Surf’s Up

From Live Happy Media | By Megan Michelson

Excerpt: Looking to reclaim your energy, your strength, your confidence, your life? Consider tapping into what surfers have long known: Surfing makes you happier. Ocean therapy researcher Carly Rogers says, “Surfing provides a positive, natural environment; a chance to build self-confidence and a catalyst for change.”

No wonder it is becoming a go to for treating PTSD and other mental illnesses. There are many benefits for cancer survivors as well.

Diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2010, Britte Roossien quickly became an echo of the vibrant  young wife and mother she had been. Even after she beat a second bout of cancer, she couldn’t find the bridge back to her life, until she discovered surfing through the Mission-supported First Descents Adventure Retreats. “I (learned) that I wasn’t going to break, that I was much stronger than I ever realized,” said Britte. “Surfing taught me that cancer was just a small part of my history. …I finally felt separate from cancer.”

“The ocean can have its way with you; it has no empathy. But even when you’re out there struggling and the ocean is giving you a beating, it’s still rewarding, still cleansing,” said surf instructor Rover “Farmdog” Farmer who worked with First Descents participants.

Five months after her surfing experience, Britte ran her first marathon.

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