Mm-hmm. I'm alone on this one. What do I do? And I remember at one point I wasn't very religious at that point.

[00:18:09] Nathan Kaplar: I had grew up in a, in a Christian household, but I remember looking down at my hands and just saying, God, please do not let my hands break. Mm-hmm. I need them right now. And I just started swinging. Mm-hmm. And it was, it wasn't like a, a, well, I guess it was kind of like a hockey fight in a sense where I literally grabbed someone's shoulder.

[00:18:34] Nathan Kaplar: And punched through their jaw as hard as I could, cuz I knew I had to start knocking people out. Mm-hmm. I had no choice. This wasn't a love punch. Like, Hey, get back, this was a, I need to knock you out. Mm-hmm. And start dropping people. And I did just that. Uh, at that point I blacked out. I don't remember a lot of what happened then.

[00:18:54] Nathan Kaplar: A lot of the gaps that get filled in are from others. But I went into a state where I just flipped that switch and I went to that next level. Uh, I think I might've knocked out, uh, four to five different people as were surrounded by 50 and punches are coming in from all angles. And right around the time that about four or five people are starting to go down, I just reached down and I grabbed one kid and I picked him up and I turned him basically parallel to the ground, like a log.

[00:19:23] Nathan Kaplar: And I told my partner, we're gonna move ahead. We're running outta here. Keep your back on mine. Mm-hmm. And I just used him as a battering around and got out mm-hmm. And got her out as well and grabbed her, threw her in a pc. I went into a PC and we just left the area. Mm-hmm. There was nothing we could do.

[00:19:45] Travis Bader: So what was the aftermath on that one? 

[00:19:48] Nathan Kaplar: For me personally? 

[00:19:50] Travis Bader: Well, I mean, there's gonna be a, uh, report that needs to be written. There's gonna be people that are complaining about pre police brutality. There's gonna be an environment that you're working in that's gonna be questioning your actions. And then there's your, um, your own personal, uh, process that you're gonna be working through on that.

[00:20:10] Nathan Kaplar: Yeah, it was, it was a really complex thing because when we got back to the detachment, which is a place of safety, right? So now you're kind of starting to let the body kind of decompress mm-hmm. And letting some of that adrenaline kind of fizzle out. It's incredibly taxing on the body, incredibly taxing on the body to go through these things.

[00:20:31] Nathan Kaplar: So I know for me in that moment, I was basically incapacitated for probably the better part of a few hours. I have no memory of what I did after, I think I just tried to rest. I think, I think I went back and I took my vest off and I just, I just tried to allow the body to just rest and just be, and just process what I just went through.

[00:20:57] Nathan Kaplar: Did I have to explain all of this? Absolutely. Every single time we use force as police, we have to write it down. We have to say what happened, why we used the force, we did justify our actions. Uh, nothing bad ever came from it. Nobody actually complained. Mm. Uh so I mean, and that tells you something, right?

[00:21:17] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. As well. Mm-hmm. And. But the impact of that, I mean, even in the moment where, uh, my partner and I sat down and now we're kind of switching from almost losing our lives to now having to report this and write and articulate and account for what we had just done. We didn't have a lot of time to really sit and process, what did we just go through?

[00:21:39] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. And how do you talk about it and what, what kind of memories are stored right now in this moment? Like, it was incredibly foggy as well for me in my mind. You know, what was, what did I just go through? I couldn't put the pieces of the puzzle together yet. Right? Hmm. It just was too fresh. So I think over time we tried our best to come back as a team and kind of have whatever crisis debriefing that we could.

[00:22:05] Nathan Kaplar: But at the same time, we didn't do a good job cuz it was us doing it for ourselves. Right. We might have went out for beers and we're laughing about the story and, Hey, everybody's a superhero. We got outta this amazing story. But no one's saying Yeah. You know, like, that was scary. Mm-hmm. I was really sad. I thought I was gonna lose my life.

[00:22:22] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Right. We're not drilling into the emotions that we felt, and instead we're bypassing that which is impacting our ability to, to process that event. 

[00:22:33] Travis Bader: What happens when you bypass those emotions? 

[00:22:36] Nathan Kaplar: Well, a couple things happen. I'm not gonna get into the sciences of it, but from what I've learned from going through everything I've gone through, uh, obviously when you go through adrenaline, there's a lot of chemicals that get dumped into the body.

[00:22:47] Nathan Kaplar: They get stored in the muscles. If you're not processing all of that stuff alone, they get kinda locked up in the muscles a little bit. And it can create an imbalance right in the body, same as your emotions. So now if you have a, an incident where you're going through something as a police officer or first responder, you're getting the adrenaline dump and you're also getting the emotion.

[00:23:04] Nathan Kaplar: If you're not properly dealing with both of those issues, they just can hang out in the muscles for years, unprocessed. And over time it's like, you know, the layers of the rock. You've build up enough layers where now all of a sudden you've got a really solid rock with you that you're dragging around.

[00:23:20] Nathan Kaplar: And how do you peel back the layers of the onions so that you can process everything that you've gone through for 10, 15, 20 years? And that's usually where a lot of guys fall into crisis. Hmm. And they don't know how to start peeling that back. It's too much. 

[00:23:36] Travis Bader: Well, you've got an interesting couple of episodes on trauma being stored in the body and not in the brain.

[00:23:43] Travis Bader: And I thought that's interesting. Can you talk more on that? 

[00:23:47] Nathan Kaplar: Yeah, absolutely. So trauma, when I walked into, I'll fast track the story, addiction issues, rehab, very Okay to talk about it. I walked into rehab and I, and I asked that question. I said, Hey, I'm here to deal with the trauma that's in my head. And this therapist who had a rat tail, you know, sat down with me.

[00:24:06] Nathan Kaplar: He's like, it's not on your head, son. And I was like, where could it be? It's in your body. I'm like, no, it's not in my body. Explain this. Right. Yeah. So he says, you know what? Read this book, waking The Tiger by Peter Levine. Amazing book. The first chapter is the best part. The rest kind of fizzles out. It's kind of a, it's a slower read.

[00:24:26] Nathan Kaplar: But in that, in that book, I learn about this concept of the gazelle and the lion. Okay. So did you, have you heard this story? No, no. It's super cool. Okay, so you got the gazelle. The gazelle freaks out and goes, oh no, I'm getting a attacked by a lion. It's chasing me. What do I do? They go through the same response that we do fight or flight switches on, and their body gets a huge amount of adrenaline dumped into the body, flares up the muscles, flares up the breathing system so that everything's primed to runaway.

[00:24:57] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. They don't fight they flight. Mm-hmm. We kind of. Choose. We either fight or we flight. There's a new one called Freeze that's kind of coming in where some people do freeze, fight, 

[00:25:08] Travis Bader: flight, freeze, posture, submit. Uh, everyone's got their own 

[00:25:12] Nathan Kaplar: little, yeah, yeah. Right. There's so many different versions. So we kind of have this blended approach of, you know, how do we respond when we hit that?

[00:25:19] Nathan Kaplar: But the gazelle, for the most part, if he's abled B abled body, he's gonna, he's gonna turn the switch on. He's gonna flight, he's gonna run. He has to, that's how he saves his life. So that gazelle is supercharged in that moment. Right. So that gazelle takes off like a shot. Now if that lion can't catch the gazelle, the gazelle will go, it will find a safe place.

[00:25:42] Nathan Kaplar: Once it's, once the chase is done and it knows that it needs to go and needs to stop, it needs to take a break and it needs to process what it just went through. Hmm. So that gazelle will actually stop and shake violently for a prolonged period of time to shake out the adrenaline, the chemicals that are now stored in that body.

[00:25:59] Nathan Kaplar: It's gotta get rid of it somehow. Mm-hmm. Right. And that's kind of the interesting thing where, you know, we as humans, we don't. Take that, or we don't have that ability to take that step, uh, in the role of a first responder or even just men, sometimes we think, oh, we go through something significant, let's just push on and go to the next thing.

[00:26:18] Nathan Kaplar: I'll be okay. I don't need to stop and shake or talk or process what I just went through, or really kind of allow myself to express, Hey, what I just went through was incredibly sad, tragic. Mm-hmm. All these different things, we kind of just go, ah, you know what? That was tough, but I'm good. I'm just gonna keep forging on here.

[00:26:34] Nathan Kaplar: So I always like to share that story because it highlights this, this thought of where the trauma sits. Now, if we say, you know, trauma doesn't exist in the mind, it does actually exist in the mind. It exists in the mind is a memory. Mm-hmm. Right. Flashbacks. We can have a memory that pops up, recalls the body into that certain state.

[00:26:52] Nathan Kaplar: Now you're having more of a traumatic, uh, re-experience of what you've been through. Mm-hmm. But overall, trauma lives in the body.

[00:27:06] Travis Bader: Interesting. So what would be some ways that a person can move that trauma outta the body without wearing it? Like you see some people, they, they talk about mental health or they talk about addiction and that's them. Hey, I'm Bob recovering addict. I'm so-and-so with PTs D and I've always been of the mindset that.

[00:27:31] Travis Bader: Not only do we not know all the ins and outs about mental health and the nuances, I think DSM five is what we're on right now and it's reclassified PTs d and yet a new another place and introduced C PTs, D complex PTs d and they're still learning. But I've always been of the mindset that everybody can fix themselves.

[00:27:54] Travis Bader: Everybody can get to a place of being good. Um, sometimes you might need to be shown the path we have to put the effort and work in to get there. But if we approach it from the mindset of, I am good, I am fine. I'm just working through an injury at the moment, right? There's, rather than mental health, maybe call it like mental fitness, kind of like, man, I, I injured and muscle when I was working out, I realized I'm gonna have to rest it and ice it and, and, and all the rest.

[00:28:26] Travis Bader: The mindset that you are otherwise good, we're just gonna work on this one part, I think is a much healthier way to be able to process and to say, I'm broken, I'm broken, and this is my big baggage that I have to continue to work on for the rest of my life. So how would, how would you approach from your experience working through those, those traumas that are stored in the body and, and mind?

[00:28:51] Nathan Kaplar: I, I and I, I come back to 2019 when I went to rehab and I, again, I also walked in with two trains of thought that trauma existed in my mind and that I was also going to rehab to deal with the trauma that I experienced as a police officer. Mm-hmm. And for me, I was wrong on both of those accounts. Uh, it was very early on in my process with rehab where they sat me down and said, Hey, uh, you're wrong about where trauma's stored.

[00:29:18] Nathan Kaplar: You're also wrong about why you're here. Hmm. And I, I remember that hit me like a ton of bricks and I, what, what are you talking about now? You know, man with a rat tail, right? Who, who are you and why are you telling me this and how does this make any sense at all? But he said, listen, where this all starts for you and for all of us is childhood trauma.

[00:29:41] Nathan Kaplar: We've gotta take you back to that place as a child to where some of the more significant stuff happened that you've never processed. We don't get to just show up as, you know, Nate, the police officer for the last 14 years, and start to unravel that piece of yarn. Mm-hmm. Because you have a whole segment of life before that where the yarn is still wound uptight.

[00:30:03] Nathan Kaplar: And in order to make sure that you have your best chance of success, we have to unravel that piece of yarn from the start to today. And that's where I realized that. There's parts of our journey with mental health where yes, we can tell ourselves that we're good, we're fine, we're working on our issues, we're doing okay for now.

[00:30:29] Nathan Kaplar: But you also have to ask yourself the question of what is that keeping you from? What next levels are there? If you fully admit that you've gone through something significant and you're going to allow yourself to heal and feel the past, all the hard things that you've never processed. For me again, I didn't know which road to take.

[00:30:49] Nathan Kaplar: I, I was kind of, you know, not really into this vulnerability thing yet, right? Mm-hmm. So I was still very much like, you know, I'm just gonna dip my toes into this thing, right? I'm just gonna dip my toes a little bit into, you know, what I've been through in life. Mm-hmm. And sure I healed, but my trajectory took off when I finally said, how do I approach vulnerability in the most authentic way and allow myself to really kind of have awareness into everything that I've gone through to feel it, to process it, to share it with others, cuz there's lessons learned in life from everything we go through.

[00:31:25] Nathan Kaplar: And that piece has been better for me than just dipping my toes in the water and trying to carry the backpack that's, you know, full of a few less stones, but still there. 

[00:31:38] Travis Bader: So how do you share that in the most authentic way? Is that the podcast? 

[00:31:42] Nathan Kaplar: It does not come easy. You have to work up to this, uh, you know, for, for a long time.

[00:31:50] Nathan Kaplar: And I think when I finally hit my crisis moment and I realized I needed help and I was going through addiction, I didn't know how to share my story. And I was so pulled in. I had so much armor on. I wasn't willing to talk or connect to anyone. And if I did, I was using masks. I was being either cynical or I was being, trying to be the funny guy or trying to just be anything but Nate and show up and talk about the pain and suffering that I had been through in my life.

[00:32:18] Nathan Kaplar: And I left rehab in 2019 with this, this seed that this, this gentleman planted. And he said, Nate, only when you decide to show up for yourself and share your full story with others, you will not grow until that day happens. And I remember not really getting the depth of that statement, really understanding it in the moment, kind of understanding it, but still being like, no, this vulnerability thing, I don't need to be vulnerable in order to, you know, grow and heal from everything that's happened to me.

