Meet Tofe, My True Identity.
If you're reading this, I have made a concrete decision on how I brand myself to all audiences to stand out from the crowd...
Most of you know me as Tofe but my actual name is Christopher. So, what the hell is 'Tofe'?
Well, it's my nickname, my persona, and my true identity. Pronounced 'Toaf' - like it rhymes with loaf is what I've been called for almost 10 years to almost everyone I've met and has stuck since school.
Long story short, it was a nickname since grade 11 where Chris and Christopher was too prevalent it would be easier to have something simpler and different. I was later then called 'Topher' as in the last half of Christopher which soon became 'Tofa' then to the now 'Tofe'. It's pretty unique as I'm the only Tofe Evans in Facebookland and the interwebs.
With this meme above, I've been tagged in it than more times I can count. No really, 95% of the people I know have never known me as Chris...
Christopher Evans is that common of a name, there's a few of us that vote and you know Captain America? He's even got the same name.
This article is about personal branding if anything. As some of you know, I'm one half of an endurance duo known as The Wounded Pelicans and almost everyone who follows our movement recognises me as Tofe.
Where I've had clarity on vision and my purpose in life these past few months, I've been grateful to figure out several avenues to really hone on my dream turning it from concept to reality.
Lately I've been having the opportunity to be a keynote speaker though it makes things difficult when a person hears that "Christopher Evans is delivering a keynote tonight" and is expecting to see the human torch from Fantastic Four...
Where I exist as the only Tofe Evans, this helps immensely with personal branding.
But speaking of keynotes, why am I a speaker? Well, with a unique nickname comes with a unique story...
About 3 years ago, I struggled really badly with both depression and anxiety that I fell into a rabbit hole deep enough, I was afraid I couldn't escape. Having both anxiety and depression working together is a nightmare beyond relief. Anxiety is when you can’t stop thinking about everything and depression is when you don’t care about anything at all. And if both of these are acting at once it will result into an endless mental battle of tug of war. It’s as if you’re at school camp or sports day playing tug of war by yourself against 2 strong kids bigger than you. You can’t win.
Not to mention, I was coping with the situation with self-infliction, hard drugs and alcohol, and prescribed medication. Simple, it felt like my only options at the time to ease everything.
I was even jumping doctor to doctor ranging from Toronto to Brisbane and the prescribed medication changed with each specialist. Different drugs, different chemicals. Aiming to fix the solution though symptoms apply. We always hear those 3 words “though symptoms apply” and automatically assume it will be alright because everyone is different. However, when you’re dealing with someone’s head, how they think, their cognitive functions, their mental and emotional engines, there’s a possible chance, symptoms are making things not bearable, but worse.
Now, I’m not telling you to quit the medication if you’re already on them, I’m just speaking from my own personal experience that they did nothing but cause me more grief. Some people in this world have a hormonal imbalance that require those with a prescribed antidote so I’m not disparaging the situation for those who need to take them. Like I said, I’m just speaking from my own experience.
However, where it’s becoming quite prevalent for people to not know what to do during crisis and feel as if they need to see the doctor to try medication for the first time to solve the issue, just realise there is a safer way out of this as you continue to keep reading the book. Medication is designed to be a stabilizer but as soon as they become abused then they can backfire making matters worse.
A week would pass of this new hopeful solution but what were originally meant to be band-aids became keys to an uncontrollable moving car that’s headed for the edge of a cliff. Metaphorically speaking, this was happening to me. I was relapsing. That thought of the cliff was enough impetus to realise no one should be feeling like this. So I listened to my intuition and grew the courage to quit the pills and figure out “why am I not happy?” It may have taken a couple years but I had a gut feeling there was hope as the foundation took quicker than I’d expect.
So I was taking meds to assist my mental health struggles and I wasn’t sure if I’d escape this rabbit hole. So what did I do? I started researching why I wasn’t happy and I kept coming across the same pattern, my health had deteriorated so I made it my #1 priority. Holistically, that outlook put all the other important life pillars into place. My relationships with girls and overall network has been 100 times stronger, work life has vision and purpose now and where I lacked in gratitude and happiness has immensely grown because I’m very appreciative of what’s happened. I figured I had to take on a sport I enjoyed and that’s how I started running. There was no chance I’d be taking up ball sports when my hand-eye coordination is shocking. Running was an escapism but it kept me distracted from my inner demons in such a good way I was able to use them to my advantage to drive me to complete multiple extreme endurance challenges.
A recent event entailed a new type of endurance. A double marathon, 80km on a stand up paddleboard. Why? Because we’re standing up for youth of today, you guys who are having it tough and battling any sort of adversity. We would demonstrate that to grow resilience, a concrete method is through grit and facing fear straight on. Where we stand up for them, we’d literally be standing up the entire time, on a paddleboard over an enduring distance.
To someone reading this and thinking “yeah that’s all well and good but what will I get from this?” it’s simple, a concept what I’ve coined - Practical Resilience.
Because when you reach an ‘oh shit’ moment in life that can go haywire whether that’d be a crisis or mental health struggles like I had, there’s a way to move through them and you’ll have the ability to do that! Stress and adversity is inevitable no matter what age you are, some just handle it better than others.
I demonstrate through a framework that’s been tested and has worked on many other than myself. Where almost everyone focuses on a six-pack body they forget to realise that having a six-pack mind is more important.
So, if anyone is looking for a speaker for their event, feel free to get in touch with me - through this link. #shamelessplug
Not to digress… but when I hear Christopher Evans, it’s boring and sounds like it lacks adventure. Tofe is much more than a nickname, it represents what I’m about, and connects with what I do and my values and purpose.
And to all those who have ever known me as Chris, do not feel obliged to call me Tofe. Call me what you please.
Stay tuned as I have plenty happening and will be announcing exciting news very soon. You can also follow my journey and reach out to me through:
Enjoy guys and stay strong.