This Pro Surfer Is Living Proof That Your Limitations Are All In Your Head
If Derek Rabelo doesn't inspire you to pursue your dreams and push through the obstacles, not many others will.
Naming him after Derek Ho, the world's first Hawaiian surfing champion, Derek's father had dreams of his son becoming a professional surfer. After finding out he was born blind though, due to glaucoma, he had to set those dreams aside--or so he thought.
Derek, who'd always had an aspiration for water sports, got on the horse right away. And despite his blindness, he learned quickly, with the help of his father and some formal training.
“Firstly, my dad encouraged and helped me,” Derek told Bored Panda. “We went to the ocean together in the mornings. However, he sent me to a surf course to learn and practise more. I have also practised a lot with my friends. They always consider me just as themselves.”
Of course, learning to surf without vision had its challenges, but none that Derek wasn't ready to overcome.
“I listen to the ocean and feel it,” Derek said. “And every single part of a wave makes different noises. So, I can decide which side of the wave I should surf towards."
Now, as a professional surfer, Derek's main focus, even more than improving his own ability, is to inspire others with his story.
When Derek's not out on the water wave-hunting, he travels the world speaking at schools and conference sharing his story with others.