[00:32:54] Nathan Kaplar: So I tried to do it with the dipping my toes in mentality. Mm-hmm. And I found over that time that once we fell back into Covid and we were socially isolating again, I started to fall back into old routines and behaviors. Addiction was becoming a thing again. And I had a second son at that point. And I remember looking at him and I remember thinking in my mind, As a man now, as a dad, this is my second kid.

[00:33:17] Nathan Kaplar: If I don't change, I stand to fuck this all up. Mm-hmm. And ruin everything for everyone. The things that I have created, my kids, my house, my wife, I stand to lose it 

[00:33:30] Travis Bader: all, you have to stop the cycle at some point and you have take steps to stop that cycle. 

[00:33:35] Nathan Kaplar: So I committed to this process of looking at him in his crib, going, how do I do this differently?

[00:33:42] Nathan Kaplar: It didn't make, sobriety didn't make sense to me in that moment. Mm-hmm. It really didn't. But I said, is there a chance that sobriety could be the answer? And I had no idea, but I also knew the way that I was doing it wasn't working anymore. Mm-hmm. Right. Using medical cannabis to try and deal with the PTSD and the symptoms.

[00:34:05] Nathan Kaplar: Yes, it works, but it's a very slippery slope. Mm-hmm. Right. Much like we talked about, you've gotta deal with the root issue. You can't just put a bandaid on these things. Throwing medication at mental health is, yes, it buys us time to continue to navigate through whatever we're going through, whether it's the environment or these certain issues, but does it really deal with the root cause, the root issue, and we all have those things in us, those root issues.

[00:34:30] Nathan Kaplar: Some of us are more scared to open up and share them. The, from what I've learned from my own story, Trav, is that the only, the sh the only part of shame that exists in this experience. Is holding it in and not allowing it to come out. There's no shame in sharing your story, like as I share my story with you.

[00:34:51] Nathan Kaplar: Yes. Years ago, I would've had immense amounts of judgment or, or fear of judgment. Mm. Right. I would've felt, oh, Travis is never going to accept me as a man because I've been through so much. I think that's 

[00:35:03] Travis Bader: changing. I think people's perception on that is changing. I hope I, I do, I believe it is. I believe that people will look at this and say, holy crow, how do I, how do I become a man like that?

[00:35:15] Travis Bader: How do I become a man who's able to talk openly and freely about things that I would find incredibly difficult to talk about? 

[00:35:22] Nathan Kaplar: Absolutely. So, and my story continues. It wasn't until coming out of, uh, coming outta the pandemic and looking at my son, where I recognized, okay, what does this sobriety thing look like?

[00:35:32] Nathan Kaplar: No idea, but I'm gonna commit to it. I'm just gonna see where it goes. So that, that was sobriety from alcohol, sobriety, from medical cannabis, medical cannabis. Yeah. I had a brief window where alcohol was an issue, but not. Mm-hmm. I was definitely drinking a little bit more to hide some of the pain and suffering that I was going through.

[00:35:48] Nathan Kaplar: But for a majority, I, I never liked alcohol cuz you always woke up the next morning in a lot more pain. Mm. Whereas with medical cannabis, you would take it and it would slow the central nervous system down and calm the amygdala down so you wouldn't have as much fear. Mm. You wouldn't be as scared because over time, if we go through enough trauma, the brain will actually shift and that amygdala will grow and it can actually grow to a point where you actually almost become paranoid and very fearful.

[00:36:11] Nathan Kaplar: Cuz now the body's trying to say, okay, you've been through too much. How do we send off more louder warning signs so you don't continue to re-experience this stuff. Mm-hmm. So the body's trying to shift you and bring you back to equilibrium and you're fighting it, you're still running towards the fire.

[00:36:26] Nathan Kaplar: So I found medical cannabis really helped with taming that, allowing me to relax, allowing me to sleep. There was a, it was a very long period where, uh, I was an insomniac. I didn't sleep. I would maybe sleep 15 minutes a night and at that time, like the mind is churning in a way I'd never experienced.

[00:36:41] Nathan Kaplar: Right. It was this, this hypervigilant state that would carry through, uh, well into the morning early hours. And I, I, there was no way I could fall asleep cuz the mind was just churning, churning, churning. And it had been, the body had experienced way too much trauma and it couldn't find peace or rest, so it couldn't get into sleeping and recovering.

[00:37:02] Nathan Kaplar: And that's also very dangerous for us too. 

[00:37:05] Travis Bader: So my understanding is the amygdala is your emotional center. Um, hippocampus would be memories. Um, prefrontal cortex will be how you think about things in, in the moment. And these things get stored in different parts of our brains and different substances will either, uh, rewire the brain or suppress certain parts of the brain.

[00:37:27] Travis Bader: Uh, I've seen, and I haven't listened to him yet, but you've got podcasts about, um, uh, cannabis and about psychedelics, and there's lots to talk about it. I know you've a friend of mine. He is a ambassador on the Heroic Hearts program outta the UK for psychedelic, um, assisted recovery for mental health. How does that all kind of fall in?

[00:37:49] Travis Bader: Because it's a very different sort of a, a thought process than what most than what I was raised around. Drugs are bad, right? Don't do them. Um, now people are saying almost like it's a panacea. He here cbd, it's legal, it's gonna fix everything here, psychedelics, they're gonna fix everything. I gotta think.

[00:38:11] Travis Bader: It's gotta be like most other medications, they help a little bit, maybe in the time if used properly, but you have to have a plan in place for how you approach this. What, what's your experience 

[00:38:22] Nathan Kaplar: with this? Yeah. And again, I'll, before I jump, continue to jump further ahead, uh, in my own mind. So when I really started to embrace this sobriety thing, just going back, uh, one question here, um, that's when I started to really open up and start sharing my, my story.

[00:38:39] Nathan Kaplar: I started on TikTok of all places, and it was safe for me, right? Because my family wasn't there. They weren't on TikTok Interesting. And my closest friends weren't there. Mm-hmm. Right? But at, as you know, time went on and I'm on TikTok and I'm doing these lives and I'm talking about, Hey, I'm a cop. You know, I'm just throwing myself out there.

[00:38:57] Nathan Kaplar: I'm trying the sobriety thing and, and, uh, you know, there was immense amount of fear about talking about this stuff and still being a police officer. Mm-hmm. Right? But I, I knew I had to do something drastically different, and I didn't quite understand where this was gonna take me, but I just said, you know what?

[00:39:12] Nathan Kaplar: It's worth a shot. I've got nothing to lose. I've been doing it the other way for so long, it's just, it's not working anymore. As time went on, there was a, there was a, a decent like group of community members that showed up and they were all like, Hey, this is amazing. I'm going through the same thing. And I started to see that other people went through this stuff too.

[00:39:30] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. Right. The old adage of, Hey, you're not alone, works great. When I tell you, Hey, Trav, you're not alone in your struggles in life. Mm-hmm. But until you sit down and you talk about your struggles, you don't really get it out on the table and you don't really feel it, you don't really process it, you don't really connect over it.

[00:39:45] Nathan Kaplar: And that's, that's a really kind of cool place to heal. And so doing this on TikTok allowed me to see that, okay, you know what? There's something legitimate here where we can have a bigger conversation, but I've gotta do it on a different platform. I gotta do it on a, on a podcast platform. Because every time I did these lives on TikTok, somebody missed it.

[00:40:05] Nathan Kaplar: They were out doing life, and they couldn't just turn the podcast on, you know, on the drive to work or whatever. So I kind of stumbled on podcasting just from people saying, Hey, have you thought about starting a podcast? Your stuff is good. I want to hear it, but I, I'm not always available to catch you.

[00:40:21] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Right. So that's how that, that started. And again, I just continued talking and just talking about sobriety and talking about everything I had been through. And it's been a very cathartic therapeutic journey where I can honestly say all the stones that I had in that backpack, you know, have been emptied out.

[00:40:41] Nathan Kaplar: And I feel so much lighter now. So much lighter. No more shame, no more guilt. You know, the feelings that I had that I hid behind, you know, the armor and tried to hide what I was going through, it's all gone. It's on the table. 

[00:40:52] Travis Bader: Are you concerned with being labeled as a PTSD guy, the guy who's always talking 

[00:40:56] Nathan Kaplar: about his story?

[00:40:57] Nathan Kaplar: No, I'm not. Because there's two kinds of guys that do this. There's the kind of guy that says, Hey, I've got ptsd, T S D, I don't know how to grow and I'm never going to grow. Mm-hmm. And then there's me who says, yeah, you know what? In the past I had ptsd, T S D, but I'm learning on how to get out of that place.

[00:41:11] Nathan Kaplar: Do I still have symptoms? Absolutely. How could you not it, I went through 14 years of service with the mounts. I saw some pretty intense stuff, but I know how to, I know how to deal with my health a lot better now. I have much better tools. Mm-hmm. Right? So I don't see myself as the guy that's, you know, throwing the pity party.

[00:41:27] Nathan Kaplar: That's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking more as the, Hey, we're all gonna go through some stuff in life, whether you're a police officer or not. How do you navigate that? Hmm. So I've now kind of learned to turn this into a, here's how I'm growing. Do you want to tag along for the journey? I'll share everything that I've learned much like yourself.

[00:41:46] Nathan Kaplar: You're doing something very similar here too, right? Mm-hmm. You're pushing people ever so slightly every day. This is how you better yourself. I'm gonna bring you value, I'm gonna bring you value, I'm gonna bring you value. And I think when we can finally embrace, for me anyways, when I, when I finally embraced vulnerability, sobriety, and all of these different things and started telling my story, I actually began to leave that place of ptsd, T S D, and I don't feel like I'm attached to it as much as I, I used to be.

[00:42:12] Nathan Kaplar: You still 

[00:42:13] Travis Bader: feel there's an attachment though? Will there always be there? 

[00:42:16] Nathan Kaplar: There are definitely symptoms that still pop up, but I know how to catch them now and do breath work. Meditation, yoga, go for a walk. I know how to tell when the body's stressed out, it's impacting the mind. Maybe I'm not sleeping as well, so I need to sh you know, make those subtle shifts.

[00:42:34] Nathan Kaplar: Much like when we were having that conversation earlier. When we're healthy, we can pick up on the things that we need to do in the moment to shift us and keep us in that normal range. But when we start to fall apart, we kinda lose that ability. The body's now adapting again. Right. So I've come back into a more normal, I'll say, a more normal healthy range.

[00:42:51] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. And I don't use normal as in this, you know, life is abnormal. Sure. We go through some stuff, right? Sure. Um, I would explain it that way. 

[00:43:02] Travis Bader: How do you identify when you see in your body? What are some symptoms? Levels of activation? 

[00:43:07] Nathan Kaplar: Yeah. Levels of activation. Uh, I don't handle stress as well as I used to.

[00:43:11] Nathan Kaplar: So I find that, and I don't know if this is a cortisol thing or not, but I get a lot of muscle aches, a lot of pain in the muscles mm-hmm. Uh, throughout the body. So if I've been going through too many stressful events in the day or the week, or I'm not taking the time to walk or work out or workout or, or meditate or kind of reestablish and rebalance the body, I get a lot of muscle aches.

[00:43:30] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. Um, you know, a lot of times that irritability tends to kick up too, when we're really struggling with something. Right. We become angry. So that for me is a huge red flag. If I'm starting to get angry and I have, you know, I really have to check myself on what's going on. I know I'm not doing well and I gotta nudge myself back into a place of more compassion, more patience, more whatever.

[00:43:50] Nathan Kaplar: Right. And as a dad too, very difficult. Mm. Right. When you have young kids mm-hmm. Like, you really do have to check yourself. Right. You had a father who is, uh, who is, you know, in policing. That's right. Right. And um, you know, I'm sure we can all remember that. And, and for me, my dad too, growing up. He had some pretty angry moments.

[00:44:11] Nathan Kaplar: Yes. Right? Yes. And I want to try to get rid of those so that my kids know that there's, there's love and compassion in the house. Mm-hmm. And, and change that. Um, and I think it's really important for men to understand and really know themselves on what they need so that they can keep themselves well.

[00:44:26] Nathan Kaplar: Like, this isn't even really a P T S D topic anymore. Now we're just talking about mental health. Hmm. What does your mental health look like so that you're staying well, so that you can be a, a great dad, a provider, uh, you can, you know, invest in your community and see others succeed. You have to look at yourself first, and you really have to ask yourself some hard questions about where are you with your own health.

[00:44:49] Travis Bader: You never, we never did touch on the, uh, the psychedelic part though. 

[00:44:53] Nathan Kaplar: Drugs. Yeah. Drug is such, such an interesting thing. Right. I come, I come from a background where, yeah, I fall into addiction with cannabis, but the very beginning stages of it, and this is what it taught me, is that there is a therapeutic value to it.

[00:45:05] Nathan Kaplar: It does help for sure. But when it's, when there's no tailored supported kind of guideline in place for the people that are using it, it can become a very slippery slope very quickly. Hmm. And we have to be very careful with that. We also don't have a lot of knowledge or research yet hard cold facts about what does it do?

[00:45:24] Nathan Kaplar: Like, what does it actually do? Because they've been illegal for a number of years. Mm-hmm. Right. So we don't have that. So we're now starting to look at, okay, we're kind of shifting from prohibition into, okay, medical ca or cannabis now is legalized. Right? We're using it, the world's not burning. Mm-hmm.

