On Dec. 6, pro surfer Evan Geiselman nearly drowned while surfing at Pipeline in Hawaii. His dramatic rescue at the hands of professional bodyboarder Andre Botha was captured on film, and the surf community reached out to show their support both to Geiselman in his recovery, and to Botha for his heroic actions that saved the Floridian surfer’s life.
Now, as reported by SURFING, a little more than two weeks later, Geiselman sat down for an interview to talk about how he has dealt with the emotions of the event.
“It’s overwhelming,” Geiselman said in the interview. “It brings tears to my eyes now just thinking about it.”
Geiselman says the events of that day are still blurry, but they’ve lead to him achieving a deeper understanding of the importance of community.
“There’s just a bigger perspective than what I had,” the 22-year-old Geiselman said, noting he used to get wrapped up in the individualistic aspect of surfing. “It’s not just about me; it’s about going out surfing with your friends. It’s about enjoying surfing with your friends.”
For Geiselman, who has been given a second lease on life, the near-death experience just affirmed his desire to spend as much time with friends and family as possible.
“It’s a very selfless feeling I have now, I just want to enjoy a lot of things with all my friends,” said Geiselman. “I just want to have the best time I can in this life with as many people as I can.”
And while Geiselman notes he is already back to 100 percent physically, the emotions from that day, he reckons, “could last my whole lifetime.”
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