An Epic Session

An Epic Session

Cardiff is a special place. Photo by Austin Novy

The lifeguard tower sat way down the beach and marked a reference point for a friendly competition, between my friends and me, to see who could surf passed it the farthest. A perfect day! A solid confidence drove me deep on takeoffs and into rebounding cut backs in the pocket. The responsiveness of my board and what I was able to do with it, astounded me. This was the first time i'd been able to surf the board for several consecutive weeks due to a series of injuries plaguing me since i had gotten it. I was finally learning it!

Cutting back. Photo by Lorenzo Menendez

While paddling back out, after one of the best waves i have ever surfed at Cardiff, i had to turn and take a late takeoff on a set wave that swung wide through the lineup. There was no way i was going to make it over the wave, so i had to turn around and hang on for the ride. I made the drop, but in driving the rail hard down the line, my fins loosed and i slid sideways. There was no recovering from the power of the wave and instantly i was flipped upside down, the wave swallowing me and my board. Up became confused from down. There was no sense of orientation. I tried to reach for my belt, but my arm could just not fight against the force of the water. A second later i tried again and it was all i could do to just flip the quick release, in hopes that the washing machine treatment would eventually end and i would end up on the surface.

This is one of my favorite pics! The drone caught me taking off on a set. Photo by Austin Novy

When i finally came up, i was still being held down, but not from the wave. My right leg was twisted so bad in the foot strap that i had to dive back down and un-wedge it. Once free, i did the usual: climbed back on and paddled back out, continuing to enjoy the glassy surf with my friends.

Yup, thats my leg

That was the last time i surfed. When i arrived home after the session, i realized my leg was swollen like a balloon, which turned out to be a broken femur. The past three months, since then, have been a fight trying to get it to heal, which finally ended up meaning surgery. As i write this, i am two weeks post surgery and showing tons of healing and promise. The surgeon is confident i'll be back to the ocean very soon. 

The drone edit and pics i've included are not from that day but from two days before, which was also another epic session with friends. Can't wait to get back to it!

Special thanks to Guayaki and Austin Novy for the shots and to 2XU and Tyler Lausten for the board!

Getting the board off the car. Thanks to Thule for the racks! Photo by Austin Novy

Drawing lines. Photo by Geri Afshari

Addicted to Guayaki. Photo by Meghan Foley

John and Sam are good friends. Photo by Austin Novy

Born to Run

Born to Run

Man, i’ve found a renewed fascination with running lately that i just cannot shake! Recently, i read Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run and, ever since, i’ve been dreaming about running barefoot through the jungle for days on end with nothing but a pair of trunks and a knife. When i’m hungry, i hunt and gather, living in harmony with the Earth. When i’m tired, i lay in the moss, under a tree, warmed by the ground. When i encounter an obstacle, like a river or cliff, i swim it and climb it...maybe a little Avatar-esque.

That would be nice, to be able to get from Point A to Point B with just my body. Its important for me, that you know, i don’t dwell on this. That would be focusing on what i don't have. I know i am very lucky and am extremely grateful for what i do have. This line of thought is merely an observation of myself and this fascination seems innocent. Its actually been a powerful force of motivation for me, if anything. I’ve found myself pushing the limits of my endurance on my stationary bike trainer, imagining that i’m running. Obviously, a direct result of this. I’d be lying if i said i didn’t fascinate about running though and i feel its very understandable that i would yearn for it.

The human body is a beautiful thing, designed to endure, and every day i watch people waste this beauty and greatness. I get it. We can never truly appreciate something, unless we loose it. I don’t judge anyone for this. It does make me sad though. Imagine a man dying of thirst, standing at the foot of your driveway as you hose down the asphalt. I think he’d see the beauty in the clear liquid and cry as it was wasted, imagining what he’d do if he had a water source like you did.

Examine the unparalleled intricacy of your feet and let that carry you to use them for what they are made. Geek out on this machine you have and its ability to endure. Don't let it sit idle. That’s like having a bird as a pet, clipping its wings, keeping it in a cage, taking away the one beautiful thing its made to do. Don’t be one of those people who makes the Universe sad by not doing the one thing it created you to do, whatever that may be.


If you can’t run, swim. That's pretty darn beautiful too. If you can't swim, find a way to exert yourself. If you can’t exert yourself, find a way to do something. At the very least, admire biology, anatomy and the sheer power of a will exerted, of an intention brought to fruition, of action and motion. If your body works, then the only boundaries you have are in your mind. You can climb mountains and swim across rivers. Just change your perception of these things. Obstacles are non existent, a figment of my imagination from another life. If we do live multiple lives, i can guarantee you that i will see “obstacles” very differently and will not take my body for granted.

I hope i can take the appreciation i’ve gained for the ingenuity of the human body into my next life because that’s exactly what i will do. I will appreciate my body by using it. I will run with no boundaries, living in my trunks with bare feet, existing in unison with the Earth (or whatever planet i’m on) running this machine like it was meant to be run.

For now, in this life, i’m relegated to using an actual mechanical machine to get me out on the trail though. I don't like it. I don’t want it, but it just is what it is, and i’m going to damn well do whatever i need to get out in nature. I had a bike that took me places i have never been and enabled me to see things i would have never seen. I spent my savings on that thing without thinking twice and it was worth every penny, but i ended up needing to sell it to get a new wheelchair and for life stuff. Whatever! I wanted to upgrade anyway!

Having tasted the freedom that bike gave me, now i cannot imagine my life without one. It was not my intention to tell you all this to get you to help me. I've wanted to write about running for a while now and sharing this, in this way, feels just right. This is where i am at. If you want to help, i set up a fundraising page (

Do me a huge favor. Donate and share but only if you feel it. Regardless of that though, go run your ass off, even if you don't feel like it. If you need more motivation, read that book, Born to Run, and maybe you'll find yourself dreaming about running too. Its magnificent. Eventually, i’ll have another bike and will see you on the trail!