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Adaptive Surf Camp Gives Inspiration, Goosebumps

BEYOND THE VEIL: The High Fives Foundation from Stay Wild Studios on Vimeo.

The High Fives Foundation just dropped a clip that will inspire you to push your boundaries and be grateful for each and every step you take today. High Fives Foundation is a Tahoe-based, national 501.c.3 non-profit organization that works with injured athletes to figure out with recovery goals and get grant funding for what they need: like adaptive equipment for working out and healing practices like massages and acupuncture where insurance runs out. They've helped 89 athletes since they began in 2009.

The whole team gathers on the beach to celebrate an epic day. High Fives Foundation photo. 

Partnering with Stay Wild Studios, High Fives took seven athletes to Maui for a surf trip in May that was so much more than just catching waves. Previously much more concentrated on athletes in mountain sports, High Fives is now getting more into the surf community. As Outreach Coordinator Luka Starmer told me, "We understand the healing powers of the ocean, and surfing is such a sick crossover sport. That's why this was our fourth surf trip."

RELATED: What Next? Life After A Spinal Cord Injury 

The trip was a team effort. Well-known athletes like Josh Dueck (the first person to land a backflip on a sit ski) and Grant Korgan (who just set a world record with his outrigger canoe paddle on Lake Tahoe) worked with an experienced team of watermen to get up in the surf. Most of the athletes have very little, if any, use of their legs, so it's vital to have a team that can help with crashes and set them up for success.

Smiles abound while heading out into the surf. High Fives Foundation photo. 

The smiles on their faces is worth a watch alone. This is pure job, the type of joy that can only be found in the outdoors, pushing yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m torn between tears and an ecstatic yelp of joy right now.

The video tells us, "Life comes down to experiences. Period. Full stop, end of sentence. If life comes down to experiences, what are we doing with our time?"

Pre-surfing yoga session to be limber and agile before hitting the waves. High Fives Foundation photo. 

Think about that and then share the good vibes around! If you’re in learning more about The High Fives Foundation, find them on Facebook and Vimeo and learn more about the surf camp project here.

The epitome of camaraderie. Cheers! High Fives Foundation photo.  

Thanks for sharing this story, the High Fives Foundation has supported my brother since week 3 of his recovery from a spinal cord injury suffered while snowboarding. Roy, Steve, Josh, Landon, Tyler, Bruce and the rest of the crew featured in this video are incredible people who’ve inspired and supported my brother through everything. High Fives can really change lives, so if you ever have the chance to participate in an event you’ll understand just how much of an impact they make in athletes lives.

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​Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington Take To New Heights In Kyrgyzstan
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The feeling of being in over your head is one that many of us have felt at one point or another. To be in over your head in a whitewater kayak is an entirely different feeling. The gripping feeling of having to paddle downstream in a headspace riddled by fear is not one easily comparable to many others. To amplify that by taking away road access, food, unpredictable weather conditions, and spotty communication is unthinkable even to the best of kayakers. But that’s what Nouria Newman, Ben