• jess

Guest Blogger Danny Urbana, "Get Up and Get Down and Get Outside"


This is the FINAL post in the Move It for Trauma Recovery Series.

To check out the full string of posts, click away here:

OVER-exercising for appearance? You're sprinting towards a trauma response

Restrictive eating and your trauma brain

MASTER POST: The key to complex trauma management: Exercising for mental wellness

The difference between exercising for appearance vs mental wellness

How to overcome stagnancy and start your practice

Guest Blogger Danny Urbana -"Get up and get down and get outside"




Pre-Ramble


I'm not the only one who has something to say about getting out of your indoor prison and changing your life. Far from it.


To keep this community-based and inclusive, I wanted to get a male perspective and switch things up.


Luckily, I easily drafted my good bud, Chicago-based rock n' roller Danny Urbana (not his real name), to write about something we've discussed many times in our friendship. The power of getting up and out on a nice day, forcing your brain into a different way of thinking, and finding new hope.


From his experience in early adulthood, Danny has drastically transformed into a different dude. It's easy to see, and knowing him now, it's hard to imagine that he was ever as stalled out as he describes.


As you'll see in his account, his life changed completely after a chance encounter with a new friend and a musical influence that offered a novel coping strategy for... well... Not being an idiot.


Spoilers: I am the friend with the idiotic musical influence and arm tattoo.






Danny Urbana

"Get Up and Get Down and Get Outside"


College; "the best time of your life"


19 years old. Second year being away at college. Isolated from my friends and family back home. I had a small group of friends that I lived with, but not much of an out-going social life.


There was the recent breakup from my first serious partner, the monotony of being really shy and not knowing how to talk to people, and facing the rigors of higher education.


It was also the most classically depressed part of my life.

At times, I would lay on my bed and just stare at the ceiling. I mindlessly scrolled through the Internet for hours a day. I stopped playing guitar everyday and I stopped working out. My grades were slipping. I started to resent one roommate for how messy they were. I was unemployed. I smoked weed at least a couple of times every day and circularly hated how I thought it was a waste of time. 

There wasn't all the friend-making, crazy parties, and all-nighters of academia. I had no idea what I was doing or how to go about "doing college." The the weight of the aimlessness was crushing and I generally did most things because I was supposed to. 


There wasn't all the friend-making, crazy parties, and all-nighters of academia. I had no idea what I was doing or how to go about "doing college." The the weight of the aimlessness was crushing and I generally did most things because I was supposed to. 

But one weekend, I went to the show of a high-school acquaintance whose band was touring and playing a show on campus - an opportunity to go out and it not feel forced. It was something I would've only known about because of a post on Facebook, not because anyone I knew planned on going. 

When the show was over, we followed along to the after-party. There was another student that had met the band before and went to see them as well and we all ended up talking in the same circle.


They had a tattoo on their forearm and I drunkenly asked what it was, unable to think of anything clever. They were the lyrics of a band I greatly admire, a not particularly popular one with my college crowd, so right away we knew there was a bond. 

We exchanged numbers and hung out the next day.


We naturally exchanged music recommendations and one I received was Frank Turner's album Love, Ire, and Song





Reasons not to be an idiot

I was moping in my room a few weekends later, with roommates home but not socializing, mindlessly scrolling online. I forced myself to actually listen to Frank Turner, partly to impress my new friend and have more to talk about with them, and partly to fulfill my own personal need just to say I did it.  The second track, aptly named "Reasons Not to Be an Idiot" came on and the chorus rings "Get up and get down and get outside."


I looked out the window to my dumpy complex atrium and it was sunny and looked nice out. There was literally a "fuck it" moment. 


I looked out the window to my dumpy complex atrium and it was sunny and looked nice out. There was literally a "fuck it" moment.

 

I got up, put on clothes, and went for a walk around town. I couldn't help but smile as I listened to the rest of the record. The area around the school is pretty in its dainty, college, central-Illinois vibe.


Just walking with no destination, feeling the sun on my face, breathing in fresh air, seeing other people out and about... it was therapeutic. 

This started a trend that would last the rest of my time at school. Just long, meandering strolls.


And I learned to enjoy being outside by myself, not in a big city or suburb, just listening to music alone.





A turning point and the world changed after

It was really a turning point in my mental health.


This semester did end up being my worst performance of college, but I built a that bond with my new friend as we continued to hang out. 


I began healthier habits. I went out more and made friends. I listened to more music. I resumed doing the things I loved like playing guitar, reading and writing, and practicing yoga. 


I began healthier habits. I went out more and made friends. I listened to more music. I resumed doing the things I loved like playing guitar, reading and writing, and practicing yoga. 

I went on to start a job that lasted the rest of college. I found a new partner that summer who changed my life course. Next fall was my best-performed semester of college despite overloading my course work. I applied late and successfully went abroad for a semester.


Quite honestly, because I went outside one day. 


There was an opportunity that I took, went out, and made my first real friend, well over a year into going away for college.


I reflected more on what made me happy and what didn't. I tried my hardest to get on a positive trajectory. 


It's easy to be nihilistic. It's easy to think nothing matters or that everything is predetermined in some way. There is a need to fight against that though. To try and decide a different outcome, even force it.


It's easy to be nihilistic. It's easy to think nothing matters or that everything is predetermined in some way. There is a need to fight against that though. To try and decide a different outcome, even force it.

I didn't want to go outside that day or go for walk.


But there was nothing to lose and the world changed after. 




-Danny Urbana




Another huge THANKS to my buddy Danny for his contribution!


He was also my first real friend at college, and despite living roughly a country apart, we're still good buds to this day. He'll always be my lil' d.


The interesting thing is, while his mental health went up, mine went way down... and a huge difference was, I wasn't getting the fuck outside.


I was being an idiot.

(you know the rest)



Got something to say? Shout it out! Wanna connect with Danny? Lemme know!

Looking for new music?


Let me recommend another artist - HIS band, The Tomblands.


Something to listen to while you get up, get down, get outside

and change your life.



Traumatized Motherfxckers

Not doomed. Not damaged.

Not dead yet.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • reddit-round-logo-rubber-stamp-reddit-ic
  • Spotify
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr

Atlanta, GA, USA | Chicago, IL, USA

© 2023 by Woman PWR. Proudly created with Wix.comTerms of Use  |   Privacy Policy