The scariest thing about brain trauma is it’s subjective nature, it’s lack of any real point of reference. You can look fine, can even almost convince yourself that you're fine. There’s not always an external physical manifestation of the turmoil within. For a long time my head was not a fun place to be and saying I was depressed is like saying the arctic is cold; for a long time I was in survival mode but not sure if it was worth the effort. I made it through, somehow, and I wouldn’t change anything that happened. My past has shaped the person I am today and that is someone who is strong, compassionate, and courageous. Someone I am proud to be.

Last week I strapped on my board with the intentionality of returning to a world I thought I had said goodbye to a long time ago. And saw, for the first time, that there are loves that last a lifetime. I will always love it, and I am so grateful I can return to it without fear and with a whole heart.

Music by Paul Kimbiris
Filmed by Aly Nicklas
Additional filming by Erik Rieger, Shannon Hudson & Dan Gish
Edit, titling & v/o by Aly Nicklas
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