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Category : Grant’s Sports / Adventures

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Our Greatest Challenges can be our Greatest Opportunities | Surfing CloudBreak – Tavi, Fiji 2017

I have long believed our greatest challenges can often become our greatest opportunities, if we allow them to be…  This idea of consciously stepping outside our low-level pains and personal frictions to ask the higher question, “what am I supposed to learn from this struggle” is at the core of my constitution as well as my recovery from paralysis.  A few decades ago, I remember standing in an airport, picking up a surf magazine and seeing “it” for the first time – that teal, hollow, overhead barreling diamond of a wave clapping down on a Fijian reef named after a meat skewering device.  The cover shot (probably a Tom Servais image & probably Kelly Slater surfing) was an image of a stand up CloudBreak barrel, and it flipped a neuro switch deep inside my head.

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I am a mountain adventure kid by environment, who grew up on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe pursing myriad adventure sports in the snow, dirt, rock and air.  As an expedition whitewater kayaker and professional back country snowmobile rider, athletic experiences in the ocean were yet to land on my shores.  Moments before picking up that fabled surf magazine, I was not a surfer…and, after seeing CloudBreak for the first time, I wanted to be.

 

Now, back to my belief that our greatest challenges can often become our greatest opportunities.  As much as my spirit desired the experience of standing in the shade of that iconic wave off the island of Tavarua, the likelihood of me becoming a surfer capable of respectfully surfing that wave was minimal.  And, after sustaining a life-altering 2010 spinal cord injury while filming for a snowmobile project in the Sierra back country, that likelihood became infinitely further away.  Although the distance to this dream wave was now light years away, the goal never changed within my heart.

A few years into all-day physical therapy and workouts, my greatest challenge had now landed my wife Shawna and I on the shores of Maui to push my miraculous recovery beyond its limit, along side dear friend and Olympic gold medalist Alpine skier, Julia Mancuso.  It was her Dad, Ciro that put me on a board for the first time.  Ciro piggy backed me into the water and set me on a giant all red Laird SUP for my first session at Kihei Cove – with a kid sized stand up paddle.  I would scratch myself into small waves, grab an outside rail to initiate a turn, hold on for dear life and ultimately get annihilated into the white chaos.  With time, those small waves got bigger and bigger.  Eventually I met a shaper named Tyler Lausten who worked with me to create custom prototype boards , which featured cuts outs for my feet, a pad for my butt, a seat belt to hold me in, and a leash to secure my old kayak paddle.  The prototype process led us to an 8.0 tri-fin design that allowed me to explore waves which kept getting bigger and faster.  With time, surfing doors continued to open and I found myself in heavier and heavier line ups all over Maui, Kauai, Santa Cruz, Ventura, Todos Santos, and then…a heartfelt email showed up in our inboxes.

Opening the message, my smile extended a mile-wide.  Julia is getting married, and the location is spectacular!  Jules is marrying one of the greatest guys on the planet – a waterman legend named Dyan Fish with a heart the size of the south pacific and a surfing talent capable of competing with the world’s best.  Dylan, lives in Fiji on Tavarua island many months out of the year.  As this infamous “heart-shaped island” is one of Dylan’s homes, the soon to be married couple chose this slice of paradise to tie their proverbial knot.  Within moments of reading the invite, Shawna and I realized that CloudBreak – that teal, hollow, overhead barreling diamond of a water wall – would be right off shore…and, if conditions, talent, safety and courage all perfectly aligned, that multi-decade goal might be within reach.

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Our greatest challenges can often become our greatest opportunities, if we let them.  On a brilliant June evening in 2017, a man who dreamed about surfing a far a way distant wave, who laid in a hospital bed years prior with zero feeling or movement below his belly button, loaded up into a Fijian boat with friends, family and stoke higher than the moon.  The boat hummed its way from the island, pulled into the CloudBreak channel and with all the safety boxes checked, the man jumped into the water fulfilling a life dream.  Just being in the water with those world-class ocean athletes was the full realization of his goal.  And, riding the soul-filling waves that ensued, gave way to a freedom and bliss equaling an experience which left an indelible smile on his soul…

Our greatest challenges are our greatest opportunities, if we let them be…  Stay thirsty, my friends – Korg
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 *Photos, courtesy of Tom Servais | thank you, Tom | http://www.tomservais.com/

Swimming with Whales in Tonga!!!

We are now back from a month on the road filming with Kurt Miller (Cc’d) and the Make A Hero production team, and I want to share a few GoPro Hero 3 shots and screen grabs from the journey.  After 20 years of running Warren Miller, this film is Kurt’s second Make a Hero documentary titled, The Current, which is about the healing power of the ocean and the everyday journey of blissful love post life altering injury.  Our first segment was in Kauai where Bethany Hamilton, her husband Adam, Shawna and I had a week to rip waves, scuba dive, high five the skies, and generally soak in the aloha.  Segment two was ~22 degrees south of the equator in the Kingdom of Tonga where we swam with whales in many of the same locations as the GoPro “Whale Fantasia” shoot (well done by the way) with Shawna and surf photographer Aaron Chang and his wife Erika.

