Episode 6- The Amazing Jasons

Paralympian swimmer Braedan Jason returns with brother Nathan, also legally blind and an elite athlete to chat with each other about the importance of failing, having a go and playing Fortnite with no sight.

Speaker 1:                        Welcome to Loop Me In, the podcast community for parents and carers on raising children with disabilities. Join presenters, Dr. Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos, and their guests in sharing experiences, information, and support ideas to help children with disabilities flourish. Loop Me In is brought to you weekly on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher to name a few. You can learn more, connect to the Loop Me In community, and listen to more episodes on our website loop-me-in.com.au.

Braedan Jason:                Good day, everyone. My name’s Braedan Jason, and I will be your guest presenter for the Loop Me In podcast. The lovely ladies, Lisa and Kristine, asked me after my last podcast. If you don’t recognize my voice or my name, I was on a previous episode. If you don’t recognize me or my voice or my name, go back, listen to it, be looped in. That’s the point? That’s the podcast, isn’t it? Loop Me In. Stay looped in.

I got a very special guest with me today. One of probably the three most special guests I could probably think of, one of my three brothers, Nathan Jason. Say good day, Nathan.

Nathan Jason:                 How’s it going, guys? Good to be on the podcast.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. So for those who haven’t listened to my episode, I am legally blind. I’m a two-time Paralympic swimmer, seven-time Australian representative swim team member, and Nathan Jason is also legally blind as well. So there we have four brothers, and two of us are blind, and two aren’t.

If you didn’t listen to last episode, I talk a lot of banter. We have a bit of fun and talk about some serious stuff, but the ladies asked for the two banter brothers to come on and talk, which I’m not sure is a good idea, but hopefully, we can give you guys some good tips as two people with a disability, living the best life they can, and give you guys some tips for growing up, and whatnot.

I think we’ve had a pretty good upbringing, Nathan and I. We’ve been through some stuff, as a lot of people do with disabilities, but I’d like to start off with, Nathan. Maybe just introduce yourself, say how old you are, what you do, what your favorite kind of coffee is, all the important stuff, like-

Nathan Jason:                 Favorite kind of coffee. Yeah, okay.

Braedan Jason:                Let everyone know who you are.

Nathan Jason:                 Yep. Obviously, I’m the third brother of four, so younger one to Braeden. My name’s, yeah, obviously Nathan Jason. I am nearly 20 years old. I was doing swimming as well, alongside Braeden at the USC Spartan swim team. I made a couple national finals and was very close to making teams, but now I’ve transferred over to start doing track and field for Athletics Australia, which is very exciting.

Favorite coffee, I don’t really know. Dad’s gotten me onto iced long black the last couple months. Bit of a coffee snob a little bit now, so starting to like my coffees now. So, yeah, probably iced long black, I’d say.

Braedan Jason:                No. Coffee’s… I make a joke sometimes saying it’s half my personality, but I was actually doing some thinking the other day. Would you say, Nathan, that having a coffee would be a blind adaptation, like a way to adapt? Now, listen to me. So this isn’t a tip for everyone to say drink more coffee, but I honestly think I drink coffee so my senses are heightened, so my reactions are faster. So in sport, I can keep up with the vision guys. What do you reckon?

Nathan Jason:                 That’s fair. I kind of agree with that. I feel like the moment I have a coffee, my whole body just awakens, I guess. And then, yeah, I can’t train unless I’ve had a coffee because I feel drowsy and slow. Yeah, or train or race or anything. Yeah, I get what you mean. I reckon, yeah, my reaction would be quicker if I have a coffee.

Braedan Jason:                That’s it. The thing-

Nathan Jason:                 It’s pretty effective actually.

Braedan Jason:                It’s a pride in the old Jason household that our stats in swimming and running are faster than even the able-bodied guys. So maybe it might be a bit of an adaptation that coffee helps with.

Nathan Jason:                 I will say my stat’s been woeful since I’ve started track though, but they’re getting better.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. Obviously, you’ve retired from the old swimming. You’ve hung up the togs and the towel, and you’ve gone to para-athletics. So what’s the transition been like?

