Team, “Tame the Kraken,” is comprised of one person – me. I am Tim Crockett, a Special Forces veteran. I have spent my life and career in and out of war-zones. After my service in the Royal Marines Special Boat Service, I became a consultant providing safety & security to journalists all over the world.
In 2016, I reconnected with a fellow veteran in the way many of us do with old friends these days – over social media. Six weeks later, I learned that my friend who had struggled with PTSD for many years had taken his own life. It was no secret to me throughout my service both in the military and as a civilian war impacted people in many different ways. I knew many people coming out of these war-zones suffered from anxiety, depression, alienation and thoughts of suicide brought on by PTSD. But the jarring loss of my friend left a nagging feeling with me that I wasn’t doing enough to help on a larger scale.
Enter the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Rowing across the Atlantic Ocean is considered one of the most grueling physical challenges on earth. It is a race of more than 3,000 nautical miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua. For perspective, fewer people have successfully made this journey solo than have summited Mt. Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen.
So why this challenge? Despite the adventure and hardship the challenge presents, the primary purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness and education around the issue of mental health. By raising money, we will provide support for charities that have a shared mission and common goals - to address mental health and the effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries with the ultimate aim to prevent veteran suicide. As a dual citizen, I will be supporting veterans on both sides of the Atlantic for veterans in both the UK and the U.S.
“Raising money for these charities is important, as they do so much for so many. But money isn’t all there is – for me, this row is also about awareness: the self-awareness to recognize it’s ok not to be ok and to ask for help if you need it. The greater awareness piece is the need to remove the stigma associated with mental health. It’s ok to say you need help and If you do, know that you are not alone and there are many resources available.”
The Kraken is a mythical sea creature with its origins in Norse mythology. Some sailors described it as a giant octopus, others described it like a giant crab. As legend has it, The Kraken possessed immense strength, and was said to sink ships by wrapping its tentacles around the hull of its victims’ ships before dragging them into the depths of the ocean. But as terrifying The Kraken’s reputation may be, it symbolizes something else: power. But we’re not talking just physical strength. The inner strength the Kraken was said to hold gave it the ability to regenerate and grow lost limbs.
Tim’s boat — ‘The Kraken’ — symbolizes the struggle many experience when dealing with mental health issues and PTSD. Those that have gone through or are going through traumatic events need to know that just like the limbs of the Kraken can grow back, their lives can also continue to grow after a difficult phase.