It seems 2014 has been a heavy year for many people. People close to me and people whom I know through the media. One of these people I know from being a fan is Lilly Pollard; a wonderful, beautiful, fun loving, big wave charging Australian pro bodyboarder that charges way harder than me. On a smallish day at a spot called Mystics, Lilly took a very bad wipeout that ended up fracturing several vertebrae in the process. To help her out I donated $40 to her cause. Although it might not be much, it was a small piece that helped her get the care she needed. I actually wrote a post and donated anything I earned that week.
I wrote that piece for many reasons though two come to mind most of all: 1.) if you feel the urge to help, then I think you should help, so I did and 2.) Lilly is a true ambassador to bodyboarding and even the smallest bit of assistance was more than a worthy cause. The interesting thing is that during her recovery, I have been able to learn many more things that truly show why Lilly is someone I can look up to.
There are three key things that you need if you have a serious condition or suffer a really bad accident:
1. Discipline: Lilly’s discipline is second to none. Exercises, nutrition, therapy, you name it and she’s doing it because her will is to get back in the water as fast as possible and show people she is a woman of steel (especially when it comes to her resolve). She is not waiting for things to get better, she is active in making things better and not settling for her best.
2. Patience: Sustaining an injury or having an illness that immobilizes you is one of the most frustrating things that can happen. My experience is limited to a back sprain I had three years ago that had me bedridden a week. Lilly was basically immobilized for weeks until they were able to take the brace off and let her start on the road to recovery. Throughout every aspect, she’s shown patience of biblical proportions and truly is an example to look at every time your computer freezes to have more patience with the things that matter.
3. A positive outlook: In traction, Lilly gave a thumbs up with a huge smile on her face for a picture. Throughout her process, she has maintained an amazing attitude and again, a true example to follow. Regardless of how she’s felt, she’s maintained that positive outlook, that beaming smile and a happy go lucky attitude that is a wonderful lesson for all.
A few days ago she had her first surf in months in gentle waves and her thrill was infectious (see picture below). I remembered those times I’ve surfed just for the hell of it, and oftentimes, those are some of the best sessions, because you surf just to have fun. You’re not out to land a huge air, or score a barrel, you’re just out there, looking to get on a wave, any ride and you are thankful for that.
So here’s to being thankful for the ride we’re on. The wave can be pretty long, it might get bumpy, though in the end, it’s all about enjoying the ride.