The Surfer Who Takes People Surfing To Improve Their Mental Health

we’ve had people that have come down and
said thank you like this has saved my life they’re the kinds of stories
which you hear and it reminds you it just says that this is all worth it what we’re doing and what we’re creating
for people is awesome it’s using surfing something that everyone loves to talk
about something that is so important and is so necessary in life mental health we all have physical health where we go
to the gym we pump weights so why can’t we do the same for our mental health and
look out for maintaining that by having these important conversations by doing
the work by learning the strategies to cope better and and using surfing as a
way of coping with your mental health and well-being is an awesome way to do
it I loved hand therapy initially and it
was all about the hand the movements the muscles all that stuff but there was
something not right it was just by chance that we got introduced in third
year to hey this is mental health and this is what you could do as a part
of your job as my eyes were opened, I was like holy shit so when I was working in hospital I was
like being able to provide like a certain amount of support and
rehabilitation for people but it only was able to go so far because it was
challenging to build that really strong rapport when you’re sitting in a four-walled room across from them asking them you know about – tell me about yourself I said to him look I’m an OT and my job
is to get you back to doing what you want to do not what I think you should
do and he said I want to go back to surfing You can get smashed by wave or you can
catch the best wave of the day and just feel free like almost like you’re
flying and from a young age I think that that idea of being able to
escape and just get down and soak up that natural vibes were in my blood We were out there in water for half an
hour we did not catch one wave but what we did was we floated around and we just
bobbed out the back and we had a conversation which was deeper and more
connected than we’d had in the last three months of working together it’s made me more mindful in recognising
my own emotions I’ve found. Being able to recognize that sometimes I can feel
unwell and there’s nothing wrong with that I was bullied for trying at school I was
bullies for trying to excel in class and being that like goody
two-shoes that nerd at the front of class but it actually got to the point
where I was 13 years old and I was having thoughts of suicide I literally just broke down in tears
I was bawling my eyes out it was almost a reminder of what had happened back in
high school. Being bullied and having those thoughts of suicide as a young 13
I had no idea that those occasions sort of were so significant until this
brought it back up for me last year it is testing and to be that person out
the front of Waves of Wellness almost sort of waving the flag and representing
all the amazing people doing the amazing things
sometimes it’s quite challenging because there’s a lot of pressure you don’t get to open up and say that
yeah like today was shit like today I had a really tough day it’s not okay to
talk about that stuff in society it’s almost like this this expectation that
everyone’s got to have their shit together everyone’s got to be killing it
and really on their on their point but the more that we can just peel back
those layers of the onion and get real about the not-so-good times and be
vulnerable I think that that vulnerability piece is actually the
powerful part you

2 thoughts on “The Surfer Who Takes People Surfing To Improve Their Mental Health

  1. This is so great! Physical activity and getting out in nature, and the ocean, can be incredibly healing. Well done on such a creative and beneficial initiative.

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