Ha’a Keaulana

This is a woman named Ha’a Keaulana carrying a 50-pound boulder while running across the sea floor to train for surfing.

From Paul Nicklen Photography:

Her father teaches surfers that they should train for a four wave hold down in case of a wipeout in big surf. At 13-second intervals between waves, that means about a minute of being held down. It is one thing to hold your breath in a swimming pool for a minute and it something completely different to swim down 30 feet, pick up a huge rock and then run as hard as you can for a minute. Thanks to her lineage, community and training, Ha’a is a true water woman from Makaha. Hawaiians have saltwater running through their veins and epitomize what it means to be connected to the sea. As I shot these moments, I was completely in awe and full of gratitude for being exposed to this beautiful part of the world and the people who live it everyday.

Shot on assignment for National Geographic with Cristina Mittermeier Photography

Ha’a’s instagram is pretty amazing too.