I think it’s fair to say most, if not all surfers, can never really be pulled out of the ocean. It’s probably by no coincidence that salt is in man’s blood just like it is in the ocean; the universe works in funny ways like that. For these reasons we can easily understand and easily draw inspiration from adaptive athletes, with surfers usually topping that list of motivational people.
Ismael Araya is no exception. A beloved surf instructor and local legend around Costa Rica, Ismael almost lost his life and his legs in a motorcycle accident. But like we said, there’s this thing about surfers that prevents us from staying out of the ocean. He was back in the water as soon as possible – with a modified board and a kayak paddle – reminding us that nothing has to stop you from doing what you love most. Not even paralysis. Every adaptive athlete has a unique and powerful story of their own, but they all also share that common thread of flipping the idea of being disabled into simply being able. The Lion Surfer just happens to be the story of Araya’s own inspirational path. The documentary is set for release in March of this year, but I’m pretty sure it’s a safe bet this film is one that will be worth looking out for.