On IndoJax, Surfing Life’s Waves and the Visually Impaired Camp

It was a sight for sore eyes…

After the way this year has been with traveling, the hectic nature of modern family life and other things going on that I won’t mention here, it was great to go out and visit with the IndoJax crew and watch them run this camp for visually impaired children. We could’ve spent the time almost anywhere in the Wilmington, NC area. But we chose to spend it here. With these folks. Doing this…

My wife and I have known IndoJax’s owner Jack Viorel for a few years now. It was a total fluke how we met. We were on vacation a few years ago and I decided I wanted to get surf lessons. Having grown up in Maryland, I knew a thing or two about water sports, but I mostly stuck with boogie boarding and body surfing as a kid. But I really wanted to learn how to surf and was pretty pumped that Kure and Carolina Beach had small, fun-sized waves on a beach break, thanks to the sandbar just a little ways offshore.

At any rate, I signed up for lessons through one of the bicycle/surfboard rental shops on the island only to show up and find out that the rental shop didn’t tell me where to go and they didn’t tell Jack I was dropping in on his week-long class for an AM lesson. But I was drawn to his honesty, his positive energy and vibe overall. We hit it off that AM surf session and we’ve stayed in touch since then.

Have you ever been around a person who not only made you feel better about yourself and the world, but made you feel like there was a better version of yourself waiting to be discovered? And that you had the ability to discover that version of yourself? Well, Jack is that kind of guy to me. Because that’s how I feel when I’m around him and his crew.

And so for a child, who is visually impaired or medically fragile, I could only imagine the feeling of freedom they must feel out on the waves with a board under their feet. It’s so simple. So freeing. Yet inexplicable. I know for me, when I catch a wave it’s a feeling of pure unadulterated joy. But I don’t have health issues and I can express what it means to surf. I honestly have no frame of reference to compare what the experience of surfing is like to these kids.

But honestly, it doesn’t matter. The fact is these kids are being given a chance to experience something special. And it doesn’t matter if they can’t put it into words or may not even be able to place their experience into context. It’s their moment, after all.

Just watching them enjoy it is enough.

I’m going to leave you with this short clip the IndoJax folks put up on their YouTube page. It’s from last year, but you’ll get the idea what this camp is all about. I just ask you to watch it and read the comments…

Visually Impaired Camp \’09


Disclaimer: This is a cross post by my husband, Prof Pinch, from A Daily Pinch. It meant enough to me to push out to two blogs. I hope it means as much to you as it meant to me.


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