Sharing Stoke With Amazing Veterans
Teachers often say they learn more from their students than the other way around. This has never felt so true until last week when I had the fortunate opportunity to teach a crew of wounded veterans how to surf. In my group was a student who was paralyzed below the waist, another who was blind, and a few others with severe PTSD.
Besides learning a whole new way to teach surfing to athletes with disabilities, including learning to count waves and to give perfect paddling instructions to a student who was 98% blind, I learned a lot about myself.
I have been incredibly lucky to spend the last few years writing and traveling around the world, and I forgot how amazing it feels to really give back. I was reminded of how lucky I am to live in the USA, to do the work that I do, and to have my health, my good friends and a really loving family.
There were countless veterans who told myself and fellow instructors surfing was something they never expected to do, that last week was one of the best weeks of their lives. I was inspired and humbled by their words, by their ability to ride waves regardless of their limitations, by their remarkable stories, and most of all by their gracious smiles.
Thank you to all the surf students whose lessons continue to trickle in, to the Surf Divas and other surf instructors who taught me so much about sharing stoke and to everyone who serves our country.
Here are some clips from the clinic: