I am an elite-level skateboarder who has been in the sport for fifteen years. I was raised in a Christian household, the eldest in my family, the adventurist, and the thrill seeker. My battle with porn started very abruptly in my sophomore year of high school, and at the time, [I] was feeling at the top of my game in skateboarding (but also keep in mind this was about one month before the COVID-19 pandemic).
BANG! POP! AGHHH!
I took a fall on my skateboard while I was doing my daily skate session. I tore my meniscus, but something else happened … in the MRI results, my knee was cracked in half from the constant impact of 13 years of skateboarding. Two Screws later and a meniscectomy, my projected recovery time was one year. This shook me to the core! I was questioning God, saying, “Why would you let this happen to me,” “What did I do to deserve this,” and “Is this the end?”
Struggling With Depression
The struggle with depression hit me for the first time in my life, [along with] the struggle for identity and the struggle for my life. I’ve never dealt with or even known what porn was up to this point in my life. With surgery, plus COVID-19, I spent 24 hours in my home alone most of the time, which is extremely uncommon for me because I am extremely active.
I was struggling and used porn as my cope to experience the temporary high and adventure that I was lacking from my skateboarding and lack of physical activity. I was stuck and spent many hours trapped in watching porn, which led to masturbation. This was the lowest point I ever hit in my life. I was filled with shame, guilt, and conviction from all my years in the church. I knew what I was doing was wrong.
Reaching Out for Help
Then I did it, I reached out to my father. It was the most freeing point in my life; I was relieved of that two thousand-pound boulder that I was carrying on my shoulders. I wish I could say it got easier after I confessed, but the real battle of purity began. I created accountability with pastors from my church, my father and mother, and trusted friends who were also in the battle. However, the biggest step I and my family took was Covenant Eyes. Covenant Eyes created the extreme accountability that others will see my actions if I slip up. It created an environment that safeguarded me from all the accessible outlets of porn in today’s society. It also helped me be intentional about the “if” question; “If you click on porn, no one will know” changed to, “When you click on porn, your parents will see.”
Ultimately, God sees all, but somebody who can see [if you watch porn] adds more accountability. Unfortunately, to be honest, I relapsed so many times and found workarounds to other devices to seek porn. But my will to change got so strong that I became very vocal about my struggle with porn in the church, in school, in skateboarding, and to others the Holy Spirit led me to. Two years later, as a senior in high school, I still have Covenant Eyes on my phone and computer. It has helped me keep grounded in purity, [in addition to] a Pure Desire group at my church. Living life with integrity using today’s technology is so difficult in a society where Evil is becoming Good.
Guarding My Heart
I have to guard my heart against the normalization of sexual content that is so widely promoted through music videos, dances, and social media influencers. For me, I set very intentional boundaries. As a well-known athlete, I took a step to unfollow and clear my social media feed of all girls showing themselves off inappropriately, instead filling the content I see with pastors, other like-minded athletes, and skateboarding. I want to live in accordance with the Word of God; integrity for me is clearly defined by Romans 12:2, “ And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
I’ve had many major victories, but just to name a few: I gave my testimony to my whole high school and talked about my struggle with porn and masturbation, I completed a 10-week Conquer Series study group, and I continue to set an example for my two younger siblings and others whom I mentor in skateboarding and in the church. I strive to live a life of purity and freedom from the binding chains of porn.
No matter how hard I try, I cannot do it without the Lord. This is something I cannot fix in an instant but through a journey of living life intentionally and honestly. I now see my struggle with porn as an opportunity to help others who feel alone, guilty, ashamed, and the 2000-pound boulder on their lives. Through my pain and suffering (and the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God!), I’m able to help free others.
Thank you to Covenant Eyes for helping me in this journey to help change my life for the good and also to help the lives of others.