Nathan Jason:                 It’s been so good. Hey, the last couple months going into training, even start of this year when I started and the end of last year was pretty woeful. I was just getting to training, and I was just hating it. Ever since the change, it’s been so good. It’s like the whole life’s been different, like have more energy to do stuff now.

I’m more motivated to do stuff outside of, yeah, sport, and uni, and stuff. It’s been so good, but it’s not much different when you think about it. Just not as much training as swimming obviously, but it’s been really good. The whole para scene is pretty much the exact same, obviously. So it’s been awesome.

Braedan Jason:                Do you think it’s good having a community of… So parasport, you’ve gone from para-swimming to now para-athletics. Do you think it’s important for people with a disability to use those outlets, and not so much to be the best athlete in the world, but just to have a community of like-minded people with similar stories and backgrounds? Do you think it’s been really important to your development to becoming the best person you can be really?

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, of course. Definitely. I feel like having a community of people that understand the same sort of things that you would’ve been going through or will be going through is really handy. Because, obviously, going from swimming to a whole sport that I haven’t really had anything to do with for my whole life, it was a bit confronting, obviously, because it’s meeting new people, whole new experiences.

Having people in the para scene and community kind of made it a lot easier to jump into. Didn’t feel like I was getting thrown into the deep end, I guess. So it was really good. I feel like it’s made it a lot easier to transfer over that way.

Braedan Jason:                I think, obviously, in my last episode where I talked about how important for me sport was as an outlet to not just be an athlete, but I think it also just set me up for life. Like you said, I’d be very confident in saying a lot of people with disabilities wouldn’t be confident to just uproot whatever they feel comfortable in and try something completely different. In the sports scene-

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, yeah. For sure.

Braedan Jason:                … swimming is the complete opposite to running realistically.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. Exactly, right.

Braedan Jason:                So I think-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. I feel like I couldn’t see myself if I wasn’t doing some sort of sport. I feel like it’s just, yeah, my way of outleting just for me a person, I guess.

Braedan Jason:                That’s it, and it doesn’t even have to be… We’re obviously competing at the highest level. Sometimes we don’t really talk about it that much, but there’s not many other more athletic blind people on the planet. We’ve only got-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it, hey.

Braedan Jason:                … 6% vision. We’re doing pretty good for ourselves. There’s only-

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, hell yeah.

Braedan Jason:                … a handful of people sprinkled throughout Europe really.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. That’s it.

Braedan Jason:                And Australia just-

Nathan Jason:                 Even then though, yeah, like you said, we’re obviously competing at such a high level, but even doing our social basketball we do on a Tuesday just on the Sunny Coast kind of thing, just playing basketball on a Tuesday night socially with a mixed boys and girls team. It’s been so much fun, and it doesn’t even have to be so serious, but it’s just such a fun thing to do that we always… We’ve done it for what? The last three, four years even. I couldn’t even tell you how long we’ve done it for.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. Off and on.

Nathan Jason:                 It’s like a-

Braedan Jason:                Off and on for four years. So you brought up basketball, and I’m sure a couple of the people listening now are being like, “What? There’s two blind guys with 6% vision playing basketball.” We just love it. I think I might have talked about it in the last episode. When the ball’s in our hands, we’re good. Catching the ball, not so good.

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, yeah.

Braedan Jason:                Especially when-

Nathan Jason:                 It’s funny because-

Braedan Jason:                … the court we play on, it’s a deep brown court, and the court’s probably the same color as the ball. There’s been a couple of instances-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, it’s terrible.

Braedan Jason:                … where the ball’s been-

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, it’s-

Braedan Jason:                … on the ground at our feet, and we can’t even see it.

Nathan Jason:                 There’s some shockers, hey? I remember last time we played, Ash was throwing me the ball from the opposite side. I was there, standing. I saw him wind up to throw it over his head over towards me. The moment he let go, the ball went through a blind spot, and I was like, “Oh, well, I’m not getting that now.” Hit me straight in the chest, and I lost it.

