My Journey From Freak Accident To Surfing

my name is Victor and believe it or not I fell in love with surfing 13 years ago when I was surfing for the first time in Santa Cruz California my high school photography teacher had taken all the tas out for a class trip and I remember all just on a surfboard learning how to paddle and outside and I felt him pushed me out of nowhere and he just told me Victor stand up quick and then I just popped up and I felt this wave just riding me all the way to shore and I’ll never forget that feeling of everything just washing away and the only thing on your mind is the board and where the waves gonna take you on this ride and I would end up chasing that feeling for the next 10 years all across the west coast and all around the world because I just love traveling and surfing that much but then one unlucky day I decided to play a game of basketball that would change my life forever basically I’d suffered a freak accident where everything in my left knee tore and exploded leaving me crippled in bed for three months in doing rehab for the rest of my life for the next three years I would learn how to run and climb again but surfing was one thing I was too afraid to pick up what if I was on the ocean and my knee decided to act up or worse just explode again and leave me stranded or drowning you know the ocean so I just never really wanted to pick up surfing again but I recently went to Hawaii for a family trip and figured what better place to test my knee them there I’ve served most of the islands in Hawaii and I know the waves are pretty forgiving there and also my brother would be nearby so something they did happen he could always help me out so here’s my first time surfing in three years coming back from a crippling injury jc/juan your bike right and it’s true you don’t really forget how to surf it’s just a matter of getting your feet wet pun intended although all the running swimming I did for rehab didn’t really help me much for serve me because I was still so out of shape struggling to catch any waves let’s not forget to mention that you’re feeding it’s 30 other surfers trying to catch one wave it’s pretty brutal out there but then you do catch one wave and then it makes it all worth it until you realize that your knee isn’t quite 100% and you lose control of your board almost killing another surfer luckily I was able to jump off my board and pull on the leash before I almost chopped his head off thankfully he was super chill didn’t freak out about it right it’s so frustrating though three years ago I had just returned from traveling and surfing around Philippines and then one random basketball game with people I didn’t know what changed the course of my life I still can’t recall everything that happened all I could remember was I was going for a layup and then my opponent tripped me from behind causing me to land on my left knee I pretty much just blacked out from there and when I came to my senses I looked down I saw my knee flushed into my thigh and keep in mind I had never broken a bone or torn a ligament anything serious in my life great asset for Kenny åkesson to have a seat that stretch the floor with it almost seen as he he’s gonna miss the rest of the season you can see him just shaking his head there he’s saying I’m done I’m done as soon as he landed on it Jeremy Lin season came to an abrupt end on Wednesday night the Nets guard suffered a ruptured patella tendon my what the patellar tendon is one of the biggest tendons in your body that keeps your kneecap all connected to the muscles and without that tendon you have no way to lift your leg or strain your leg out I would eventually get surgery which in itself was the most painful thing I’ve experienced my life to this day I remember waking up in my sleep screaming holding onto my headboard because I feel like my knee was about to explode it was ripping apart from the seams on fire and no amount of morphine or painkillers could calm the pain down finally after six weeks bequite my leg completely straight so that the tendon can heal or it would rip again I finally went in for my first checkup all right yeah I couldn’t even bend if I wanted to it was just so painful and there was just so much scar tissue built up I remember when I asked the doctor how long it would take for my knee to fully recover he said that it’ll never be back at 100% had Ari lost too much muscle mass and there was just too much damage done there and most he said maybe 85 or 90% depending on rehab so I went to rehab facility for a year to strengthen my left knee learn how to walk all over again and eventually try to surf on this day I didn’t have much trouble paddling or standing up really but I couldn’t control the board very well since most of my weight was on my front left knee which wasn’t had a hundred percent and must have tried standing up so many times but when I finally caught a good one the wave decided to slap me right in the face caused me to fall off and almost drown Oh yep so I almost killed another surfer I almost drowned I took that as a sign of paddle back in and just give up I had cuts all over my leg from the reef and that knee was so red and swollen I was ready to call it quits but then I look at my knee and the message that I’ve tattooed on it I even made a BuzzFeed video on it people get tattoos and their scars and in a video I got a tattoo that reads it’s not how you fall but how you stand back up and in that moment I was reminded of all the blood sweat and tears had sacrificed to get back to even 90% so I paddled back out and waited for the perfect wave which finally came for whatever reason everything on this wave just kind of clicked I said it with so much confidence and I just rode the wave out with style then I just kept catching normal ways and has so much fun as it were my first day of surfing 13 years ago it’s uncanny hair our human nature yearns for something more when it’s taken away from us in my case it was my name and all the things associated with that like traveling climbing and surfing so I urge you if you’re going through a hardship whether it’s mentally or physically try your hardest to find out things that want to find your joy and pursue those to the best of your abilities even though money will never be 100% I can fully appreciate the things that wants to for granted and one day I’ll travel the world again surfing in some exotic location until then Surf’s Up [Music] [Applause]

Antonio Breitenberg

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