[00:45:40] Nathan Kaplar: Right. Similar to y2k, everything worked out okay. Mm-hmm. Cannabis, everything seems to be a going Okay. So now we're starting to study it and we're starting to see kind of the benefits, some of the cons as well. And we're starting to arm ourselves with that knowledge about where can it be used, under what circumstance, you know, what's the best way to use it.

[00:45:59] Nathan Kaplar: So I think we're at the infancy stage of, you know, really understanding what some of these chemicals and compounds can do for us. One of the beautiful things I see, uh, happening right now, I think, is it Ryan Miller? Ryan Miller on YouTube. Okay. Navy Seal. Okay. Have you ever seen this? I, 

[00:46:15] Travis Bader: I haven't, I'll be honest.

[00:46:17] Travis Bader: I don't really listen to podcasts or, uh, but, uh, I'll, I'll pick out parts. I get parts, the ADHD kicks in and I, uh, for a guy who's got a podcast, I really probably should pay a bit more attention. 

[00:46:29] Nathan Kaplar: But it makes sense. If you make a podcast, the last thing you're gonna do is listen to another podcast. I, again, it's, it all comes down to timing and stuff, right?

[00:46:36] Nathan Kaplar: So I'm the same way, but Ryan, I believe it's Ryan Miller or Ryan Shaw, I can't remember. I'll get the name of it here for you cuz it's a fascinating story. But he has someone come on a Navy Seal and these guys are like the elite of the elite, right? Mm-hmm. They're out there doing some pretty intense stuff.

[00:46:50] Nathan Kaplar: And you know, this gentleman to kind of condense the story talks about his experience where I think he had been in therapy for a number of years, it kind of had helped and they were dealing with some stuff, but a lot of times we hold ourselves back and we hide and we're not really willing to show the root or deal with the root.

[00:47:06] Nathan Kaplar: Right. That's kind of a part of the process too with mental health. Mm-hmm. As we try to protect ourselves. And what he ends up doing is he ends up going down and trying this, I again, Experience at a retreat in Mexico. And he goes through, I think it was Ibogaine mixed with D M T. And I think it's a seven day period where there's uh, there's doctors there and shamans, and there's all these support people that literally say, okay, here's what you're doing.

[00:47:31] Nathan Kaplar: We're gonna be here to help you walk through this journey. Hmm. And they do it. And a lot of people are coming out of this saying, you know what? Everything that I struggled with, you know, not having positive emotion, only negative mm, not feeling love or compassion anymore. Not being able to sleep anymore, having a mind that's constantly racing, having a body that doesn't feel safe, having anxiety to the point where my hands are sweating and I'm always shaking, being fearful all the time, having feelings of dread, shame, and guilt.

[00:48:00] Nathan Kaplar: All this stuff that comes from repeated, uh, exposures to trauma is gone. Interesting. So what do we know? We know nothing. Hmm? We're just starting. So my opinion is, I think we all need to have an open mind on where this can go.

[00:48:24] Travis Bader: So you went to rehab and they say you've gotta unpack things that have happened in your past. Was that the majority of the work that was done?

[00:48:38] Nathan Kaplar: Yes and no. Uh, as six weeks stay in rehab, what did we do? We did a lot, uh, and we did a lot of talking and we learned how to really talk about our emotions and really connect with our emotions and the stuff that happens in our past. Childhood trauma was kind of the starting point for me where uh, we touched on a memory that absolutely broke me in the moment.

[00:48:57] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. I was sitting in a chair and it was the first time in my adult life that I was finally able to see and express something in my childhood that was to me at that stage. So horrific, so painful, such a breach of trust that I finally allowed myself to feel it and break from it and just cry. Have you talked about 

[00:49:20] Travis Bader: this on your podcast?

[00:49:22] Nathan Kaplar: Uh, it involves a family member, so I try not to go too deep into it, but, uh, I don't, I think I've alluded to this event, but I don't think I've gone too deep. Uh, just outta respect for family members, right? Because there, there's an interesting thing that happens in this moment when we first go through this, this memory of, you know, why did this person do this to me?

[00:49:47] Nathan Kaplar: There's a lot of anger there cuz you don't understand it. And eventually you have to learn how to try and forgive that person for what they were going through in their life that caused them to have this reaction cuz it actually was less about you and more about them. And that's kind of an interesting thing too, where you start to begin to teach yourself how to have more compassion for others and some of the pain that they might be going through, because we're all struggling with something.

[00:50:12] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. So we gotta try and find a way to forgive people and understand, uh, maybe from their end. Now that doesn't excuse this person for what they did, but I also have to move on with my life, and I have to not let this be a stone in my backpack and I have to let that stone come out. 

[00:50:34] Travis Bader: How has that stone 

[00:50:34] Nathan Kaplar: come out?

[00:50:35] Nathan Kaplar: It has, um, it has, for me, uh, the way that it came out, I didn't need to go to this individual and hash out, you know, in years past, this is what happened. We need to talk about it. That was so long ago, right? Mm-hmm. I was able to feel the emotion while I was in rehab, talk about it in rehab, and get it out.

[00:50:53] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Like, let the body finally feel this and just let it out. And that, for me, that that emotion or that that moment for me in my life too, is a moment where I look back and now, and I really recognize that as a kid, I didn't know how to process that, so I just armored up as a kid, put the armor on and said, nobody's gonna hurt me.

[00:51:10] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Not anymore. So I had this approach of, you know, trying to protect myself and stay inwards and not, you know, allow myself to really come out. So these are all things I had to learn as an adult. So it's almost like in a sense, like I was listening to the Foo Fighters on the drive in today and it was, he was talking about learning to walk again.

[00:51:26] Nathan Kaplar: And I mean, we do this when we, we break a leg, but when you, when you go through something significant in your life, i e mental health, you have to really challenge yourself on the old ways and say, okay, how am I gonna do this now? How am I gonna grow from this place? So has the stone come out? The stone has come out because I see it.

[00:51:42] Nathan Kaplar: Uh, I know what I needed to do. I needed to forgive this individual. Um, will I ever talk about it openly with that person? I don't know. I don't know. I, you know, may, may. Maybe I need to. I have no idea. I 

[00:51:55] Travis Bader: have. How, how would you know? 

[00:51:59] Nathan Kaplar: I think it's, I think it's something that if you're still struggling with it and you really gotta pay attention to what's going on right.

[00:52:05] Nathan Kaplar: With the body. Um, cuz there was definitely a time when I used to think about this, it would cause the body to get fearful. Hmm. Or to shake, or it would cause some, some heavy and hard emotions. Whereas now I can think about this moment and go, okay, there's really no emotional connection to it anymore.

[00:52:21] Nathan Kaplar: Right. I'm not feeling sad anymore. I'm not feeling like I need to let anything out. Um, you know, I have a lot more acceptance over the why, right? Mm. I don't blame that person. I accept that, okay, you know what, this is something that they were going through and I think, I don't know if this is the answer or not, but when you can finally look back and just have an understanding and have peace around that, that's gotta be some level of healing.

[00:52:48] Travis Bader: So exposure therapy would be talking about it, putting yourself back into that sort of mental situation and trying to find a way to deal with that in a more positive way. Is there a concern about, and I've heard the analogy of the, the dirt road. You go down that dirt road, you hit a bump, you go down that same dirt road, you hit the bump again, it gets a bit deeper, and pretty soon it's kind of hard.

[00:53:11] Travis Bader: You start wearing ruts and you keep going down that same road, that same mental process. Is there a benefit to just drawing an X through that road and taking a different road? 

[00:53:23] Nathan Kaplar: What I've learned about mental health is that anytime there's an issue with your mental health, the first thing you're gonna do when you look at something and you ask yourself that question of Should I walk towards this issue or not?

[00:53:36] Nathan Kaplar: If the answer is, I'm going to embrace denial and avoid. That usually means there's some work to do there. Hmm. Right. So I've adopted that approach for myself. So we talk about this, this road, right? And sure. If we, if we dwell on too much of the past, that can be very problematic. It takes us outta the present moment, and that's all we have in this life is the present moment.

[00:54:01] Nathan Kaplar: I agree. Not the future. Not the past. Mm-hmm. If we think too broadly about that stuff, we do have to do it for some things, right? Planning houses, the kids, vacations, you know, finances, all that kind of stuff. Let yourself do that, but try to stay in the present moment. If we think too much about the past, it's gonna suck you down into this, this horrible way of being where, and I think a lot of people get lost there.

[00:54:25] Nathan Kaplar: I agree. They get lost. In the past. 

[00:54:28] Travis Bader: The, your past doesn't exist, essentially oth side of your memory or the memory of others, or your perception of others', memory of 

[00:54:36] Nathan Kaplar: that. Absolutely. Your experiences are very valid. What you think you've learned from it, very valid. But could you have learned something that actually doesn't serve you?

[00:54:45] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. So what I try to do now is I try to look at my past and go, okay, yeah, you know what, this happened to me. This created a sense of, uh, Unrest. Like for me, for example, when I went through this significant thing as a child, it happened with another man. So for many years I really had a hard time walking into a room with a man feeling comfortable and just showing up and sharing who I was.

[00:55:08] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. I hid for a long time. And I think we can all kind of resonate with that, right? We might kind of feel more comfortable one way or the other to a certain sex, right? Whether it's female or male because of something that's happened to us. So, and those are the interesting things that you gotta pay attention to in your life.

[00:55:23] Nathan Kaplar: The challenges where you gotta go, okay, what's going on here? Why do I not feel safer around men? Why do I not feel safer around women? If that's the case for you? Hmm. So for me, having that breach of trust, uh, in men, I did struggle with, you know, having that ability to connect with a man much different now, right?

[00:55:39] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. I can sit here with you and I'm like, Hey, I'm good. Hmm. I'm good. You know, I

[00:55:49] Nathan Kaplar: actually, I want to thank you today for this opportunity because this has very little to do with us, and it's just us sharing our story and hopefully investing in others through what we've learned in life, sharing our experiences. I mean, and, and I've gotta check myself too in this, that we're not always right about everything that we do in life.

[00:56:15] Nathan Kaplar: We make mistakes. My advice is not gonna be for everyone. My story is not going to be for everyone, but the beauty. In having, you know, connection with others, in listening to others and their perspectives is where we can really grow. And I think you and what you're doing here in having that ability to ask those tough questions, right?

[00:56:36] Nathan Kaplar: To try and bridge the gap between two people to be like, okay, I now understand a little bit more about mental health. Cuz I think too, with mental health, mental health is viewed from so many different angles, right? There might be preconceived ideas about what does suicide look like? Addiction, what does that look like?

[00:56:57] Nathan Kaplar: How do we approach it? We might have biases towards those issues. Did you have 

[00:57:01] Travis Bader: suicidal ideation? 

[00:57:02] Nathan Kaplar: I did. Yeah. A hundred percent. How did that present itself? You know, as a cop, when I first started my journey, uh, I became reckless. Hmm. You know, there were certain points where I should have been protecting myself.

[00:57:14] Nathan Kaplar: And instead, you know, somebody would say, Hey, I'm gonna fight you right now. I'm gonna punch you in the face. Mm-hmm. And I'd say, you get the first shot. Mm-hmm. Make it count. Mm-hmm. Right. Who does that? But by that point, as a cop, I had gotten so numb and disconnected with trying to protect myself. I was just at my point where I was like, okay, do what you gotta do.

[00:57:35] Nathan Kaplar: Right. I was still willing to show up and fight, but in the end, any cop who's doing the job at the very beginning would just automatically go into, Hey, you're under arrest. Like, we're gonna do this right now. Right. But I'd gotten to a point where I was like, I'm invincible. I'd gotten an ego problem. It was very cocky.

[00:57:52] Nathan Kaplar: Right. And I was starting to walk that line, that more kind of twisted dark line that happens in law enforcement where you're now numb to your own idea of being safe at home. There was, there was many moments where you have thoughts of, and suicide. You, when you talk about suicide with people, you always ask them, Hey, have you ever had, uh, have you ever had suicidal thoughts?

[00:58:18] Nathan Kaplar: Everybody right away says, Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. And I think where people's minds can go to at certain moments with that is, you know, have you actually had the thought of trying to harm yourself? That end stage suicidal thought, though, can be something as minor as, Hey, I'm really struggling in life right now with this painful event.

[00:58:34] Nathan Kaplar: I don't know how to walk through it. I I don't really wanna be here anymore. Hmm. It can be very, something just kind of quiet too. Right. And that's, that's the brain just expressing and sending a, almost like a warning flare. Like, Hey, you're going through something significant, some serious pain and suffering.

[00:58:49] Nathan Kaplar: There's no shame in, uh, acknowledging that, but we have shame around trying to express that and let it out and ask for help from others. So, suicidal ideation for me at the time, uh, when I was going through some of the pain was, you know, I was also socially isolated. Uh, sometimes after work I would just lock myself in a room cuz I felt I needed time to decompress.

[00:59:09] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Right. And that's when some of those thoughts would happen, right. Where you're alone and you're like, holy man, like, life is tough. What would it be like if I wasn't here anymore? Right. And some of those thoughts absolutely happened for me. I have no shame to talk about it. It it's a very normal response to, again, if you go through enough significant stuff in life, you're going to have those thoughts.

[00:59:33] Nathan Kaplar: They're very normal now. They're not healthy. Right. We've gotta take action on those. 

