Andy Irons is known as one of the greatest surfers to ever ride a wave, or as he calls it, getting “Kissed by God.” His tragic death in 2010 shocked the entire surf world, leaving his wife Lyndie, and his soon to be born son Axel, behind. The Andy Irons Foundation teamed up with Teton Gravity Research to produce a film about Andy’s life with the purpose of showing the world who he was, and the struggles he went through. Tree House Recovery sponsored the film and took part in its Los Angeles premiere.
When Tree House Recovery first heard about the making of the documentary, we were immediately inspired to reach out to see how we could support. Through the trailer, we saw that Andy was no different than many of the men that walk through our doors. Those who are born with a predisposition to addiction are often innately very special, talented, powerful, creative individuals with the ability to achieve amazing things in their lives, no different than Andy, and other extreme athletes alike. These individuals possess an ability to reach beyond what normal people think is possible. This philosophy is constantly taught to our clients, and seeing Andy channel these attributes into surfing resonated with our core beliefs; that someone can overcome their addiction when they began to view the very thing that brought them there as potentially the greatest advantage in their life. We believe that people with a predisposition to addiction often times have genetic assets that greatly increase their sense of drive, determination, and focus. Treatment is simply about redirecting their connection to those things that allow them to be great, no different than Andy’s connection to surfing, and his profound ability to surf.
Because the film’s message, and its ability to bring awareness around the now seemingly common struggles that many people face with addiction and mental health, was something that we aligned with, it was an easy decision to support the film. Through our sponsorship, Tree House Recovery is proud to have also connected with The Andy Irons Foundation and Teton Gravity Research (Film Producers), in their mission to make a difference through the making of this film and continued initiatives of awareness and support.
On May 2nd, 2018, the film premiered in Los Angeles, CA. Tree House Recovery Owner and CEO, Justin Mcmillen, was invited to participate in a Q&A panel alongside Lyndie Irons, film producers, Steve and Todd Jones, and pro surfer Mick Fanning, where he spoke about addiction, how to help someone who is struggling, and how this predisposition, if understood and harnessed, can be used as an advantage in life. The Q&A will play post film at over 500 theaters on May 31st and then on other digital channels. Tree House Recovery was also invited to set up a booth at the premiere’s location, where people were invited to come talk about addiction, emotional well-being, and solutions for those struggling.
The movie was inspirational and very emotional. We are excited that we get to be part of a movement that is raising more awareness for something that needs to be talked about, especially in the surf industry.
At Tree House we’ve designed a program that empowers men through physical activity — yoga, surf passage drills, triathlons and other team races, and structured, high intensity style workouts. We are all very passionate about what we do and want to ensure that we always remain an effective solution for anyone struggling with the disease of addiction.
For more information on The Andy Irons Foundation, please visit their website.