Braedan Jason:                But that’s it, like-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, once it’s in our hands, it’s fine.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. It’s just fun. Oh, some days, I will do… Well, and you usually do too. We do four to five hours of training, so two and a half hours in the morning, two and a half hours in the afternoon. Finish swim training at 5:30. We have a basketball game at 6:00, but it’s just-

Nathan Jason:                 Just go play, yeah, basketball at 6:00, 6:30.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. We just love doing it. Yes, it’s tiring, but it’s what we love doing. I think that’s something we both do, and I think our parents push us to do, is just do what you love. That’s what you’re now following with track is you’re just doing what you love. Doesn’t matter if you’re the best or worst-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, yeah, literally.

Braedan Jason:                … but we’ve got a pretty-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. I feel like the thing that mom and dad did really well with us was that they didn’t constrict us to doing things that would benefit or help us being visually impaired. I feel like they kind of not threw us in the deep end so to say, but got us to try heaps of different things. Then, yeah, we grew to love those different things we tried, and just let us figure out our own way to figure out things. Same thing with surf, and swimming, and track, and basketball. They’ve just thrown us in, and we’ve just found the things that we’ve loved out of it, and figure out our own way to navigate it all. I feel like that’s probably the best thing that they’ve done. It’s been awesome.

Braedan Jason:                That’s it. It’s not that they pushed us to become tennis players because, let’s be honest, I think tennis-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it.

Braedan Jason:                … pays a lot more than track and swimming if money was a focus for them. Actually, you played tennis for a bit there, didn’t you?

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. I remember in grade two, I had just moved. When we moved from Cronulla, we went to Chancellor, and then mom wanted us to do or wanted me to do tennis practice. Then one of my good friends that I’ve known for years… One of my best friends, Keely, she trained with us. I knocked her tooth out in my second session. That’s the one memory from tennis. I don’t think I played after that.

Braedan Jason:                I’m surprised you even connected the ball to racket. I only have a couple of things that I’m not good at or can’t do. One is darts. One is tennis. One’s badminton, and another one’s bowling.

Nathan Jason:                 Aw.

Braedan Jason:                Hate bowling.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. I can’t do bowling.

Braedan Jason:                Ugh.

Nathan Jason:                 Same with badminton in high school. That sucked. I had a wicked serve, and then the moment they returned it, I was just like, “Oh, yeah. I can’t do anything about it now.”

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. So-

Nathan Jason:                 That was the one sport we did at high school that I just hated. I couldn’t do it.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. So for some more context, guys, in grade 11 and 12 at the school we went to, one of the subjects for senior school was obviously PE. Nathan and I, obviously, being sporty people, loved PE. You had to do four sports a year. One of the sports was badminton. Now, I’m sure you guys have watched badminton, seen how it works. Ugh. I think that’s just us.

All we wanted to do was pass. We didn’t care about getting As, Bs, distinctions, high distinctions. We’re like, “Okay. We need to just do this. We need to, eh, get it done.” I think that’s just kind of what we’ve even grown up doing is like, “Okay, if there’s things we can’t do, if you have to do it, you just get it done.” There’s no-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. That’s it.

Braedan Jason:                With filling out a form, you just go, “Okay. Just got to get it done.” Badminton, I think I got a C. I didn’t fail. I think I got a C.

Nathan Jason:                 I think I got a D+, so I know I had to get my theory really, really good. I think I got an A in theory and then just did a, yeah, D+ in the prac, which was 50/50. So I passed, but, yeah-

Braedan Jason:                That’s the thing-

Nathan Jason:                 … I hated badminton.

Braedan Jason:                We just don’t focus on the things we can’t do, hey? It’s just-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, That’s it.

Braedan Jason:                I think that’s what I’d recommend-

Nathan Jason:                 We’re stubborn like that.

Braedan Jason:                … to anyone is just don’t focus on things you can’t do. I don’t focus on not being able to play darts. I just don’t do it. I think that’s probably one of my main tips to anyone listening who has a disability or someone who’s got kids or friends or brothers or sisters or cousins or step-dogs or aunties. Just find the things you love to do and just do them. Do you agree, Nate?