[00:59:40] Travis Bader: So you're talking about numbing and numbing to people and losing trust in people. I remember I was passenger driving back from the range friend, uh, near his end of term with law enforcement and there's a, uh, vehicle catches fire up ahead of us and, uh, it was a, uh, Jeep, uh, pickup truck and the whole thing basically blows up and, uh, guy comes out and he's all sined up and everything's melting off and like pulling over.

[01:00:13] Travis Bader: Let's help him out, right? He's like, Nope, nope, I don't wanna be late. Just leave it for someone else. And, and there's a level of callousness that can come into those who work as first responders and I'm looking at him like, you know, at least get this guy off the row. He's walking around. Someone else is gonna hit him in these.

[01:00:31] Travis Bader: Um, but uh, how do you deal with that? Because it sounds like you had to deal with that and there's a bit of a disconnect. How do you get that reconnection back to humanity if you're to be able to get in line with that Harvard study of having those strong social 

[01:00:48] Nathan Kaplar: connections? Getting into policing. You walk in as one of the most compassionate people out there, they hire you on that alone.

[01:00:58] Nathan Kaplar: You have to have that empathy, that compassion, because you're gonna be dealing with the most vulnerable level of society. That 1% that is just going through something so significant that when you walk into those shoes, you have no idea what what's really going on or what this world even looks like.

[01:01:12] Nathan Kaplar: There's nothing that can prepare you for it. Even if you watch Rookie Blue, right? Like nothing's gonna get you ready for the the downtown east side, right? Mm. Being down there really immersed in, okay, what's really going on here? Not just a simple hello, but now we're interacting with you. Now we're seeing what this looks like.

[01:01:29] Nathan Kaplar: Now we're seeing and feeling what this looks like to be a cop interacting with someone who has significant issues. And what was the question 

[01:01:40] Travis Bader: again? How do you get that reconnection here with humanity? Yeah. 

[01:01:43] Nathan Kaplar: Compassion fatigue. So yeah, sorry, where I was going, the. Walking in as a police officer, I had that ability, but over time I had lost that ability to have the compassion cuz I hit compassion, burnout, compassion fatigue.

[01:01:58] Nathan Kaplar: And I just, I remember sitting there one day and I was like, I walked into the office and I was like, I don't care anymore. Mm. I don't care about anyone anymore. And I actually was angry with people because I had went through something on the podcast. I share this story about where I had to put a horse down.

[01:02:14] Nathan Kaplar: Mm. Possibly a drunk driver hit a horse, left him in the ditch. We ended up getting called out in the morning. I had to put this horse down. This horse was left, the beautiful horse was left in the ditch to suffer all night long. How could a human being do this to an animal? Hmm. Right. I kind of understood how humans could be, you know, manipulative or, um, they could wanna harm other human beings.

[01:02:37] Nathan Kaplar: But to see an animal who's done nothing to anyone, be left in that condition. I remember that was the moment for me where I hit compassion burnout in compassion fatigue. And I got to a place where not only did I not hold compassion for people, but I also hated them for what they were capable of doing in the world.

[01:02:56] Nathan Kaplar: And I think that too is a very dangerous place as a man or or woman. So how do you, how do you get through that? Again, very much like a broken leg. You've gotta acknowledge, okay, I'm here. I have comp, uh, compassion fatigue. And I don't think there's any shame with finally hitting that place in those roles in society because we're not ready to deal with that level.

[01:03:18] Nathan Kaplar: Like no one's taught us about, Hey, this is what compassion fatigue is gonna look like. You're not armed with any knowledge. So you kind of just end up stumbling on this place where you go, yeah, I'm burnt out. Mm, I don't have compassion anymore. I've never been here before to this degree. I don't know what this looks like.

[01:03:34] Nathan Kaplar: I don't know how to explain what I'm experiencing. I don't know how to ask for help or even deal with just this little compassion fatigue thing that I'm going through. So over time, all of these issues blended and blended into PTs D becoming a diagnosis for me and things getting worse. But ultimately I was able to start to teach myself, okay, this is what it means to become compassionate again.

[01:03:58] Nathan Kaplar: And a big part of, I think the journey was something that I touched on was trying to figure out how to forgive people, the ones that hurt you the most. Hmm. And I just said, you know what? If there's anywhere I should start, I should try to start building compassion for those people. I had been through enough, with enough people at that point.

[01:04:15] Nathan Kaplar: I kind of knew the, the main people in my life that had hurt me. Hmm. And I kind of said, you know what? Instead of looking at them and being angry or having blame or, you know, trying to place guilt on them for what they had done, how do I just approach this and say, you know what? I'm gonna build compassion towards that person.

[01:04:29] Nathan Kaplar: I'm not gonna express it to that person, but I'm just gonna build it and forgive, not forgive them, but allow myself to have forgiveness so that I can walk through this and let it go, and still have compassion to that individual for what they were going through their life. And understand their story from their perspective in that moment.

[01:04:45] Nathan Kaplar: Because once you do that, you actually start to see kind of again, it has very little to do with you. Mm. It's what they're struggling with in that moment. And now all of a sudden you're building compassion for others and you're starting to invite empathy back into your world. And you're starting to reconnect and you're starting to have those social connections again.

[01:05:04] Nathan Kaplar: And you're really starting to pour that care into others and yourself at the same time. So it's a slow process and I think you kind of, I think everybody can ask themselves those hard questions of, okay, where is my level of compassion right now? And that's usually one thing that I really ask myself at the beginning of the day, where is my level of compassion?

[01:05:20] Nathan Kaplar: And if it's not in a great place, I know I gotta do some work. Do 

[01:05:22] Travis Bader: you find that there's a common thread as you look through from childhood to where you are now, a common thread that you've been able to identify for, uh, different moments, whether you've invited them into your life knowingly or not, or, um, I mean, you talk about compassion and forgiveness.

[01:05:45] Travis Bader: You're not gonna want to be at a point where you now all of a sudden find that in your life again. So you're probably gonna want to put up some mental barriers as well, some little flags. Oh, I can see a pattern similarity to what I've seen in the past. Like you, there's gonna be a certain level of vi vigilance that's required, not over vigilance, but there's gonna be a certain level of vi vigilance.

[01:06:06] Travis Bader: Have you been able to identify an ongoing pattern? 

[01:06:09] Nathan Kaplar: One of the really interesting things that I learned along this journey is I sucked at boundaries. Hmm. So much. So I let everyone in. Hmm. You know, good bad in the middle. I let them all in. Now, some people out there are definitely very hurt, and there could be a connection that is formed with that person where they're gonna now try to hurt you.

[01:06:33] Nathan Kaplar: I worked with a narcissist sociopath that was going through some very significant issues, and those had issues on me. Hmm. And instead of in the moment addressing it and having a boundary and saying, no, you're not gonna be a part of my life, professional or personal, I allowed it to continue. And over time, that eroded my own health.

[01:06:50] Nathan Kaplar: Because of the stress of the environment and what that individual was going through and putting me through. Right. So I think over time I've learned that very crucial lesson that I'm now a lot more selective on who I led in. 

[01:07:04] Travis Bader: Is that not a circle though? Is that not a level of vigilance and not, obviously there's a balance between trying to have those social connections and let people into your life and be able to share and who you're now there's gonna be a judging process on everybody you meet.

[01:07:23] Nathan Kaplar: Uh, I, I don't think it's as much of a, uh, like a filter where you either get to come in or you don't. Mm-hmm. Uh, I let everyone come in, but for the most part, if there is really unhealthy behaviors there, I just don't get that close. Cuz there's no point in, in that for, for me. Right. To get that close to you, I'll help you, I'll tell you, Hey, you're not doing well.

[01:07:43] Nathan Kaplar: Right. Instead of just sweeping it under the rug and saying, yeah, we can have this personal connection or professional, or whatever the case is. Hmm. But in order to protect yourself as a man, protect what you're building, your family, your children, everything. I think as men, as we age and we get a little bit older, we get very good at spotting people who are, you know, struggling to a degree and we can say, Hey, we love you.

[01:08:02] Nathan Kaplar: We support you. Keep working on yourself. One day we'll have a better connection. But for right now, I got other stuff going on. Hmm. Right. And it's more of a, I still, because I don't, I don't look at people and I say, I don't accept you. I try to accept everyone because. We're all going through something in life, and everyone deserves an opportunity to grow and to shift outta whatever they're experiencing.

[01:08:22] Nathan Kaplar: I truly believe that. But for me, I've got enough going on in, in my world now that I try to focus more on, okay, who are the men and the people in my life that are gonna help me to grow and really stay, uh, in a mode of success and challenge myself, uh, to continue to grow and while I reach back and I lend a, a helping hand through the podcast and different other means.

[01:08:46] Nathan Kaplar: You've gotta kind of have that balancing act of having these boundaries now and learning when to say, Hey, sorry if I step back and I move in that direction with you, I take away from my progress. Hmm. Right. So I'm moving forward. You can come on this journey with me. It's your choice, but 

[01:09:07] Travis Bader: it it, it feels like you've made incredible progress over, what has it been four years 

[01:09:14] Nathan Kaplar: now?

[01:09:15] Nathan Kaplar: 3, 2, 3. 

[01:09:16] Travis Bader: It, it feels like you've made incredible progress over a couple of years to be able to talk about these things openly and articulately. What areas are still of a challenge to you? 

[01:09:29] Nathan Kaplar: Uh, that's a really good question.

[01:09:41] Nathan Kaplar: I've gotten really good. At connecting with others and putting myself out there and developing a social connection. I'm still incredibly hard on myself that first thought of, should I do this or should I not? Is always there. I'm always gonna say, no, you're not gonna do a good job. No, nobody's gonna listen.

[01:10:04] Nathan Kaplar: No, you don't have value. Right? Those are the tricks that mine tries to tell you. Even driving in here today, I was excited to sit down and do this with you, but at the same time it's like, is this gonna be a good thing? Right? We always have that little, that little voice in the back of our heads. So I'm trying to reinforce in my own journey now, not listening to that voice, acknowledging it, but at least overriding it and saying, Hey, you're allowed to be there, but it's wrong.

[01:10:32] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. I like that. And, and I'm finding now that cuz we all, we have 60,000 thoughts a day. Is that what it is? Are 30,000 of those, the ones that are screaming in the background, Hey, don't do this. You're not good enough. Uh, you're gonna be a failure, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I, I've now started to accept that and just say, you know, who cares?

[01:10:52] Nathan Kaplar: What if you fail? What if I show up today and I do this with you, and it's a complete flop? It doesn't matter. I feel fantastic cuz I'm getting it out and I don't know if you feel fantastic doing this episode. Oh, I love it. I hope so. Oh yeah. Right. But that's all that matters. Just showing up and doing the hard work.

[01:11:11] Nathan Kaplar: Like yeah, we're, we're investing our time into giving back value to others. But at the same time, like I'm sitting down at a table with you. A hundred percent connected. A hundred percent connected. 

[01:11:22] Travis Bader: I like that analogy. Uh, Seb Lavo, he's been on the podcast in the past. He's xrcmp as well. He gave the analogy of the, uh, the Wolf You feed.

[01:11:33] Travis Bader: I think you've probably heard that one. Right. And he says, um, you gotta feed 'em both. You gotta recognize that they're both there. Feed 'em both. Otherwise you're gonna have one that's ravenous and then you've got a problem. 

[01:11:46] Nathan Kaplar: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think I, at certain points in my life, I've tried to completely eliminate.

[01:11:51] Nathan Kaplar: And again, we're now hinging on that theme of when we avoid or deny Hmm. That creates a bigger issue. When we can accept that two thoughts happen at the same time, we're gonna kick ass on this podcast or it's gonna be a complete flop. You acknowledge both. Mm-hmm. But you turn to the one that says, it's gonna be a fucking fantastic podcast and we're gonna show up and we're just gonna do our best.

[01:12:13] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. And that's all we can ask of ourselves. You water that seed instead and that one takes off like a shot. That one's still there. It's doing its thing. Sure. But you're not letting it win. 

[01:12:22] Travis Bader: Yeah. What's been your biggest aha moment through this whole process? I. 

[01:12:29] Nathan Kaplar: There were so many points in this journey where I thought, I am th this, this journey that, that I'm on is not normal.

[01:12:38] Nathan Kaplar: That I am so broken, that I'm of no value. And again, very hard on myself. I fed that other wolf. I didn't feed the other seed. Right. The good one. I fed the bad one. Not the bad one, but the other one. Right. There's no bad thing in life. Sure. Right. 

[01:13:00] Travis Bader: There is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so 

[01:13:04] Nathan Kaplar: a hundred percent.

[01:13:05] Nathan Kaplar: And I remember just being so incredibly hard on myself and so defeated and so, so just headed in the wrong direction. And when I finally started to recognize my, and you touched on this, no one's gonna show up and save you on this journey in life. It comes from within. Mm-hmm. You gotta show up and you gotta save yourself.

[01:13:32] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. And you gotta start watering the right seeds, feeding the right wolves, hanging out with the right people, really making sure you're using your time appropriately. Right. Keeping the blade sharp. Don't chase comfort. Chase discomfort. Mm-hmm. And find that path, that one that we always run from and hide from.

[01:13:56] Nathan Kaplar: Take that road and it'll lead you to the fastest, most amazing amount of growth that you'll ever go through in life. And that, for me was kind of the aha moment where there were many times in rehab where I would always tell one therapist just giving me the pill to make this all better. So many people 

[01:14:15] Travis Bader: are like that, right?

