Day 4: Andy Irons: Kissed By God

Hi Everyone...

I wanted to share with you the trailer & my comments on the documentary "Andy Irons: Kissed By God" by Teton Gravity Research.

SPOILER ALERT: If you plan to see this documentary, then do not continue reading this post as I do provide an overview but also a few details which some might feel would take away from learning about Andy through the documentary.

I had no idea who Andy Irons was. I live in the Midwest, so I'm not familiar with the surfing scene and its history. Actually, I also just learned about Kelly Slater about a month ago when he was on Star Talk. I'll make a post on that episode tomorrow! :-)

The documentary on Andy Irons is WONDERFUL! Very sad, but still wonderful! I felt it really provided a clear understanding of his whole life, the times where he experienced immense joy & happiness and the the times he struggled and found it extremely difficult.

Andy's wife Lyndie wanted to protect him, but she ultimately realized he would have wanted the TRUTH & EVERYTHING so it could help others. The Truth about Andy started with a troubled youth with parents who did not get along and finally divorced. Andy's brother, Bruce, stated his parent's divorce affected Andy more since Andy was older and resulted in behavioral problems at school. Andy also had some learning disabilities which added to his behavioral problems. These learning disabilities were not clearly understood by the school nor his family back then.

The documentary beautifully shows Andy's love of surfing and the water. He states himself how much the water and surfing was medicine for him and you clearly see that. The documentary also clearly shows the consequences of tremendous success and fame in surfing back then. It also explains what the drug culture in surfing was like, including no help from the medical profession as doctors thought Opioids were completely safe to prescribe to patients. So sad! We all know how bad Opioid addiction is today, so I just gasped when I think who actually is the reason for this addiction!

As a Psychology professor, I was very happy with how the documentary covered Andy's Bipolar Disorder. It was not overly detailed nor technical, yet provided enough to help people understand what he was suffering from and what the psychological professionals did not understand about the disorder at that time.

I will end by saying, I hope you all get a chance to see this documentary made from all the love Andy's family & friends had for him. They hope to show it to students in hopes it will help them. I know I will be recommending it to educators I know. Andy's wife Lyndie has started the Andy Irons Foundation to help raise awareness and programs for young people suffering from mental illness, addictions and learning disabilities.


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