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. That’s it. You don’t have to dwell on the things you can’t do, as long as you’re doing what you can do and doing it well or as long as you’re having fun with what you can do, that’s all that really matters, I guess.

Braedan Jason:                That’s it. I know there’s been a few other podcasts with people who are siblings of people who have disabilities. I know some of the ladies’ sons and daughters have been on, talking about their experiences, but I think we’re… there’s not many of us on… I’ve never met two blind siblings before. Have you, Nate?

Nathan Jason:                 Not that I can think of, hey?

Braedan Jason:                Yeah, like-

Nathan Jason:                 No, I can’t think of anybody.

Braedan Jason:                But I think we never really were raised any differently. I think mom and dad were pretty awesome in the way that… Well, I wasn’t really diagnosed until I was eight, so they just thought I was a space cadet [inaudible 00:13:45].

Nathan Jason:                 A Gumby kid.

Braedan Jason:                They’re like, “Oh, he’s just off with the berries,” but I think that was kind of good is just they didn’t know.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. I couldn’t think of anything worse than being treated as if I was any different though. I feel like that’s the worst thing you can do.

Braedan Jason:                That’s it, like-

Nathan Jason:                 Because then, yeah, you start dwelling on the things you can’t do, and then people treat you differently. It’s like, “Oh, gross. I don’t want to be treated like that.”

Braedan Jason:                That’s it. I know that-

Nathan Jason:                 They help us out when we can, but other than that, just we’re a normal person. Doesn’t change what we are or who we are.

Braedan Jason:                100%. Yeah. I think through university, I think I did what? Four years of uni doing my journalism degree. I reckon there’s only three or four people that knew I was blind, and I reckon two of those were the tutors.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it, hey? The only times I had to do it was when you go to lectures, and they have the big projector screen up, and they point to people to answer questions. I was like, “I have no idea what you’re showing me. I’m paying attention. I promise, but I’m not sure what you’re talking about.” “Yeah, do you want to answer A?” I was like, “Yeah. Maybe after, once I know what’s on the screen, yeah.”

Braedan Jason:                That’s it.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it, hey?

Braedan Jason:                Sometimes it is awkward just telling people that you’ve got a thing. I know we’re a bit stubborn in the sense that we don’t tell people, but we have told people, they’ve been so great in helping us out.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it.

Braedan Jason:                How have you found uni?

Nathan Jason:                 Listen-

Braedan Jason:                I know you’re getting back into it this semester. Are you pumped?

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, I started. Yeah, I’m actually really keen. I’m starting to do occupational therapy, which is sick. I obviously went down to Sydney on the weekend, so I just got back yesterday, and saw my cousin who’s also doing OT. We went and had dinner with his younger brother for his birthday, and he’s a fussy eater. Dane was showing me some of the stuff that he does with children with autism because they’re very fussy, and he was doing the same sort of thing with him, which was awesome. Ever since he’s shown me that, I’ve just been like, “Oh, hell yeah. Let’s start this.” I’m really excited to start.

Braedan Jason:                That’s awesome. How-

Nathan Jason:                 … because I really like helping people with disabilities kind of thing because we’ve always done the same sort of thing at Seahorse Nippers, teaching kids with mental disabilities to surf, and do nippers, and stuff. It’s so fun.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. Do you want to talk a little bit about Seahorse Nippers? I don’t know if I talked about it in the last episode, but it’s just, we love it.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. Yeah, it’s so fun. Me and Braedan are members at… Well, life members, I think, we are at the Alex Surf Club back on the Sunny Coast. For the last 10 years or so, the Noosa Surf Club have done something called Seahorse Nippers, where they get children with intellectual disabilities to come down to the beach on a Sunday for a couple weekends throughout the year or during summer to do nippers. So we do body-boarding, and surfing, and putting [inaudible 00:16:35] on the mouths, and just heaps different things, hey? We do little flags, same sort of things that normal nipper sessions would do, but we have our life-savers to come and help out with individual kids, and teach them heaps of different stuff like that.