[01:14:17] Travis Bader: That's our society is based on this. Yeah. There's this one thing. It'll make you happy. Yeah, it'll be good. Give me 

[01:14:23] Nathan Kaplar: that one thing. Right? I just need that one thing. Fix me. Hmm. I was basically screaming that at the top of my lungs while I was there, and she turned to me and said, Nate, we're not gonna do a damn thing for you.

[01:14:33] Nathan Kaplar: You're gonna do it for yourself. Mm-hmm. And I was like, oh, I don't like this naturally. But again, you learn. You learn. You've gotta discover how you work, how you tick, what your experiences are, why they're there in such a way, and what they make you think and feel, and how you respond behaviorally to these things that you've learned.

[01:14:51] Nathan Kaplar: You've gotta unlearn it and then dig in and find the key that says, okay, how do we do it differently? Now? I really 

[01:14:58] Travis Bader: like that sense of personal agency, cuz that seems to be a stripped away from most people. There's a pill you can take. There's a special thing you can do. You can put your trust in someone else.

[01:15:09] Travis Bader: This magical program that you can do will make you fit, will make you attractive, will make you smart, will make you whatever it might be. But none of it's true. No. We have that own personal agency in ourselves and that's the one thing that I've seen been eroded in our society to a very great degree for a long time, for a multitude of different reasons.

[01:15:29] Travis Bader: But if people can just realize the level of personal agency they have to affect change in themselves, which in turn will affect change in those around them, man, you can do some pretty cool things. Absolutely. 

[01:15:42] Nathan Kaplar: Right. Absolutely. The level of intensity that you can now bring to people and help them grow, right?

[01:15:48] Nathan Kaplar: By showing them how you've found your own way. It's not a pill, it's not a workout plan. Well, it is kind of a workout plan. I gotta workout right To stay. Well, surely. Sure. Right? But it's nothing gimmicky. You gotta spend the time and do the hard work on yourself in order to get to a place where you can finally start to step forward and say, Hey, you know, I'm doing better.

[01:16:09] Nathan Kaplar: I had to solve this problem. Not the person that did this to me, not expecting someone else to show up. Mm-hmm. It was me all along. I've got to do this. And that was, that was for me, definitely my aha moment. Right? No doctor's gonna save you. Mm-hmm. You are your doctor. Mm-hmm. What do you need? Start doing it.

[01:16:31] Travis Bader: And that's massive. You go to a doctor, they come out, they say whatever. Maybe you connect, maybe you don't, and you leave and you say, I didn't connect. Doctors don't work. Right. Maybe they do connect, and if they do connect, all they're gonna tell you is you're fine. There's some things you gotta work through right now.

[01:16:47] Travis Bader: Here's some tools you can use. Are you doing them? It's, it's all on you. A uh, friend of mine, ex British military, and um, he, uh, what was it? He said limit substances. Exercise, sleep is crucial. Um, I think there's one more point in there, chase. I may have missed it, but, uh, connection people. There you go. Human connection.

[01:17:14] Travis Bader: Have that human connection, like the formula's pretty simple. Very simple. But the idea that people, when they approach this, it seems so complex and, and difficult. Well, I, I'm drinking because, or I'm, I'm using drugs because of the difficulty. I'm, if only I didn't have that difficulty, I wouldn't do this.

[01:17:32] Travis Bader: I'm not exercising cuz I'm so, I'm just so damn tired I haven't been able to sleep. Right. The process is simple. At some point you gotta get off your butt and move and you have to look at what you're putting into your body. And that was limiting of substances. He says. Could be, it could be your phone, right?

[01:17:48] Travis Bader: It could be a, a social media addiction. It could be uh, uh, a number of things. Um, the process is simple, but you gotta take that 

[01:17:59] Nathan Kaplar: step. A hundred percent. And, and you touched on something that I, I try to touch on my podcast too quite a bit, is addiction from many people. Addiction has such this weird thing, you ask one person about addiction, Hey, what's your perspective on it?

[01:18:10] Nathan Kaplar: And you ask a hundred people, you will get a hundred different answers on addiction. Mm-hmm. What is it, what degree? Uh, I know when I told one of my friends, I was like, Hey, you know, I went through this, this addiction thing. Uh, I was active in addiction. Right. And it was pretty rough. There was a lot of nasty stuff coming out.

[01:18:24] Nathan Kaplar: And he is like, well, it's not like you were addicted to heroin. Right. And I'm like, no, but still not great to be addicted to medical cannabis. Right, right. And it was just kind of an interesting aha moment where I was like, yeah, people really, they really have a different view of addiction. And one of the things I try to showcase on this, and you touched on it and I love it, is that addiction can take so many different forms.

[01:18:48] Nathan Kaplar: Pornography, cell phone, the numbing out, detaching, disassociating. You can use so many different things to, uh, be addicted to, to avoid that pain and suffering that's in your life. Mm-hmm. And if you need to find the key to, to grow, you need to be able to walk towards your pain and suffering, cuz that's where the key is.

[01:19:07] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Right. So that aha moment was definitely built in the fact that I now started to embrace discomfort. Everything that I didn't want to do, I would write down and say, I'm doing that. I'm going for that rock, I'm going for that workout. I'm gonna start talking about my emotions and start a podcast and start doing vulnerability.

[01:19:25] Nathan Kaplar: I'm gonna do everything that I told myself I wasn't gonna do. I'm gonna do it. Hmm. Because it's hard and we need to do hard. 

[01:19:33] Travis Bader: Nothing in life worthwhile ever came easy. No. It's not like you're addicted to heroin. I find that interesting. There's always a comparative scale. There's always somebody who's got it worse.

[01:19:49] Travis Bader: There's always something. You're not, you're never gonna be at the worst side. You're never gonna be at the best side. And I find with the mental health aspect of it, people do that a lot internally. Well, it's not like I was serving in uh, a heavy war. It's not like I was, I think I've talked about the, uh, the chocolate bar guy on the podcast in the past.

[01:20:13] Travis Bader: Have you ever heard of the Maggot Chocolate Bar guy? Interesting. One guy goes, goes to the grocery store, picks up a, uh, chocolate bar and some other stuff he's eaten. He gets halfway through it and there's maggots in there. He's like, oh, that's pretty gross. Goes to talks to the shop keep Shop keeps like, ah, we'll give you a refund.

[01:20:31] Travis Bader: You can have a free one if you want. He's like, I don't want a free ones. Probably got Megas in a too, right? Fair enough. Goes home. But then he starts developing reoccurring thoughts and he's dreaming about this Ty Chocolate bar and he stops going to his church group cuz he figures everyone's gonna be laughing at him.

[01:20:47] Travis Bader: He's the chocolate par mega eater. Right. And he's displaying all of these symptoms that are. What is typically associated with PTs D, but he's eaten a chocolate bar with maggots, and I've eaten maggots, right? I've eaten, I've eaten bugs and grubs and worms and crap, right? Like, hey, that's nothing. Is it nothing for him?

[01:21:08] Travis Bader: Well, maybe he has a predisposition to effect to look at things differently. Maybe his upbringing causes him to look at things in a different way. Maybe his brain ticks a little bit different. The psychophysiological effects of what happened to him are manifesting in a way that is a concern. I think one of the most critical things that people can do for themselves, and if we're talking about Men's Mental Health Month, is be able to recognize when things aren't ticking properly in themselves or in others, so they can have that conversation.

[01:21:42] Travis Bader: And not to discredit it and say, well, it's not like I'm a soldier. It's not like I'm, you know, Nathan, he's rcmp seen some horrific things, and these circumstances, I shouldn't be feeling this way. I'll just shuffle it under the carpet. I think the best thing people can do is be able to recognize and then take steps to address, not wear it, not say, this is me.

[01:22:06] Travis Bader: Now look at, I recognize there's a problem, and this is, I'm always gonna be Bob with a P T S D or, or what have you. But just realize, who knows? I don't know. Maybe my brain ticks a little bit different. Maybe my upbringings a little bit different, but my reaction to these stressors. Are manifesting themselves in a way that requires attention.

[01:22:27] Nathan Kaplar: The, and this is a really fascinating thing, a topic for me because I did this for many years. I sat and I tried to assess myself and I didn't know how to assess myself. So naturally, when we don't know how to assess ourselves or where we're at in our journey, we've talked a little about about, you know, when we're healthy, we can kind of figure out how to stay in that bandwidth.

[01:22:48] Nathan Kaplar: When we become unhealthy, we don't really know how to get back, right? We might need some help at some point, right? If we go low enough. But in those stages, I think, I think at certain points when we really start to get unhealthy, we almost start to compare, where am I? And we look at others and we see what they're doing, and then we compare ourselves to them and their story, oh, you know what?

[01:23:08] Nathan Kaplar: I'm doing pretty good, cuz that guy seems a little bit more messed up. Mm-hmm. Maybe I'm actually okay. And we tell ourselves that lie, right? And we compare. Comparing is the worst thing you can do. Mm-hmm. Your life is not his and vice versa. So you've gotta challenge yourself in those moments too, to really kind of hone in on, on that narrative that happens, that wolf right, that comes out, that tries to say, Hey, you don't have to do the hard work here cuz that guy's more messed up.

[01:23:35] Nathan Kaplar: You're good. Just don't get there. What does that do? That doesn't nudge you forward, that doesn't hold awareness, that doesn't push you in a direction of growth. It lets you stay stagnant. Mm-hmm. Now your knife edge is dulling and you're not doing anything. You're not heading in the right direction. It's a very, very dangerous place to be, to compare yourselves to others.

[01:24:01] Nathan Kaplar: I get a lot of feedback on social media now. A lot of amazing people write in. They say, Hey, you know, I, I don't even know how you do this. I don't know how you get on a podcast and talk, you know about your mental health. How do you do that? That's amazing. Blah, blah, blah. I could never do that. Sure, you could.

[01:24:14] Nathan Kaplar: How does that make you feel?

[01:24:22] Nathan Kaplar: The stories you hear that roll in, you see, and you hear the members who are just, they're done. Hmm. I've had guys write in say, I'm, I'm done. Hmm. I'm looking to hang myself. Mm-hmm. I can't do this anymore. It's too much. They hurt. Sure. I'm sad. I get that message. I'm sad. Mm-hmm. I'm sad for that guy cuz I know what that feels like.

[01:24:48] Nathan Kaplar: And a big part of why I launched this podcast too, is that, uh, there was a female member in Richmond that took her own life under a bridge. Mm-hmm. Same day. A Winnipeg member took his life. And I remember that news came in, I was in the garage, I was just about to have a workout. I cried, cried my eyes out, and I thought to myself, how did this happen?

[01:25:04] Nathan Kaplar: How, how are so many amazing people out there killing themselves at such a large number? And it's so hidden in society. We don't talk about this stuff. We don't talk about law enforcement suicide. Mm-hmm. Don't talk about first responder suicide. We barely even talk about just civilian suicide. Right. So what's going on here?

[01:25:24] Nathan Kaplar: Why are we avoiding this? And I had this moment, it was kind of an epiphany of sense too, where it was a motivator for me because enough people had said, Hey, start a podcast. Start a podcast, start a podcast. And I thought, yeah, you know what? I don't wanna see someone else take their life and we gotta start talking about this stuff.

[01:25:41] Nathan Kaplar: And we gotta create a culture. If the police organization or whoever out there cannot create a supportive culture inside their working lines to show that empathy, to show that compassion, to be leaders, to say, Hey, you know what? We're all here. We're all going through the same stuff. Our people will kill themselves and there will be no stop.

[01:26:02] Nathan Kaplar: And that was also a big motivator for me too, to get on and just start sharing. Cuz I understood su suicide to a degree. Hmm. I knew why it happens. The pain and suffering becomes too much. It's like addiction. You gotta find a a way out. Right? Whether the addiction solves that problem for you, or the suicide solves that problem for you, but you're now gonna look at harming yourself.

[01:26:26] Nathan Kaplar: You're healthy, you will not harm yourself. Mm. You are unhealthy. You will. So for me, that when I hear these stories roll in, And that's a really good question. Trav, I'm heartbroken at times. I'm completely ecstatic for others at times because they're on the journey now of they're saying, Hey, I'm getting into law enforcement, but I'm gonna take your advice.

[01:26:53] Nathan Kaplar: I'm gonna go see a psychologist day one. So we have this, this barometric kind of measurement of where am I smart? So as soon as I start to slip, I got someone there to hold me, right? So I'm not falling off the bridge alone. Right? And I advocate that a lot in, in first responder work. We know that it's stressful, we know that it's hard.

[01:27:14] Nathan Kaplar: We know that you're gonna see a lot of hard things walk into it with the vulnerability and walk into that psychologist office day one and say, I have no idea what I'm gonna see or what I'm gonna do. I want to check in though and just talk so that you can get to know me so that you can hold my hand and keep me on that path.

[01:27:35] Nathan Kaplar: Cuz if you fall off and you will, if you don't have these right supports in place, it's a hell of a ride to come back. 

[01:27:43] Travis Bader: You'd almost think that this is something that the department would initiate. 

[01:27:48] Nathan Kaplar: I sat down with the RCMP last year, last year after podcasting for a while and I said, listen boys, um, I actually emailed someone quite high up and I just said, you know what, what is your, what is your strategy here for mental health for our people?

