“Hi, my name is Kevin Piechatzek, and this is my story: I was born and raised in Germany, but my family, my blood, is Polish. As a young boy, I was very active, and all the time outside with my friends. I loved to do small competitions with my friends. Who is the faster runner? Who is better at climbing? Who can hold his breath longer? And much, much more.
Then my brother got a computer, and we got really excited about that. We spend most of the time playing with the computer, sometimes we fought about who is going to play, and who has to watch. After a while I got my own computer, and I started to spend more and more time with my computer. I gained a lot of weight, and my social life went nearly to zero. There is this one special game that I got addicted to, it is called ‘World of Warcraft’, some people will know this game. I played it for more than 6 years, sometimes more than 10 hours per day. That created problems in school, and with my family, but I never cared about that. I just escaped into a virtual world, and forgot about all the problems which should bother me.
At the age of seventeen, I started to realize that I’m addicted to this game, and that I ‘wasted’ enough time. So, I started to change my life. I did sports. Made new friends. Meet up with forgotten friends. Started to play in an American Football club, the Cologne Crocodiles. My life changed dramatically, and I loved it. American Football was everything for me. I trained hard to get better, and better. At the age of 18 I had an accident in school sports. I fall from about 4 meters high, straight on my shoulder. I went to physiotherapy for about 6 months. Sadly, it didn’t work out. So, I had to get a surgery, but I had to wait four months for the surgery appointment, and after that I had to do 8 months of physiotherapy. They said I’ll be able to play American Football again, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to play it again.
I got really depressed, after I realized that I can’t play it anymore. I went back to play with my computer, watch movies, became anti social, stop with sports.
After around a year, I won the fight against the depression, against some struggles, my friends helped me, they forced me to come out with them. I’m very thank full, I love them. So I started again with sports, becoming more social, living my life. After I finished my apprenticeship, I decided to leave Germany.
My destination, Australia. Before I came to Australia, I was a very introverted person. I had problems to start conversations with people that I don’t know. At the same times, I was very unhappy with my body. I had a weight of 140 kgs on a height of 191 cm. After the first month, my weight went down to 120 kgs, and I had less, and less problems to speak to strangers. I felt more happy than ever before. Australia changed me. The people changed me. Their stories changed me. You, Pierre, changed me. I love to hear the stories of the people you’ve met. Their stories affect me, they open my way of thinking about life, and I love it. My life started outside in the nature, and I loved it. Then, I became a person which leaves it to stay inside alone without friends, and I loved it as well. Now, I’m a person which is living in the world, open minded, thirsty for adventures, and new stories. It is a big pleasure that I could meet you, I hope we will see us again somewhere in the world, so we can tell each other new stories that we made to learn from each other.”