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“Always, we begin again.” – St. Benedict
Beginning again has been a theme in my life, and I’m guessing in yours as well.
When I lost my arm I quickly thought, “How can I continue to surf?” I knew that the old way I had surfed was gone. But what would the new way be? As my remarkable friend Nick puts it…I had to reframe my obstacle as an opportunity. Welcome to innovation!
In my documentary, Unstoppable, you get a glimpse of my dad’s innovation when he got the idea to add a handle to my board. So great…and just what I needed! Adding the handle allowed me to push the board down and duck dive to get under the waves. Then I learned how to shift my weight and find balance in my altered body. Before I knew it, I had found a new way to do the thing I loved!
But the adaptations didn’t stop in the water. I’ve also adapted from a single competitive athlete, to a married one, and then I adapted to being a competitor who is also a mom to one, and now two, little groms. Life is all about learning, adapting, innovating and improving. Life is always changing. If you’re faced with a challenge don’t assume it’s game over…instead, consider that this moment may be presenting you with an opportunity to innovate! Will you persevere? I hope so!!! When you’re living in your unstoppable-mindset, you adjust and find a new way to balance.
If you’re faced with a challenge don’t assume it’s game over…instead, consider that this moment may be presenting you with an opportunity to innovate!
Sometimes in life we have to be firm, committing to the various paths and goals we’ve chosen. And yet other times we have to bend and flex, allowing goals to shift as situations or realities change. For instance, I had the goal of putting out a short performance surf film when I started working with Aaron Lieber, director of Unstoppable. Midway through the filming process I discovered I was pregnant with my first son and we had to put travels for the film on pause.
What resulted was a healthy pregnancy and me being a mama. Later (okay, quite a bit later), I was able to pick back up on those surf trips and finish filming. The key is being able to identify what you might be called to and give in to the direction your life is heading. In my case, I got called to the amazing path of being a mother, and it has been the best detour ever. The detour of motherhood also resulted in that short surf film morphing into my feature length documentary, Unstoppable.
You never know where life will take you, but you can count on changes happening all the time. Lean in to your detours and see where they take you. Being Unstoppable means being adaptive and innovative, having goals, but being flexible.
Begin again with the mindset that the adaptations and adjustments can be a fun adventure and result in something amazing and unexpected.