[01:28:04] Nathan Kaplar: And they took my meeting. Which is rare. Mm-hmm. And I sat down with them. I'm not gonna name names, that's not how I roll. Hmm. But I just said, you know, what's the strategy here? And it was, it was classic rcmp. Well, you know, we've got a few ago Agora courses coming out on the computer. We're gonna talk a little bit about suicide and we're gonna do this, that, and the other thing.

[01:28:21] Nathan Kaplar: And you know, we're starting to talk about it more in Depo and blah blah, blah, blah, blah. And I was like, awesome. Is that enough? Hmm. Do we need to do more? And what does that really establish? What does that really do for continuing to invest in our people? So there's massive gaps in there. Mm-hmm. Massive gaps in there.

[01:28:42] Nathan Kaplar: And what I like to see from a lot of the people that are out doing this now, they're talking very openly about their experience. Sat, uh, Sean Taylors, uh, all these guys like yourself. You're here in the space too, right. Slowly starting to get into this, you know, talking about all this stuff. And we're all saying, Hey, like we've been through some stuff.

[01:29:02] Nathan Kaplar: These are the lessons we've learned. Um, if the organization isn't going to be there to help us to succeed, we'll just do it over here and we'll give you that option. Right. Because you'll need it eventually in the organization. The organization, not to blame them. I think the organization has their own challenges.

[01:29:19] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. I don't think they fully understand the problem. And that's not to cast shade or blame on them. Right. It's just the way it is. Mm-hmm. They're too big. There's too many people. They have so many moving 

[01:29:32] Travis Bader: parts, they've outgrown what they originally were. 

[01:29:36] Nathan Kaplar: Absolutely. You know, is funding, is the funding enough for these programs Are the right people involved?

[01:29:43] Nathan Kaplar: Right. It's, it's an incredibly complicated story. So for us who are kind of, you know, we get to jump on as men and just showcase, you know, here's, here's how we view this issue. We get to just do what we want to do so we can talk about this stuff and we can, you know, help others in ways that the RCMP can't, it's too big of a beast.

[01:30:01] Nathan Kaplar: Any kind of change you want to create in that organization. Even when I was a mounty took years. Mm. They dropped a tie at one point. We used to wear the tie. Yeah. It took years to drop that thing. Yeah. If you, if it's gonna take you years 10, 20, uh, 15, was it 15 years to get the carbines? Something like that.

[01:30:18] Nathan Kaplar: Yeah. Yeah. To get a gun. Yeah. 15 years to get a gun on the street that was recommended from Math orp. How long 

[01:30:25] Travis Bader: is it gonna be before they get a proper programming in place for mental health? It'll be a while. 

[01:30:30] Nathan Kaplar: It may never be. It probably will never be. And this is, this is the interesting thing too that happens with mental health.

[01:30:36] Nathan Kaplar: As we're evolving in society and we're starting to have different shifts in how we perceive things, mental health and, and inclusivity and all these different things, the goal poster always changing. Mm-hmm. So how does an organization stay up with the needs that are current to what's going through society?

[01:30:51] Nathan Kaplar: Oh, 

[01:30:52] Travis Bader: particularly, particularly when they run a 15 year cycle on, on adopting new information. Right. So, I know you've got a phenomenal bear story, but before we go to this bear story, is there anything else that we should be talking about? Questions for me? Things that you think would bring value to the listeners?

[01:31:13] Travis Bader: Anything that would bring value to the 10 33 podcast? 

[01:31:18] Nathan Kaplar: Uh, you know, I, I'm much like you. I asked you a question, I was like, how's your podcast doing? And you're like, ah, I don't know. And that's, that's where I am too. Like, there was, there was a period when I started podcasting where I was like checking all the time and I was like, oh, yeah.

[01:31:31] Nathan Kaplar: Numbers, numbers, numbers. Yeah. And then you get to a point and you're like, yeah, I'm just gonna show up and do this. Yeah. I don't care. Yeah. People, people that will want to join, people that will see the value, they'll show up. That's it. Period. Right. Much like Field of a Dreams, if you build it, they will come.

[01:31:45] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Right. And you stop putting that pressure on yourself. Right. Perfection, all that different stuff. But I think for me, like one of the big things, and we, we loosely talked about this, but how did you end up here? Because this started off as more of a, a Silvercore Hunting Exploration podcast, and now we're sitting down here, men's Mental Health in June, and we're having this conversation, this open conversation about men's mental health.

[01:32:09] Nathan Kaplar: How did you end up here? 

[01:32:11] Travis Bader: Well, for me it was, I had to pick a category for the podcast in like the iTunes chart. And so I think we're under Wilderness is where we're at, but Silvercore has always been more of a nebulous creature. I called it Silvercores after my grandfather, silver Armo, who is a Vancouver police officer, my other grandfather, Cornelius Bader, who is an entrepreneur, owned a large bakery in by where the criminal Croatian cultural center is around that area.

[01:32:38] Travis Bader: Um, and I figured if I call it something nebulous, it'll allow me latitude to be able to work in varying places. It's worked well for the company. And I thought, I'll do the same for the podcast. And I don't monetize a podcast except for pressing that little accept money on, uh, on YouTube and you make a couple dollars a month.

[01:33:01] Travis Bader: It's nothing, nothing's to write home a but it allows me the latitude to talk about whatever it is that's gonna be of interest to me. And I'm not always gonna be talking about, my background is firearms and the outdoors and, but, you know, I'm also, I enjoy surfing and I, I enjoy mountaineering and I'm there, there's a wide gamut of things that I enjoy, and I don't want to be the, the Paragliding podcast, the, so the scuba diving podcast or whatever, that one little niche, if I could keep it as the Silvercore podcast, I can talk about whatever.

[01:33:35] Travis Bader: And I specifically looked at this because a friend came in and said, you need, every business should be a media company. They need the ability to disseminate information so people know what's going on. They need to know the owner, they need to know. And there was a lot of negativity in the industry. I mean, there's negativity surrounding firearms in media.

[01:33:57] Travis Bader: In social media, you get shadow banned or banned if you talk about guns and firearms. It's a low barrier to entry industry. It's gonna attract people from all walks of life who may let their ambitions exceed their morals or ethics and do things that are, uh, pretty damn slimy. And I've been affected by that in a pretty, in a pretty big way.

[01:34:19] Travis Bader: On more than one occasion. I thought, you know what? If I'm not seeing the positivity that I want to see in the industry that I'm working in, what are my options? I can leave? Oh geez, I've never been the type of guy to turn around and leave. I've never been a guy to shy away from a fight. I'm stubborn.

[01:34:39] Travis Bader: Right? I can try and create that change that I'd like to see. And so that's where the Silvercore Podcast is born. I wanted to do something where I can bring value to the listeners that can bring, bring value to the guest. But selfishly, it brings value to me, cuz it allows me to connect with others who are positive and moving in a direction that's gonna be beneficial to themselves and everybody else around them.

[01:35:05] Travis Bader: So that's the nuts and bolts of where the Silvercore Podcast came from, and it never started as something that's gonna be making money. And it still isn't something that makes money. I don't begrudge somebody who wants to monetize a podcast by all means. And in fact, a very smart friend of mine, much smarter than myself, as Travis, you should monetize a podcast because it says your opinion is worth something.

[01:35:28] Travis Bader: It's worth this much. And other people agree, interesting approach to it. Maybe I will at some point. That's just not where my head's at my head is that how do I look at my current challenges that I'm experiencing, my current passions that I want to share, and move through them with others who have either on the same path or further along the path and share that with others.

[01:35:56] Travis Bader: That's, that's it for me. 

[01:35:58] Nathan Kaplar: So for and for you, and I mean, this is something I've also grown, uh, very accustomed to, is also listening to others and their approach in life and, you know, what has worked for them. So obviously as I sit here and showcase kind of, you know, this is Nate, this is his story. That's what, this is what's worked for me.

[01:36:14] Nathan Kaplar: You know, what, what is your, what is your ever encompassing approach to mental health and how do you stay Well, because that's also as equally as important. There's gonna be people that listen to my story that are like, Hey, I'm more of a, I fit in with Camp Nate, right? Mm. I'm there. But what about Trav?

[01:36:29] Nathan Kaplar: Like, what about you? Like, how do, what's your approach to mental health? You know, what's gotten you through the hard times? 

[01:36:38] Travis Bader: I would say that dogged determination and stubbornness have probably been the driving factor for me through hard times. And I mean, I remember individuals coming up. I mean, people can google some of the difficulties I've come up with in the past, just being in this business and low barrier to entry industry and others looking and saying, I think there's money there.

[01:37:03] Travis Bader: And that's, that's the thing that you look out for. If there's no money coming into a company. People do some pretty weird things if there is money coming in or the perception that there could be money coming in, watch out. Cuz that's the amplifier of human imperfection. Mm-hmm. It's, money is not the root of all evil.

[01:37:26] Travis Bader: That's a misquote. I think the proper quote is for the love of money is the root of all evil. For people who, that's the, their striving thing that they're looking for. It can amplify some pretty interesting things, which has caused the business to come under fire from others who would like to compete but don't have the ability, mental capacity, ethics, whatever it might be to do it on their own accord.

[01:37:53] Travis Bader: And they would rather try and steal it, go about it in a way that's gonna be, um, Negative, I guess. And you wouldn't find that so much if you're a doctor who's gone to school for X amount of years and there's a process in place or a lawyer or some other professional where there's an agreed sort of process.

[01:38:11] Travis Bader: But in an industry that's low barrier, it can attract all different types. So dealing with that negativity has always just been dogged, stubborn, determination combined with exercise, which has been huge. The outdoors, it's been massive for me. Getting out in nature, connecting with your natural environment, it's why I hunt.

[01:38:34] Travis Bader: I don't hunt because I need the meat. I mean, you can go to the grocery store, you can get your meat. I don't fish cuz I need to get fresh fish. You can do that. I do that because there's an intimate connection with nature and there's a massive mental health benefit to being out there. If I'm hunting, I'm hearing noises that most people don't hear.

[01:38:54] Travis Bader: I'm smelling things, I'm seeing things. I'm paying attention to different things that most people aren't gonna be paying attention to. And it brings the level of presentness. If I'm out surfing, I'm out in the ocean, I'm away from everybody. If I'm climbing, I'm out in the rock face, I'm doing my thing. And my thought process is in each and every handhold, what, whatever I'm making, um, that would be my approach.

[01:39:20] Travis Bader: Exercise, get outdoors. And that's substance abuse. Limit, whatever it might be, addictive things, whether that's social media, cuz that can just wreak havoc on people's perception. Cuz it just creates a, an oodle loop of comparison, observe, orient, decide, act of comparison. And of course that quote, comparison is a thief of joy.

[01:39:41] Travis Bader: Where am I leveling compared to everybody else out there and alcohol limit any of these things, unhealthy foods. That, that would be my approach. 

[01:39:54] Nathan Kaplar: And alcohol too is one thing that, again, I didn't really flirt with. Well, I guess I did flirt with this a little bit where I started to go down potentially a path where it could have been an issue, but it, it didn't quite get there.

[01:40:04] Nathan Kaplar: Uh, and it's something that even with, uh, my journey into medical cannabis, I don't drink anymore. Mm-hmm. Alcohol is the biggest celebrated poison in society. Massive. Wh why, why would we do this to ourselves? Like if you're on this, this journey of growth and betterment and improvement and, and trying to find out, uh, you know, where this could go for you, you have to be ready to drop those things mm-hmm.

[01:40:33] Nathan Kaplar: That give you that instant gratification. 

[01:40:36] Travis Bader: And it's got a after effect on it too. The immediate effect is, Hey, I feel great, but that only lasts a very short period of time. Days afterwards, you'll notice that your perspective has changed. And I've been pushing very hard in some different areas of business.

[01:40:53] Travis Bader: And personal development for a long time now. And about a year ago I said, you know what? I'm just gonna turn the taps off. Let's see what, let's see what I can do. Let's see what I can achieve if I just put a hundred percent dedication towards these different endeavors. And it's amazing what you can achieve when you start putting the blinders onto those distractions.

[01:41:14] Nathan Kaplar: So in, in total personal story here, uh, my wife and I, we've been building, um, I'll just call it stuff and things for years, right? Opportunity. Sure. Creating opportunity for ourselves. Very much like you. I knew when I was going through the mountains, going through some hard stuff, I was like, oh, okay, I don't think I'm gonna make it to 25 years here.

[01:41:31] Nathan Kaplar: I was like, I can't run the marathon. It's just not possible. So what do I do? I gotta create opportunity for myself. Do I become an entrepreneur? Do I invest? Do I do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So I chose a path and I stuck to that path. And very much like what you're saying here is that the moments where I deviate from discipline or I allow myself to pursue that instant gratification, I automatically see the mind shift into a place where it can't handle the stress of making those big decisions that are very complicated because there's a lot of money now tied up in what we're doing.

[01:41:59] Nathan Kaplar: We've grown to a point now where it's, it's big, bigger. Sure. Right? And you gotta stay sharp. You gotta make sure the mind is sharp so that you can weather this storm. Because as you're growing and you're doing all these different things, running a business is very hard. You gotta have thick skin, you gotta be ready for the storm that's going to come.

[01:42:16] Nathan Kaplar: There's gonna be at least one that's gonna come for you when you're running this business at some point, and it has the potential to make you fold. How do you get through it? How do you handle that stress? And if you can cut these things out, and this is where I really love to have this conversation about men now, is how do you keep that knife sharp?