Me and Braedan have done that for the last five years since Alex has done the same sort of thing as Noosa. We do it on a Sunday. We finish training most Saturday mornings. We go down and help the kids out. It’s so much fun. I just feel like it’s really rewarding seeing the kids smile when they get up. They’re so nervous to go in the water at first, but by the end of it, they’re jumping around on the surfboards. They’re having a good old time. It’s so good.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. You see some pretty crazy transitions from… I know kids who just refuse to go into the water, just struggle, and then a couple weeks down the track, you can’t get them out of the water. That’s the issue.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, they’re frothing the whole time.

Braedan Jason:                You’re like, “Come on, mate. We got to go up. Santa’s coming.” At Christmas, we get Santa to come. They’re like, “Nah, I’m staying in.” I’m like, “Oh, no.” We’ve done a great job, but now it’s gone the other way. We can’t get them out of the water.

Nathan Jason:                 I know. It’s so fun to see. We’ve had a couple different ones. We’ve had kids with some physicals, and then I remember last time, you had a little fully blind girl and got her to start surfing. I remember you did a post on Instagram about it. It was so sick just seeing… because, obviously, it’s very confronting to go out into the ocean where there’s waves and stuff. Some kids have never had that kind of output to the ocean. Seeing them go from terrified to just loving it, and don’t want to get out, and frothing over it.

Braedan Jason:                I think the main thing too with the whole fear is just that fear of failure. Yes, they’re young, but I think it’s the parents as well. I know we’ve been thrown in the deep end, done some pretty silly things that people with vision impairment shouldn’t do, but-

Nathan Jason:                 Definitely.

Braedan Jason:                … when we failed… We’re still here. We may have hurt ourselves a little bit, but I love failing. Failing’s great. At least then I know, “Okay, that’s not for me.”

Nathan Jason:                 It’s probably-

Braedan Jason:                I’d recommend failing to anyone, whether you’re disabled or not.

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, yeah. Hell yeah.

Braedan Jason:                Just fail.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, whatever it is, hey? Even if it is in the ocean or just doing anything, hey, just failing’s the only way you can learn. Whether that’s injuring yourself or doing something stupid, I feel like that’s the only way you can learn.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. I don’t necessarily say a metric of failure is injuring yourself, but-

Nathan Jason:                 Oh. Yeah, yeah.

Braedan Jason:                Unfortunately, that happens and-

Nathan Jason:                 Whether it’s, yeah-

Braedan Jason:                … and, obviously, you do it within reason. If they want to try chess, let them try chess. If they’re not very good at chess and they don’t really get how the pieces work, they’ll probably soon figure out that they’re not winning and go, “Okay.” Move on to arts, craft, music.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it.

Braedan Jason:                I know we’re probably ramping on about sport and surf a lot, but this is what we love, and I’ll talk about it until the [inaudible 00:19:24]-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it.

Braedan Jason:                … come home.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it. We could talk about it all day.

Braedan Jason:                That’s it, but probably shouldn’t. That’s probably not what people want to hear.

Nathan Jason:                 Probably not as interesting. Yeah.

Braedan Jason:                Unless you do. Feel free to let the ladies know if you want to hear about us talk about sport for hours on end, but I’m sure the ladies have a lot more-

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, we could do it for sure.

Braedan Jason:                … important things to talk about. Speaking of things to talk about, I gave Nathan the heads up. Obviously, we’re the two guest hosts at the moment. The ladies aren’t here, so we can go on a bit of tangents and talk about what we want to talk about. You’re on a bit of an interesting relationship at the moment, Nathan, aren’t you? I talked about me and my partner, Kara, and the struggles and difficulties we have, her being able-bodied, full-sight, and how she helps me, and also how I help her as well. You’re actually dating a fellow, blinky, aren’t you?

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it, hey? Yeah, my girlfriend moved from Sydney to join, well, my old swim squad and Braedan’s swim squad at the university. She’s also vision-impaired as well. Yeah, we’ve been dating for a couple months now. It’s been pretty good. Obviously, it’s hard with different things. Obviously, the main thing is transport and getting our way around.

