Tuber of the Week #35: Just Add Water

While blogging from the beach last summer, I could not resist posting an amazing surfing video

In continuing that tradition, I'd like to introduce 20-year old professional surfer Clay Marzo.

Marzo is not like any other pro surfer--he has Asperger's syndrome, which is from the autism family.

I mentioned previously that our youngest son was also diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder called PDD-NOS, and we see some of the similar obsessive behaviors that Marzo's mom describes in this article.

Fortunately, Clay Marzo was able to transform his obsession with water into a performing career in which he is considered one of the best in the world.

At age 15, Marzo became the youngest champion of the amateur National Scholastic Surfing Association when he scored two perfect 10s--a feat that had never been done.

The following is the trailer for a 2008 video about the surfer entitled Clay Marzo: Just Add Water.

The movie explores Marzo's challenges and how it may even contribute to his incredible focus while in the ocean.



A portion of the movie's proceeds were donated to the non-profit Surfer's Healing: A Foundation for Autism--a non-profit that offers assisted surfing for children with autism.

Also, reporter Alyssa Roenigk did this wonderful short for ESPN the Magazine on Marzo.

She describes his mother's struggle to find more about her son's obstacles after a lifetime of hearing people refer to Clyde as rude, dumb, unmotivated, etc.

Marzo's story is nothing short of inspirational.

24 comments:

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

From what I have read and seen, I still can only imagine the magnitude of the struggle it is to have or know someone who has autism. But as your post and video prove...a handicap is only as handicapping as you allow it to be. Great and wonderful things, including healing, can happen when others love, support, encourge and devote themselves to making a disability an ability! Thanks for sharing.

The Babaylan said...

I saw one video of a father and his handicapped son who dreamt of doing triathlon. Very touching. I can imagine the love the parents has for this kid Marzo.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Thanks for the inspiring video, Slam Dunks. My 10 yo as AS and is obsessed with Latin dancing. He's hoping one day soon to be able to do it for real (I'm still looking for a program in our area for kids).

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing this video. Hope you guys are having a great time at the beach.

Matthew Rush said...

Can't watch the videos here at work but this sounds like a great story and an inspiring person. Thanks for sharing Slam.

Today's guest blogger is Faith Hough.

Adie said...

WOW! My cousin has Asperger's and struggles in some areas of his life, unfairly in my opinion because people don't know what is going on. I love these types of stories. The radio station I listen to in the morning, the DJ has Asperger's and so does his son and that is also inspirational to me. Hope you are having a great vacation!

Nathalie said...

Such a great story. I really gave me goosebumps. I think stories like this are so inspirational and it just makes you see that a happy life can be found in so many different ways. And wow, how he catches those waves!!
*Nathalie

Dan said...

A great story. It is amazing what obstacles we can overcome if we don't limit ourselves.

Jackie said...

Wow what a great story!! Speaking as someone who has a severe disability (not that anyone can tell just by looking at me or talking to me) I love watching this because it shows me that anything is possible. Keep believing and dreams do come true!

xx
Jaxs

izziedarling said...

This is so awesome. Thank you for posting. My daughter's passion and specialty is diagnosing and teaching children with AS. Can't wait for her to get home from vaca to see this. Thank you and bless you.

Kimi said...

"You don't suffer from Asperger's, you suffer from people." Profound. It's a shame people downplay others because of a lack of "normality". Yeah for Clay truly doing what he loves! I'm sure it's not easy to deal with, but I'm glad his mom never discouraged him from taking up surfing. That's what we should do if we support our loved ones. The power of "CAN" goes beyond all possibilities, especially hearing it from our immediate family members. I'm inspired. Thanks for sharing!

Betty said...

Really great story -- a friend of mine has a son with asperger's and i'm going to send this to him ... plus, it reminds me of the US goalkeeper who has tourette's syndrome -- same kind of incredible ability to focus, move, excel - but with the downside of being OCD, with lots of tics and inability to concentrate outside the cage.
amazing!! thanks for sharing...

J. J. in Phila said...

It is a very inspiring story. People with autism spectrum disorders think differently and can accomplish great things.

The problem for the rest of the population is understanding them.

mrs. fuzz said...

This is AWESOME! Love it. I will have to ask my surfer brother if he's seen it. He probably has. . .

Hope you are still having a great vacation! Lucky.

sheri said...

what an awesome video-thanks for sharing it! this fella is amazing, both on and off of the film. i don't know if it was just me but he doesn't seem to be as frustrated or worried as the people who surround him must have been!

carma said...

This is remarkable. I was explaining to my son recently when he was mentioning that one of the autistic children at his school is an incredible math whiz, that sometimes these kids obsess on one thing to the point that they know just about everything possible about it. Did you see the video of the boy giving the graduation speech at his high school graduation??? absolutely charming - and to see how his classmates we so happy for him brought a tear to my eyes...

Clara said...

People like him make me smile, point a finger in fortune´s face and say: "Touché!"

Unbelievably incredible, just loved it!

Luisa Doraz said...

What a story. What a video. Do not tell that kid that he can't do something. WOW. He is amazing. :) What an inspiration. :)

WomanHonorThyself said...

how inspirational thanks HAPPY DADS DAY!!

angelcel said...

Inspiring - and it reminds us that to some extent we set our own limits in life.

This Eclectic Life said...

It's about attitude, isn't it? When we have a disability, we can turn it around. Wonderful inspiration ... thanks for sharing Clay's story!

CL Beck, author said...

Wow, the guy is amazing! Thanks for posting this!

Anastasia said...

that is inspiring! Want to show it to the kids at work.

Anonymous said...

i'm new... hope to brief nearly more often!