Hi everyone, I am Carlien Born in ‘93.
Four years ago I went for my final internship to become a nurse to the rural area’s of Tanzania.
I worked in a very primitive mission hospital in a small village. My childhood dream came true. After a few weeks I became very sick, I was in coma with a lifetime braindamage as a result. My entire life changed. From an ambitious and adventerous Young woman full of energy I became a grandma. Years of rehabilitation followed.
One of my symptoms were the lack of balance and coördination. This made me feel like being on a stormy ship with seasickness litterally 24/7.
On social media I found Stichting Surftherapie.nl a non-profit organisation which provides surftherapy for people with a braindamage. Funny ( As I am ;)) I tought Maybe being at the sea is the cure for my seasickness. And if not, surfing sounds more fun then all the regular rehab I did.
As you can imagine, my balance was so fucked up I started surfing on knees and hands on a big sup board. Altough I felt very sick I was immediatly stoked. I loved to be one with nature, the cold salty water, the power of the waves and the unpredictable unknown. After many years of being prisooned in my own body I finally felt truly alive.
After three surftherapy sessions in Camperduin autumn started and the season ended. Luckily at the same time I started with a reintregation project from the Edwin van der Sar Foundation and received an amazing surfcoach Ruurd.
Together we went surfing a lot in Scheveningen and it was awesome!
My balance improved, my convedence grew, and after a while even my seasickness decreased. I will never forget the feeling when I first catched the wave and stood up! I felt normal again instead of the woman with the broken brain.
Besides surfing Ruurd tought me alot about the sea and used it as a metaphor for everything I had to deal with in daily life.The beach became more and more my happy place. A place where I felt the most alive. The sea has the healing power to give my Brain a rest from overstimulutation daily lives cost me. In surfing I found a piece of my self back whom I have missed a lot, but also helpes me to embrace the new version of myself.
In every vescle in my body I felt I had to be near the beach as much as possible. So when I started to discover Job opportunities I immediately thought about stichting Surftherapie, there where my stoked journey started.
And this is where my new life began.
I started as a volunteer at surftherapie and used my own experience with (surfing with) a braindamage. The adaptive surfinstructors tought me how to become a surfcoach step by step.
I even coached one of our surfers at The World Championship Para Surfing in California.
Surfing gave me a new purpose in my life. Years I felt useless but slowly I start to feel meaningful to others again.
The most precious thing I have discoverd trough surfing is that the ocean doesnt condemn. It doesnt matter if you walk on one leg, two legs or you cannot walk, it doesnt matter the colour of your skin, your weight, age or gender, the wave will take you nomatter what. The ocean doesnt care in a way we shouldnt care either.