We’ve navigated it pretty well because, obviously, we all know the same sort of things that we struggle with, and she knows because she has the same sort of thing, so we kind of work our way around. She always seems to drop the question of can you read the menu to me when we go out for dinner and stuff. It’s, “Oh, yeah. I’ll read it out to you.” Then she’s like, “Oh, that’s right.” That’s always a classic one.

No, it’s good. It’s definitely hard, but, obviously, we’ve done the same sort of thing our whole life and trying to be as independent as we can. Us together, we both know and we both have done it for ages, so it’s kind of come very naturally, I guess.

Braedan Jason:                Do you think it’d be a benefit? Because, obviously, my partner, Kara, can’t quite relate to certain difficulties I have. Do you think dating someone who also has a disability… We have, obviously, the same, but do you think it adds a certain bonus, and a bit of comfort, and a bit of familiarity?

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, yeah. For sure.

Braedan Jason:                Obviously, it’s what you seek in a relationship. Do you reckon it’s actually helpful?

Nathan Jason:                 No, for sure. She’s very understanding in the sense that… because the last couple days, I went through eye testing down in Sydney, which is why I went down there. I got back last night, and I was just exhausted. I fell asleep on the plane. I was about to fall asleep in the car home, and I was just wrecked.

Obviously, she’s done the same sort of thing, so she’s had the same sort of experiences with stuff like that. So she understands. Yeah, the understanding around stuff like that is so good. Yeah, everything just seemed to flow so easily because, yeah, shared experiences and shared feelings about different things. Yeah, I feel like it’s been really, yeah, comforting in that sort of sense.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. That’s it. Obviously, I’ve known Jenna for years. I trained with Jenna, so having her join the family is like, “Oh, got another one. We’re taking over the family now. There’s three of us. We can take them next.”

Nathan Jason:                 We’re taking over.

Braedan Jason:                Taking over. Yeah, sit in the front row at the movies.

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, I know. She’s always wanted to go to the front seat, but all the people that she’s been with the last time she’s gone to the movies never want to sit at the front. It’s like me and you love sitting at the front section, so now she’s like, “Oh, I’ll actually want to go to the movies now.”

Braedan Jason:                Yeah, back of the front section.

Nathan Jason:                 So good.

Braedan Jason:                That’s where we sit.

Nathan Jason:                 Hell yeah.

Braedan Jason:                The best thing is no one sits there.

Nathan Jason:                 So good.

Braedan Jason:                It’s just us.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. It’s always free, except when there’s subtitles, like when we saw Shang-Chi.

Braedan Jason:                That’s a pretty funny story. Obviously, we can’t read subtitles in movies. If me and Kara are watching a movie, we’ll get halfway through the subtitles, and I’ll sit quietly. She goes, “Oh, sorry.” Nathan and I are massive Marvel superhero, Star Wars fans. We went and saw one of the new Marvel movies called Shang-Chi. It was a Chinese… I don’t know it’s Chinese, but an Asian-based superhero.

Nathan Jason:                 I think it’s Chinese. Yeah.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. So the first 10 minutes of the movie, the prologue, was all in Mandarin. We kind of looked and then we’re like, “Oh, no. We’ve picked a bad movie to go watch.”

Nathan Jason:                 I reckon at least 40% of that movie was in Chinese too, so half of it, we just sit there laughing and being like, “Yes, yes. Chinese stuff. Hmm.”

Braedan Jason:                I think we just went home, and we literally just googled Shang-Chi prologue. Then it would come up, and we-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, I just-

Braedan Jason:                … read it. Oh, that makes sense.

Nathan Jason:                 I just got a review of what was going on. We didn’t realize that was the chick’s mom or something, something like that. It’s like the chick’s auntie or mom until the very end of the movie. We’re like, “Ah, that makes so much more sense now.”

Braedan Jason:                That’s it. I think if you guys haven’t noticed, I think we laugh at ourselves a lot because some of the things we do is funny. Some things aren’t funny. Obviously, we don’t laugh at certain things, but I think we’re happy just to laugh at ourselves. Going to see a movie that’s half in Mandarin, and not realizing, and going, “Okay, that wasn’t probably a good movie to go see with two blind-”

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah.

