Journeying to Maui for the High Fives Foundation – High Five The Wave Adaptive Surf Trip is one for the record books. This year High Fives took their athletes farther than any of the previous surf trips for a week of aloha beaching, sunshine, surfing and yoga. Talk about life changing, heart warming and just straight up fun all of the athletes, coaches, media and family had on this trip.
What makes a trip like this so special is the fact that these athletes all suffered some level of serious spinal cord injury skiing or snowboarding. It was amazing and inspiring to see how strong these athletes are. They were athletes before their accidents and they continue to be athletes everyday regardless of their injuries. With combined efforts from the whole team we got the High Fives Athletes out into the warm salty Hawaiian waters to wave ski, longboard and snorkel. All of the athletes have very unique injuries with very unique recoveries. The multiple riding options allowed everyone to try something that interested them and supported their injuries.
Thanks to TL Wave Skis, Tyler Lausten designs and shapes one-of-a-kind wave skis that allow paraplegic athletes to sit and catch waves! Imagine a surfboard combined with a kayak. The athlete sits on the board with a paddle in hand, anchored with a leash and they paddle out to the line-up. Once they paddle in for a wave they catch it, then ride it just as a surfer would but sitting down! This allows athletes that have limited lower body movement from the waist down to still get in the water and ride the wave of their life. We had an excellent waterman team that floated in the water all day helping them get in-n-out of the water, tow them out, help them get back onto their boards if needed and push them into waves.
When I think of these athletes after the trip the word Strong comes to mind. They didn’t give up and they aren’t listening to the doctors that told them they will never walk again. They are relentless, they will not give up and they train every inch of their body with every ounce of their mind as well as their strength. They are living strong, courageously and positively.
Have you ever met someone that allows you to feel their energy vibrating off of them, pouring over you? We all elevated our energy over the course of the week and felt love, positivity, presence, gratitude and so much more. We should all learn from these athletes that we are capable of anything and we have limitless possibilities. We don’t need to go through a tragic accident in life to discover how precious motion and life is. DON’T take anything for granted.
In life we tend to focus on needing and wanting MORE. Whether it be money, success, objects, etc. We get so wrapped up in it, that we forget to appreciate all that we already have. Happiness is deep within you. It’s easy to fall in line with struggle, fear, unhappiness, feeling incomplete or just putting up with your current life situation. It’s also easy to overlook the small accomplishments in life. Imagine sitting up or standing for the first time after such a tragic injury or even just taking a single step can become the best day you’ve had in a while. Learn to appreciate and be grateful for everything. Direct your intentions on what is good, what is thriving and all that you already have. Sometimes it takes effort to maintain such high levels of positivity but it’s possible and much more fun than being negative. How often on a daily basis can you choose to follow the good in life instead of focusing on the bad?
Thank you to all the sponsors who supported this trip! Red Bull Hawaii & Tahoe, POC, Zealious, Tahoe Trail Bar, Cojo Bay, Soxxy, Sanuk, Lululemon, Big Agnes, BigTruck, Outdoor Technology and Patagonia.
Special Thanks to Weston Walker, Trevor Clark, Laurel Winterbourne (Film, Photo, Writing) for documenting this trip. Stay tuned to their social media for editorials and photo stories that will be released later.
I’d like to now shine the light on the High Fives Foundation. High5’s is a non-profit foundation that supports the dreams of mountain action sports athletes by raising injury prevention awareness while providing resources and inspiration to those who suffer life altering injuries. When someone is faced with the news of low recovery expectations after their accident, doctors tend to not offer much hope. That’s when High Fives steps in and gets these athletes stoked on the possibilities of what CAN be achieved. The High Fives Foundation provides positivity and financial assistance to get them on the road to being an athlete once again. Like High Fives athlete Josh Dueck a medalist at the Sochi Olympics – a paraolympian… The sky is the limit. Where will you take yourself?
Choose Positivity Now! I invite you to be inspired by these athletes as much as we are by checking out some of their stories, TedX talks, websites and more!
Grant Korgen: www.choosepositivitynow.org, http://highfivesfoundation.org/grant-korgan-2/
Josh Dueck: http://joshdueck.com/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFa4wnIOWxU
Roy Tuscany: http://highfivesfoundation.org/history/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-FaIFGA3Sc
Steve Wallace: http://highfivesfoundation.org/highfivesathletes/steve-wallace/
Landon McGauley: http://highfivesfoundation.org/landon-mcgauley-2/
Jocelyn Judd: https://highfivesfoundation.org/highfivesathletes/jocelyn-judd/
Max Elles: http://highfivesfoundation.org/highfivesathletes/max-elles/
Grand props to all that helped make this magical trip come alive and thrive! Stoked ~ full of Madluv and can’t wait for the next trip! ALOHA
Check out the full editorial here: http://surf.highfivesfoundation.org/high-five-the-wave-4/
High Five The Wave #4 Photo Gallery
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