It is looking like this film The Current is scheduled for an early March 2014 release.  And to keep the great news flowing, our historic Journey to the South Pole The Push should be dropping mid summer 2014!  Additionally, I am honored to say there are upcoming media projects in the works giving me the continued opportunity to showcase the powerful metaphor of the unlimited and enduring human spirit within us all.  Thank you to each and every single one of you for doing what you do, and thank you for all your collective belief, support and love…

Highest of fives – Korg

Inspirational SkySki Hydrofoiling!!!

Just under three years ago, I began this journey with zero feeling or movement below my belly button and through hard work, choosing to recover, believing I could manifest movement, and with the love of my incredible wife Shawna, the High Fives Foundation, Spine Nevada, Sponsors, friends, family, and an incredible community of supporters, I am honored to say that I have earned my feeling and movement all the way back down to my knees! I believe in 120% recovery, and supported by friends and amazing sponsors like SkySki, I learned to ride a hydrofoil! Sky is the limit for 2013 – Game on!!!

MadLuv – Grant

**Website: www.korgmovement.com
**Follow us on Twitter/FaceBook/Instagram: @grantkorgan @korgmovement

*Music: Adventure Club – Crave You

**Huge thank you to Rod and Susan Brock, Duncan Lee, and Comptech Marine!!!

**Shout out to everyone who made these moments possible with your endless belief and constant encouragement!

****A massively huge thank you to both the High Fives nonprofit foundation, and Spine Nevada for their incredible support, encouragement, and friendship throughout my recovery and beyond:
High Fives: http://highfivesfoundation.org/
Spine Nevada: http://www.spinenevada.com/

Return to the Sky – PARAMOTOR Flying!!!

Before my injury, I loved to fly! I remember the moment when Charles and Annica Bryan said the word “trike” to me at the High Fives Foundation’s 2012 “Three Thousand Words” fund raising event.  I’ve been dreaming about / working hard in my recovery to once again feel the freedom of flight under a canopy ever since!  This webisode chronicles the fruition of that dream!!!

Just under three years ago, I began this journey with zero feeling or movement below my belly button and through hard work, choosing to recover, believing I could manifest movement, and with the love of my incredible wife Shawna, the High Fives Foundation, Spine Nevada, Sponsors, friends, family, and an incredible community of supporters, I am honored to say that I have earned my feeling and movement all the way back down to my knees! I believe in 120% recovery, and on February 3rd 2013, I connected the dreams of yesterday, to the goals of today!!! Ask me if I am fired up?!!!:)

MadLuv – Grant

*Music: The Glitch Mob (Beyond Right Now) http://www.theglitchmob.com/
**Huge thank you to Chris Santacroce and everyone at Super Fly Paragliding for being so amazing and enabling/empowering this to the fullest!!! http://www.superflyinc.com/
***Shout out to everyone who made these moments possible with your endless belief and constant encouragement to see me high five the sky!
****A massively huge thank you to both the High Fives Nonprofit Foundation, and Spine Nevada for their incredible support, encouragement, and friendship throughout my recovery and beyond:
– High Fives: http://highfivesfoundation.org/
– Spine Nevada: http://www.spinenevada.com/

Molakai World Championships!!!

Just under three years ago, I began this journey with zero feeling or movement below my belly button and through hard work, choosing to recover, believing I could manifest movement, and with the love of my incredible wife Shawna, the High Fives Foundation, Spine Nevada, Sponsors, friends, family, and an incredible community of supporters, I am honored to say that I have earned my feeling and movement all the way back down to my knees! I believe in 120% recovery, and in May of 2012, International surfski superstar Dylan Thomas and I paddled together across the Molokai Channel in the 2012 Molokai World Championships!!!

MadLuv – Grant

*Edit: Ryan Croke (Full Circle Productions)
http://www.fullcircleproductionsmedia…

**Music: Lindsey Stirling – Crystallize
http://lindseystirlingviolin.com/

***Video: Shawna Korgan – Jules Cannon

***Huge thank you to all our Molokai 2012 Sponsors, and a massive personal thank you to each and every Korg Movement sponsor for your continued and unconditional support of my recovery and beyond!!!

****Shout out to everyone who made these moments possible!!!

*****A massively huge thank you to both the High Fives nonprofit foundation, and Spine Nevada for their incredible support, encouragement, and friendship throughout my recovery and beyond:

High Fives: http://highfivesfoundation.org/
Spine Nevada: http://www.spinenevada.com/