Although Leila Hurst and I seem to pop into each other’s lives only for brief periods of time over the years, I always cherish those moments and the memorable surf sessions that happen as a result of our paths crossing. One such meeting was four years ago when her sister, Sophia, went surfing for the first time. I’ve been blessed with many great memories while running JettyGirl, but watching Leila and Sophia ride a wave together tops the list of tearjerking moments. We chronicled the day in Surfing With My Sister so feel free to give it a click after watching Leila X Sophia. – Chris Grant
“Every person in this world is given a different set of challenges. Meet my sister Sophia. Her life in particular has been full of challenges. She was born with a walking disability known as Spina Bifida and has endured 29 surgeries in the 27 years of her life. She watched me grow up as an athlete winning surfing competitions from a young age. We had nothing in common- making it hard to relate to each other. What connected us was the fact that we were sisters. But we both shared challenges. Hers being mostly physically and overcoming them mentally and mine being internally with insecurity, society’s expectations of women and the pressure to be perfect.
Four years ago Sophia and I got connected with an organization that gives paraplegic, quadriplegic, and people with Spina Bifida a chance to experience the feeling of riding a wave. This event changed our lives forever. As sisters and as a family, we learned that we shared struggles and we began to encourage one another to overcome them.”
This is what the meaning of life is. – Leila Hurst
Leila Hurst – @leilahurst