Harley Taich is a professional surfer who overcame a severe case of post-concussion syndrome and depression after wiping out in a competition back in 2011. This was just after reaching her goal of earning a spot on the USA Surfing team as a 15 year old until this concussion ended her competitive surfing career. She recently authored a concussion book for children called “Heads Up! The Story of Finn and Reef." The book educates children about concussions, healing, and most importantly about acceptance, which is something she’s struggled with during her recovery. Her compelling story has also been featured in Seventeen Magazine and I know it will also resonate with our listeners.
In episode 35, Harley takes us through her journey to surfing stardom which started from a very early age. Before talking about her concussion we discussed some common injuries in the sport of surfing and what health and safety measures are taken to take care of the athletes during competitions. Most injuries in the sport come from accidental contact with the board, specifically the fins. This contact generally results in skin lacerations.
Harley suffered from a seemingly endless list of post-concussion symptoms after her accident in 2011. These symptoms forced her out of school and left her feeling depressed, isolated and hopeless. She tried nearly every treatment and remedy to no avail, which ultimately brought her to a point where she contemplated taking her own life. However, Harley found the inner-strength and courage to fight through her symptoms. She did this through acceptance of her injury and a willingness to give up the one thing she loved most, the water, for what turned out to be an entire year. During this time, Harley devoted a lot of her energy to researching nutritional choices, which contributed to improving her symptoms. Recipes that she has developed can be found on her blog, which is listed in the links at the bottom of the page.
If you have kids or know of kids who could benefit from Harley's book, you can purchase a copy of "Heads Up!" using the link below. Experience is the best teacher.