Braedan Jason:                But-

Nathan Jason:                 Very entertaining though to talk about.

Braedan Jason:                Oh, that’s it. That’s it. I think I’d almost call it a coping mechanism, but I think humor’s something that’s really set us up well really. I think if you can’t laugh at yourselves when it’s appropriate, obviously… but if you can’t laugh at yourselves… I love laughing. That’s just something that brings me enjoyment, so I’m happy to laugh at myself when I do something silly or when you do something silly. Even I’m trying to think of an example because, obviously, we swim and we work in the Paralympic space, and there’s so many funny things that happen. It must look like an-

Nathan Jason:                 It happens all the time.

Braedan Jason:                … absolute circus at training sometimes.

Nathan Jason:                 It’s like when we started playing Fortnite a couple years ago, and you were like, “We should do Twitch streaming,” because half our fricking… The times we play together, it’s so funny because we’re just talking absolute smack the whole time and because we’re not the greatest obviously because we can’t see the best. But it’s just so entertaining. Then you were like, “We should just do it. People would find it so funny because we’re just laughing at ourselves the whole time, and people just pop out of nowhere and just kill us.” Oh, yeah, nice. That was fun.

Braedan Jason:                That’s it, but that’s just something we love to do, and that comes back to it. Probably our whole mantra, our philosophy on how we live is we just do what we love. We don’t have to be the best or we could be the worst. I love playing PlayStation and talking to you on PlayStation. Yeah, it’s a very visual medium, but we just love doing it, and we don’t-

Nathan Jason:                 Half the time, half the fun is just us talking smack the whole time.

Braedan Jason:                That’s it. So feel free to let Lisa and Kristine know if you guys think your kids would like to watch two blind people play Fortnite or other PlayStation games because we’re probably going to jump on after this, to be honest. It’s something we love doing, so I’m going to do it.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, why not?

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. I hope listening to us talk a lot of dribble today, guys, I hope you guys have really picked up on the fact that, I think, our main things are we just do what we love doing, we love laughing at ourselves, each other, we’re not afraid to fail, and just having a go. Is there anything else, any advice you could give to other parents, Nate, or siblings or cousins or-

Nathan Jason:                 I just feel like don’t wrap them in bubble wrap. Obviously, it’d be confronting to let your kids do stuff that could be dangerous or stuff like that. But I feel like, yeah, that’s the way you learn. They’re going to find things that they love by trying different things like that, no matter what the barriers are. So I feel like, yeah, not wrapping them in bubble wrap, so to say, but just letting them try things, I guess, because then they’ll find what they like, and they’ll know what kind of things they want to do. I feel like that’s probably the best advice I could say.

Braedan Jason:                Yeah. Could not agree more, but that’s just us. I’m trying to think of anything else we can help out for siblings of people who have disabilities, but I think we’ve touched on those points because we’re the-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. I feel we have, yeah.

Braedan Jason:                We’re the two middle kids. We’ve got my older brother, who’s two years older than me, and then we’ve got out youngest brother, who’s the tallest out of all of us. He’s four years younger than Nathan.

Nathan Jason:                 Don’t even start.

Braedan Jason:                I know. I wish I was tall, but-

Nathan Jason:                 I know.

Braedan Jason:                … guess we can’t have everything.

Nathan Jason:                 No, we can’t.

Braedan Jason:                I think they never gave us any excuses. I think they knew they were just trying to better us and-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’s it.

Braedan Jason:                … knew we have so much potential in doing anything. Yeah, I’m just trying to… even you’re doing like jujitsu now, aren’t you, Nate? With one-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. It’s so fun. Yeah, Dad started doing jujitsu about a year ago now. Then now that I’m not swimming fricking four to six hours every day, I have time to do stuff in the mornings if I’m not doing gym or something. So dad was like, “Just come start jujitsu with us.” It’s like it was a bit scary because, obviously, you got to start doing martial arts with a bunch of dudes, but it’s so fun.