[01:42:33] Nathan Kaplar: You have to drop these things. You have to, and that's what it's taught me. Getting into sobriety was absolutely beautiful. I don't identify as a person that has an addiction issue anymore. Sure. Right. It's done. I'm not Nate the addict. I'm Nate now you know this. Mm-hmm. Growing and building and doing so many cool things.

[01:42:51] Nathan Kaplar: And to build on what you were saying about dropping that alcohol or dropping those, those behavioral patterns, they can launch you into a place that you're not even really aware of where you could go. Mm-hmm. And I'm sure you've seen that cuz you just told me like, Hey, the growth that I've had here because I've walked away from so many things, has been phenomenal.

[01:43:11] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Invest in yourself. And maybe we're just getting older, right? We're in our forties. Yep. Right. So are we at the tail end of life, not the tail end, but hopefully still at some of the good years that we have, right? Sure. I'm 38. Yep. I'm starting to get close to that point where I'm starting to really reflect on, okay, how much time do I have?

[01:43:30] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. Right. You're looking at blocks of 20 years. First 20 years you run around crazy. You you do, you do your thing. 20 to 40, you're trying to get life established. 40 to 60. Those could be it. 

[01:43:43] Travis Bader: See, my family never thought I'd live past, well, at first I think it was 12, I'd never make it to 12. I I Congratulations.

[01:43:49] Travis Bader: That's right. That's quite the bar to set. And then it was 18. He is never gonna make it to 18 and made it pass there. From my perspective, the concept of mortality never even entered into my ADHD brain until having kids. Yeah. And kids are, of course, they bring that concept of mortality to a focal point and you realize, well, I'm just not living for myself anymore cuz live or die, I could care less have kids.

[01:44:16] Travis Bader: Okay, maybe I should be around here a little bit longer. 

[01:44:20] Nathan Kaplar: And you, you as a man have a choice. I got three kids, uh, a daughter who's six, a son who's two, another son who's one, and I sit with them now. And when you hold your kid, it's a timestamp. Mm-hmm. Because you look at them and you go, how much time do I have with you?

[01:44:37] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. And what's really important here is having a drink. Important. Mm-hmm. Or is doing something for myself so that,

[01:44:53] Nathan Kaplar: so that I get enough time with you so I can see all the amazing things you're gonna do. Mm-hmm. You've got to pick your poison in life. You really do. Yeah. And it's, it's, you know, I don't wanna say in addiction, my kids saved me because I saved myself, but my kids really did help. Show me the way 

[01:45:20] Travis Bader: you have to make a decision as a father, as a mother, as a parent.

[01:45:27] Travis Bader: What kind of a parent do you want to be? Because you know you're gonna make a carbon copy. There's gonna be a certain level of carbon copy that's gonna come out in your children. They're gonna choose their own path. They're gonna do their own thing, but they can't help but imprint in some way or another.

[01:45:43] Travis Bader: I made the decision at a very early age with my kids. I'm never gonna lay a finger on them. Physical abuse. Physical punishment was a common thing back in the day. A lot of people know this. I've experienced it. I said, I'm never gonna lay a finger on them. Yeah. Why? Because if I hit them, I give 'em a smack, I punch 'em.

[01:46:06] Travis Bader: Is that gonna tune 'em up? Maybe, what if it doesn't? Do I have to punch harder? Where does it stop? Why even go down that road to begin with?

[01:46:20] Travis Bader: That was the number one thing I made a decision of. The number two thing was I'm going to give them the ability to have agency in their own life. So they're calling shots from a very early age. Now those shots might not be super consequential. Do you want to go to bed now or do you wanna go to bed in 10 minutes?

[01:46:40] Travis Bader: Right, you're still going to bed.

[01:46:44] Travis Bader: Here's what I'd like to see you do. But I am open to reasonable persuasion. It's never do what I say cause and allows 'em to be able to articulate reasons why they might want to do things differently or develop a thought process and give them power. Basically empower the children. Those are a couple things that I looked at and I figured if we can break that cycle and bring in a healthy human being into this world and hopefully not mess 'em up too much.

[01:47:13] Travis Bader: And that's a funny thing cuz everybody's gonna have issues from childhood. I have a friend, he had the best parents. They were fantastic. And when he got to be in his, uh, late teens, early twenties, he was resentful of them. Like, what the hell your parents are loving, they're caring, they're providing, they're there for you all the time.

[01:47:33] Travis Bader: He's like, they made my life too easy. I haven't had the challenges that, uh, would, would form me into a better person. That was his level of resentment and his problems. Okay. Fair point. I, I can see at that age, I was like, you're an idiot. Right. Um, but okay. I guess everyone's gonna have different challenges.

[01:47:54] Travis Bader: It's not for me to judge. Um, but at least there's a couple things that I can do with my family to work through to ensure that there's certain things that are gearing them up for the best success. 

[01:48:10] Nathan Kaplar: And I to, uh, identify with, you know, my upbringing and what I saw Hmm. As a child growing up where, you know, those, those different concepts were used.

[01:48:24] Nathan Kaplar: Sure. North, Northern Alberta in the eighties, things were different. Right. Men had a certain way of being a father that was kind of normal. Sure. Right. And it wasn't until, I remember when I came to BC and this whole liberal mindset, I'm leaving the conservative prairies for the liberals. Right. And everybody's so open and hugging and talking and, you know.

[01:48:47] Nathan Kaplar: Mm. I just, everything was just so open and everybody had this open-minded view of the world and I kind of just stood back and I was like, this is interesting. Hmm. Because this totally clashes with what I believe. That's what travel does for you though. Travel ab, right? Breaks the barriers down, opens you 

[01:49:06] Travis Bader: up to different ideas and perspectives.

[01:49:08] Travis Bader: I was always raised, raised, this is the only way to do it. People that do it outside this, they don't know what's going on. They're stupid. You travel and you say, huh, these people seem to be doing okay. They're doing things completely contradictory to how I was raised. 

[01:49:22] Nathan Kaplar: Shocking. Are my biases getting in the way, or are my experiences getting in the way of how I perceive life?

[01:49:28] Nathan Kaplar: Right? Yeah. That's the beauty of travel. Mm-hmm. And very much like you. I know I asked myself some very hard questions getting into fatherhood. What kind of father do I want to be? And especially for me to have a girl. The first, first kid was a girl. Mm-hmm. And she came at a time where I needed my heart to open up again.

[01:49:45] Nathan Kaplar: Mm. I needed to really feel that love again. And she came at a time where she did just that the universe unfolds as it should. Right. It was a gift. Mm-hmm. And that little girl to this day, I mean, there is you. You see how daughters are so special. Sons are special too, in their own way. But you just see, you see what it does to you as a man, how it softens you.

[01:50:10] Nathan Kaplar: My first child 

[01:50:11] Travis Bader: was a girl, and that's what I wanted. And I wanted that because I'm a boy. I've got a couple brothers. I know how boys work. I wanted the challenge of learning. How a daughter works. So I figured that would be a better thing for me as a father. So that the best predictor of future performance is past performance in the fall.

[01:50:35] Travis Bader: You have to rely on, are certain past tactics and ideas. Maybe it's better to start with this blank slate with a girl worked out well. Second child is a boy similar to you. Yeah. 

[01:50:47] Nathan Kaplar: Interesting. And these, these lessons that you have no idea that are coming for you in life are coming for you. And that's why like, I'm, I wanna make sure we take the time today to talk about these, cuz these are very, very important in the overall kind of, uh, encompassing theme that we're talking about today, which is how do you stay well?

[01:51:09] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. How do you care for others? How do you love them? How do you have compassion for them? How do you lead them? How do you do things to set them up for success? This journey is, you know, at certain points, I think in the journey, we look at it as a very indivi, individualistic journey where we try to amass, you know, success for ourselves.

[01:51:25] Nathan Kaplar: We then have a family and then we start to learn about providing for others. And then we also learn about community. The value of community. Making sure that you're also investing not only in yourself, but your family and others and the community around you and the people around you. And it becomes less individualistic and, and that's a great place to be too.

[01:51:43] Nathan Kaplar: I think as young men, we tend to live in more of an individualistic. Me, me, me. I'm more worried about me. Let's go out and get me, you know, like, get, let's get what I want. 

[01:51:53] Travis Bader: Your eyes are too close together. I, I, 

[01:51:55] Nathan Kaplar: I, I, I, I, right? And it, you, you have to go and put those things together. But always, always look at others too and invest in others.

[01:52:01] Nathan Kaplar: I mean, this, we're, we're here for a very short time, 80 years. And we gotta make sure we leave this place in, in a decent shape. 

[01:52:12] Travis Bader: You follow Ellen Watts? 

[01:52:15] Nathan Kaplar: No, I don't. Okay. 

[01:52:17] Travis Bader: Well, he's deceased. I think his son puts out some stuff, but he's, uh, very interesting individual. Anyways, there's a one talk that he does and he's says, you know, we grow up, we go to school, we're told work hard study, get good grades.

[01:52:32] Travis Bader: You know, you're getting this thing's coming. It's gonna be fantastic. You get through elementary school, Hey, it's high school. That's the next step in the evolution. We're gonna work hard. We're gonna get good grades. High school ends. We did well. We're into university or college, or into trade school, or whatever it might be.

[01:52:48] Travis Bader: Next thing you know, you graduate that and you're into your job and starting at a low level, but working your way up. And before you know it, all your hard work and your effort has been put in and you're, you're now in a managerial position, or maybe you own the company and at some point you stop and you look around and say, where is this awesome thing that I've been working for?

[01:53:08] Travis Bader: Where is that thing that has been promised to me this entire time that I keep on striving for the next level? And he says, you've been lied to. The whole process is like a musical. You're supposed to sing and you're supposed to dance along the way.

[01:53:28] Nathan Kaplar: When I became a Mountie, I walked through the halls and I saw the older boys and I took a look at them and I said, where are you in life? Are you happy? Comparing, probably shouldn't have done it, but I did. And I saw a lot of older mounts, bitter negative, filled with cynicism, probably doing some things they shouldn't have been doing.

[01:53:56] Nathan Kaplar: Hmm. And I always thought in that moment, how the hell do you get to that place where you give up your morals or you give up your passions in the pursuit of what? Promotion? Money. Political status. Ego. Ego. What's driving that? Do you really want to be here when you're on your deathbed? Is this the way you want your story told?

[01:54:29] Nathan Kaplar: And I've always tried to remember that there was a time where I chased the carrot on the stick. Mm-hmm. And I never got close to it. It was always just outta reach. You're always chasing that next step. How do I get closer? You never really do. And I think for me, one of the biggest moments of growth too that happened for me was when I finally recognized that my identity was so wrapped up in being a police officer.

[01:54:59] Nathan Kaplar: That it was the very thing that I needed to give up

[01:55:04] Nathan Kaplar: and I needed to let go in order to grow. And I made that call and that's when I retired. And I equate it to a moment where I didn't have much of a backup plan. In 2021, I had this delusional thought of, Hey, I should start a podcast cuz that's gonna be great. And there was no money in it. I knew that, but I knew that what I would get back from doing this in a different way was gonna be worth more down the road.

[01:55:38] Nathan Kaplar: Oh, a thousand percent. A thousand percent. And I stood on the edge of that cliff, and I remember having that conversation with the RCMP and they asked me, you know, what are you gonna do here? And there's a bit of a story behind this that led me to this point. But as I stood on that cliff, I thought, man, oh man, this is, this is it.

[01:55:59] Nathan Kaplar: You know? And I think men were, were here at least once in life too. I stood on the edge of that cliff and I, I thought to myself, I've got no backup plan. I've got no parachute. I don't know where this goes. I don't know if there's a failure that's coming in that's going to rock my world. I don't know if this is a mistake, but I knew I had to jump without those safety things in place.

[01:56:29] Nathan Kaplar: And that was one of the most liberating things where I finally stood up and I said, I'm not taking this from you anymore. I'm moving on. I'm shunning the door, and I'm growing from this experience. 

[01:56:43] Travis Bader: Massive. So many people live their whole life in fear. Fear of what could be around the corner, fear of what others may perceive of them, fear of just the unknown.

[01:56:56] Travis Bader: How incredibly liberating is that to say, screw it. I'm doing it anyways, because somehow it always works out in the end, and if it hasn't worked out, it's not the end. 

[01:57:09] Nathan Kaplar: What, what that taught me too was that I didn't have a great deal of trust for myself. Hmm. And I knew in that moment, I had to learn how to trust myself and the decisions that I was making because I had been so set up with this dream of becoming a police officer and getting that dream when as a young man and now working in that black and white world, and it, it stunted me to a degree, right?

[01:57:36] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. It kills your creative ability. Mm-hmm. It doesn't allow you to have that passion. Right. Who you, we were just talking about, what's his name? Ellen Watts. Ellen Watts. Yeah. That's slippery slope, right? Of pursuing something that you think is the answer. But where does it actually take you? It wasn't taking me anywhere.

[01:57:54] Nathan Kaplar: Well, 

[01:57:58] Travis Bader: I think there's a fear in people of wanting to give up, be viewed as a quitter leaving something running away. When maybe that little shift in perspective, are you running away from something or are you running towards something that's more desirable? Well, 

[01:58:15] Nathan Kaplar: and I remember making this call and I immediately, I thought, I was like, am I gonna be judged?

