Fear Factor Uncensored: Bionic Nazare and The Resilience of the Human Spirit

Shine on you crazy diamond…

Hey Sentinels! Luis here from Surfsentinel.

This post is dedicated to the fire that resides in all of us. The human spirit, which continues to shine, even in the darkest moments, and can be an inspiration for all of us.

Fear Factor Uncensored
Andrew Cotton

The inspiration comes from one individual, Andrew Cotton, an English big wave charger, who was the main protagonist of Mother Nature’s version of Fear Factor Uncensored.

You see, Andrew, along with other big wave chargers, like Garrett McNamara, challenged bionic super-sized Nazare, Portugal at 50 ft+, last wednesday november 8, 2017.

Into the maw of the beast…

The video showing the final moments before the ocean fell on Andrew’s back is…well… harrowing.

The inevitability of what was to come chilling.

And then, before disbelieving eyes then, now and forever, it happens.

The ocean literally plummets on Andrew, like a monstrous hammer. And he is lost in the unimaginable turmoil and chaos that follows.

At that moment, on-site observers and, later, thousands of people downloading the video all across the world’s multiple media platforms, watch in awe, breathlessly, at Andrew’s cataclysmic wipeout.

For a moment, we all agree: he’s gone.

There is no way anyone could have survived this. And we keep watching, our hopes dwindling by the second.

Keep calm and carry on…

And then…the impossible happens.

Andrew re-appears…

Life Guards activate their rescue protocols. They bring Andrew back to the beach, with a broken back, but alive.

He is rushed off to a hospital. A few days later,  he is concious and in good spirits, sharing his experience at Nazare in his Instagram account:

What can I say, I got a little excited this morning and ending up having possibly the worst wipeout impact wise of my life. Thank you to all the lifeguards and crew on the beach who helped stabilise me and do a great spinal recovery, I can’t name everyone but you all did your bit to get me safely to the hospital . Obviously huge shout out to the team: @mcnamara_s for the waves, @hugovau for rescue, company and laughs in the hospital and @polvo32 for the calls on the radio and friendship . I have broken my back but I’ve been really lucky, I’m already looking forward and focusing my energy to get fit and back out there on some more big rollers !

Andrew’s comment boggled my mind!

Here’s a 36 year old part-time plumber, lying in bed with a broken back, after suffering what is being considered¬† the worst wipe out of 2017, and yet, through the pain and healing, his mindset remains incredibly resilient.


Maybe it has to do with some of that English¬† “Keep Calm and Carry On” attitude. Maybe.

But I think it goes way beyond that.

It is how you treat your worst fears when coming face to face with the monster.

Feat Factor Uncensored
Nazare, Portugal…

You can’t control events…

You can’t control events, but you can certainly control how you are going to react to them.

Tony Robbins, an incredible communicator, leadership psychologist and peak performnce strategist, explains it like this:

Tony Robbins

We can choose what to focus on, we can choose what those events mean, and we can choose what to do now. These three conditions control our lives. So it is not the conditions of our lives, but rather the decisions that determine our destiny.

Embrace and learn from your fears…

In the next few posts, I will be adressing and exploring how fear limits our capacity to reach our goals.

You will understand how to deal with procrastination, an unfortunate by-product of fear.

You will also learn three ways to embrace and learn from your fears, not run away from them.

The last post of the series will provide useful tips on how to break through the fear barrier to discover what lies on the other side.

I hope this information will be as useful to you as it has been for me in my personal and professional life. See you soon and please leave a comment below if you liked this post (or not!).

Thanks for reading!




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