Ever since I’ve started, I’ve just been so hooked. I train three days now. I go on a Saturday morning to do open mat and just wrestle with heaps of dudes. Sounds a bit strange, but yeah. Yeah. No, it’s so good. It’s a very visual thing, but the whole thing that I’ve learned is that you don’t really need to… All you have to do is just feel what they’re doing kind of thing. You don’t really have to use your eyes to know what everyone’s doing. It’s such a strange stimulus that I’ve never done before.

Braedan Jason:                Do you let them know that you’re blind or do you just kind of-

Nathan Jason:                 No, none of them do. I don’t think any of them do. It’s so funny. I don’t even think our instructor knows, Luke. I don’t think he knows at all. Oh, he might. Maybe. I’m not sure, but yeah, it’s very funny.

Braedan Jason:                Probably a good idea.

Nathan Jason:                 I just get really close when he’s demonstrating stuff. Yeah, probably should be a good idea. Probably should.

Braedan Jason:                Isn’t there a little blind fellow who does it?

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, dad’s done a little class with a little boy named Bento, who’s like… I think he got some sort of cancer in his eye the last year, so he’s slowly losing his vision. Yeah. I haven’t heard much about him since that one session, but dad said he was such a cute, little kid. He was starting to do jujitsu, and his dad was really worried about what kind of stuff he could do. I think dad said the exact same stuff that we’ve said. He just wanted him to come do Seahorse Nippers with us and just said, “Just do everything.” I think he was going to try and hook us up to try and have a chat with him one day. I think it was something like that, yeah.

Braedan Jason:                Maybe we could get him on.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, yeah. I reckon.

Braedan Jason:                Loop him in to Loop Me In.

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah. Loop him in.

Braedan Jason:                There you go. Feel free to email the lovely ladies, Kristine and Lisa. Email them. See if you want to hear that because we can organize that. I think it’d be kind of cool to get-

Nathan Jason:                 That could be cool, yeah.

Braedan Jason:                … them, us two, and get Bento on or even-

Nathan Jason:                 Yeah, that’d be cool, I reckon.

Braedan Jason:                … the little blind girl who does Seahorse Nippers.

Nathan Jason:                 Oh, yeah. That’s right. Yeah.

Braedan Jason:                That’d be cool. We could-

Nathan Jason:                 I think it’d be good. Yeah.

Braedan Jason:                … end with questions and there you go. See? Brainstorming. Sorry, guys. This probably isn’t the most interesting stuff, but there you go. If you came to listen to that-

Nathan Jason:                 This should be something we do outside of the podcast.

Braedan Jason:                That’s it. Well, guys, I think that should be the end of us talking a lot of banter, but I hope you guys realize that we have a lot of fun being two blind siblings who just do whatever we love to do. Thank you guys for listening to us. Hope you guys enjoyed us. Feel free to listen to the episode with me and the two lovely ladies if you want to hear a little bit more about my background, but I think we covered a lot of the stuff that I covered because that’s my advice. Nate, is there anything you want to end the podcast on?

Nathan Jason:                 No, I think we’ve covered everything. I’ve had a lot of fun actually. It’s been really, really cool. Hopefully, you guys found some of our stories that we’ve said interesting and enlightening, I guess. So thanks for having me.

Braedan Jason:                No, beautiful. Thank you very much, guys. Please listen to the other podcasts, and please keep listening and send through any request you have to the lovely ladies in all the social media streams, the website, and whatnot. Awesome, guys. Thank you very much, and have a good day.

Speaker 1:                        Thanks for being part of the Loop Me In community today and joining our conversation on raising children with disabilities. Join us for the next episode on some of your favorite platforms, like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. If you would like to support us, please recommend the Loop Me In podcast to your network of parents, carers, and providers.

If you would like us to cover a topic or invite a guest to chat, please email us at contact@loop-me-in.com.au or go to our questions at loop-me-in.com.au. If you’ve got any feedback, please let us know so we can improve and cover issues you want. Of course, if anything in the podcast today has raised concerns for you, you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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