[01:58:18] Nathan Kaplar: Like are all of my peers going to look at this and be like, oh, Nate is like, he's gone. Right? He is not even close to stable or whatever. And learning to, to trust yourself and to take that step and to not allow that wolf to continue to drive that narrative for you, taught me that I'm actually better connected to these individuals now that I've left.

[01:58:48] Travis Bader: I bet you they look at you and say, damn, I wish I could do something like that. 

[01:58:52] Nathan Kaplar: So many of them call me and say how I wish I could retire. I wish I had the guts to retire. Mm-hmm. I just can't. I'm not there yet. And they stay stuck. And 

[01:59:01] Travis Bader: you work to retirement age and then what? Maybe you die the next week, maybe you'll live on further.

[01:59:06] Travis Bader: But how was that time in between that you spent, was that worthwhile? Did that bring you 

[01:59:10] Nathan Kaplar: happiness? And not even just, well, yeah, happiness. I mean, in the pursuit of happiness, that's a totally different topic we could talk about for hours, right? Like 

[01:59:17] Travis Bader: that's an oxymoron unto itself. You cannot pursue happiness.

[01:59:20] Travis Bader: You can't. No, it's fake. Yeah. If you pursue happiness and it's always gonna be outta your reach. In the same way with the, my business, I've always said, I'm not gonna look at the money. You ask it with the numbers in the podcast. I don't know. I mean, once in a while I've looked at like charitable and stuff, Hey, we're raking on the top 10.

[01:59:39] Travis Bader: This is great, right? But what, what's the money situation? I don't know. The accountants will let me know if I can buy stuff or shouldn't buy stuff. I mean, if I chase something that drives me, that I'm passionate about, that brings other people value, money's gonna be a natural byproduct of that happiness wound.

[01:59:57] Travis Bader: Sue 

[01:59:58] Nathan Kaplar: and I learned that very early on too. You know, what are your motivating factors to get where you're going? If you let money be the driver of that bus, it's not gonna go well. 

[02:00:06] Travis Bader: I mean, some people sure that that's your thing and maybe that's what brings them happiness, but I think for the majority of people out there, that's an empty, very hollow victory.

[02:00:15] Nathan Kaplar: Yeah, it really is. Um, so yeah, men's Mental Health Month, here we are, June, we just covered a ton of stuff. But again, this, this, this jump from the cliff without having the safety net and the fear of taking action and how is it going to be perceived, those were all very legitimate thoughts I had along the way.

[02:00:35] Nathan Kaplar: And sure they could have stopped me from jumping. I could have answered or at least acknowledged that, and took, took action from that place. But instead, I just kept telling myself, no, just you don't understand this. Retire, you're done. I talk about it on the podcast as to why it was done. Hmm. Right. I, I knew it was done and I jumped.

[02:00:56] Nathan Kaplar: And what I found again was that the connection that I had while I was a police officer to other police officers wasn't as good as it is now. Mm-hmm. I'm way better connected now with my buddies. We have way deeper conversations. We talk like this, we talk about life. What are you struggling with? What's going on?

[02:01:15] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. How hard is it? It's okay. Get it out. Right. Police o and police officers hate talking about their emotions. Right. They're not scared of anything except for their own emotions. Totally. Right. Men too. Yeah. So, and what has this done for myself? You know, what kind of opportunity has this created for myself?

[02:01:32] Nathan Kaplar: And I mean, when you take these, these jumps, these fearful jumps, they create the most amazing growth. My life since leaving has just continued to grow in so many different ways. I do not regret leaving at all at 14 years. I know a lot of people say, how did you leave at 14 years? Don't you feel sad that you don't make it to 20 or get a full pension?

[02:01:55] Nathan Kaplar: No. Hmm. I'm happier. Awesome. I'm good. I'm pursuing what I want to pursue. My, my life is rich. That's 

[02:02:05] Travis Bader: amazing. Do you have a bear story you want to tell? Oh, 

[02:02:10] Nathan Kaplar: do I ever, let's hear this. So before we talk bears again, hunting, beautiful thing. Uh, again, in, in my story too about mental health, you know, what are the, some of the things that I did to get better?

[02:02:20] Nathan Kaplar: Uh, I had to learn how to reconnect with people. Hmm. But another part of this too is I had to learn how to reconnect with nature. Right. And that's where hunting comes in. Hunting is something phenomenal for us. We've been doing it for hundreds of years. It's hardwired into us. Mm-hmm. We go out, we get the fresh air, we walk around, we're moving the body, we're paying attention.

[02:02:38] Nathan Kaplar: We're living in the moment. We're grounded. We're having these amazing experiences. I don't hunt to go and get food. Agreed. I hunt to go and have an experience with other people who want to do that. Right. Your tribe, you're going out, you're having an adventure. You're so well connected. So well connected.

[02:02:57] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Ending the night off with a campfire. We used to do this for hundreds of years. We're going back to that more primitive way of life. Right. Simple, no phones. Mm-hmm. Right. Who doesn't want that? So, hunting. Hunting for me too. I mean, if anyone listens to this Yeah. Go hunt or go take a walk in the bush with a gun.

[02:03:18] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. Whatever you want to call it. It's, it's one of the best things you can do for yourself in the science that backs us up. Is, is there. Mm-hmm. Right. There's so many different aspects to this, but the bear story, yes. So I was, I must have been two years, two or three years into my service and had started to develop enough of a, a cocky attitude that I kind of thought, ah, I'm never gonna get hurt.

[02:03:44] Nathan Kaplar: Right. I'm in uniform, I'm in Whistler, I'm doing the general duty thing. I get a call one night that a bear is trying to break into someone's house in Whistler. This is very common. Sure. Right. This happens all the time. Yeah. In fact, there was lots of times where I'd go to a call where a bear was in the house.

[02:03:59] Nathan Kaplar: He was in the kitchen standing up on his hind legs with the doors open, grabbing a box of cereal and chowing down. Yeah. Stuff was all over the counter. These guys, they're smart. Mm-hmm. They will find the food and people were locked in their bedrooms scared. Right. Hiding up on the dresser. Cops come save us.

[02:04:15] Nathan Kaplar: Right. We don't know if it's a drunk Ozzie in town that came into our place or a bear. We have no idea. 

[02:04:19] Travis Bader: Yeah. It could be one or the other. It is. Could be one or the other. 

[02:04:21] Nathan Kaplar: Whistler. Right. That's, it's Whistler. So we get this call that one night there's a bear that's trying to get into this house and I, I kind of was at the point where I was just like, oh, this is just another bear call.

[02:04:31] Nathan Kaplar: I'll just go show up. It'll be easy. I'll, I'll put a couple rubber rounds in the shotgun. Cuz we had this Bear Smart Society, uh, thing where we tried to save bears lives and not sure. Kill them. Yeah. Uh, and I agree with that. Sure. You should try to save the bears. Right. We're in their home too. So I put my rubber rounds into the shotgun.

[02:04:50] Nathan Kaplar: I go off to the bear call, I got a partner with me and I'm just like, Hey, you know what? You're gonna be on my back. We're gonna go clear this property and make sure the bears taking off. And this house was literally on the hillside. On the mountain. Mm-hmm. Like, it was just like, the only part that was flat to it was the house that was like on this piece of ground and like a little bit of like a piece of like walkway that led to the backyard.

[02:05:16] Nathan Kaplar: And that's kind of how Whistler is. So we rolled up and I remember parking, uh, the headlights are on the front door. I don't see any scratch marks on the front door. I don't see any bear there. I don't see anything on the ground. No bear scat. So I'm like, okay, you know, maybe the bear was here, maybe he's gone.

[02:05:32] Nathan Kaplar: Doesn't look like he got in. Uh, make sure you know, dispatch, Hey, we're here. Is the bear still here? They're talking on the phone to the person calling in. Nobody really knows. Sure. Nobody knows where the bear is now. So I said, okay to my partner. We're gonna get out, we're just gonna walk around the property, we're gonna shine our flashlight and make sure this bear is, has moved along.

[02:05:57] Nathan Kaplar: And as I'm walking down these steps at the side of the house, I get to that spot where there's a very narrow walkway that's kind of grassed and there's a bunch of trees on my left. It's very narrow. That wraps around the house to the backyard and I can kind of tell, it opens up and there's a backyard portion to this, to this property.

[02:06:21] Nathan Kaplar: So as I'm walking and it's pitch black and night, like pitch black. Mm-hmm. There's no light there at all. You can see, cuz my eyes have adjusted to this environment, but it is pitch black. So I get to almost the halfway point of this house and emotion light goes off and my eyes are now blinded. Mm-hmm. I can't see anything, but I can hear something 20 feet away, dig into the ground, assume that sprint position.

[02:06:56] Nathan Kaplar: Mm. And launch towards you. Towards me, not away from me. Towards me. Whoops. And you could hear the huffing. Mm-hmm. And the grunting. Mm-hmm. And I thought, no, this is a missile coming right for me. So my eyes are adjusting. I can't use them. Fight or flight kicks in this bear. All I can hear is roof, roof, roof.

[02:07:23] Nathan Kaplar: As he's getting closer and closer and closer. So I can hear this and I can tell this bear is now outta the bush, he's running at me. Everything sounds different. He's on grass and not. The forest floor. Mm. While sprinting at me and I thought, I can't even see this thing. Like I can see this hazy black thing that's running at me as my eyes are adjusting and the lights on and I'm like, I'm not gonna be able to shoot him.

[02:07:46] Nathan Kaplar: Mm-hmm. At all. I got rubber rounds in the gun. If I shoot him, it's not gonna do anything. This is gonna go sideways. Mm-hmm. So I literally, I can't turn around and run cuz I still don't have my eyes. Yep. I dropped down almost into almost like a lunge position and I try to go, how tall is this bear? Roughly, where's his head at right now?

[02:08:09] Nathan Kaplar: Mm. And I rack the shotgun round and I think this rubber round is all I have. I place it parallel to the ground and pull the trigger and nothing happens. 

[02:08:23] Travis Bader: Nothing as in click? 

[02:08:25] Nathan Kaplar: No 

[02:08:26] Travis Bader: click. Oh safety's on 

[02:08:28] Nathan Kaplar: what's going on. Safety's on. Okay. I nearly lose the contents of what's inside of me in that moment and I go, no, I don't have much time here instinctively.

[02:08:44] Nathan Kaplar: We're pretty good at training. Yep. Training on the shotgun. I quickly click that safety off. And pull the trigger and just before that round goes off. So I had to take my eyes off of the bear for a second to look down at the gun. Mm. Cuz it's now down below me. And I had to make sure my eyes are gonna let the thumb hit the safety to turn that off.

[02:09:05] Nathan Kaplar: As I turn that off, I look back and I see the muzzle flash and that bear had turned his head completely sideways, opened up his mouth and I saw his white shiny teeth no open up and start to come in on my thigh, my left thigh. And I remember just in that moment seeing the muzzle flash and his head turn and I was like, oh no.

[02:09:26] Nathan Kaplar: I was like, this is gonna go bad. The body literally shut down all sensation to my left leg. Mm. And it was like, Matt, your leg gone bud say goodbye. Literally went through that interesting one round, came off, hit this bear square in the head cuz I can remember seeing the muzzle flash and the round come off and hit him square between the eyes.

[02:09:45] Nathan Kaplar: Cuz I saw the tough to hair just go poof. Yeah. And that bear did a hard 90 at the last second and took off into the bush beside me. Thank God for that. Never been so 

[02:09:59] Travis Bader: scared in my life, man. Yeah, no kidding. That's a, uh, that's a damn close encounter with what sounds like an aggressive bear. 

[02:10:07] Nathan Kaplar: Yeah. And predatory aggressive.

[02:10:10] Nathan Kaplar: Very predatory bear. Very, very predatory bear. Uh, the amazing story, I love telling that story because it's just, it's one of those moments where yeah, something could have really gone bad and 

[02:10:21] Travis Bader: that's ingrained in the mind now. 

[02:10:22] Nathan Kaplar: Yeah. It's ingrained in the mind. Like, you know, I, I can better connect with that story now and really remember.

[02:10:28] Nathan Kaplar: Okay. Well it wasn't all like amazing in the moment. I was scared shitless. Sure. Right? Like, I thought, oh, this is gonna go bad. I'm gonna be going home with a heavily wounded leg, or possibly facing amputation or something. This bear, this bear acted very differently than most bears I had come across. Sure.

[02:10:44] Nathan Kaplar: He was mean. Yeah. He was angry. That's 

[02:10:47] Travis Bader: a bear that, uh, maybe rubber projectiles should not be used on 

[02:10:51] Nathan Kaplar: Bingo. Yeah, bingo. But it's, uh, yeah, and I mean, we won't go down a path of, you know, what my partner should have been doing in the moment, but, um, what I will say is, yeah, it's, 

[02:11:05] Travis Bader: yeah, like, I don't like bears.

[02:11:06] Travis Bader: I'm hiding in the vehicle. 

[02:11:09] Nathan Kaplar: Policing is dangerous. That's all I'll say. 

[02:11:12] Travis Bader: Oh, man. I love it. Nathan, thank you so much for being on the so cor podcast. We're gonna have links to the 10 33 podcast in here, and any other links that will bring you value or the audience value. Thank you. Thank you. We're 

[02:11:26] Nathan Kaplar: in this together, brother.