In 2013, Haben Girma became the first ever deaf and blind graduate of Harvard Law School. Since then, Girma has worked as an attorney for the Disability Rights Advocates and has been honored by the White House for her work. Continuing to break the stigma that people with disabilities can't do certain things, Girma recently dominated a surfing lesson in California.
According to the Washington Post, Girma went surfing because "it's symbolic of all the possibilities that are out there." She said that she's not afraid to fail, and success comes through failure. "I'm not afraid to get in the water, try something new, look silly for a little bit," she said. Since her normal communication technology, which is like a keyboard in Braille display, doesn't work in water, she communicated with coach Matt Allen of the Maui Surf Academy through physical cues.
Besides excelling academically and taking up surfing, Girma enjoys rock climbing and kayaking. According to the Washington Post, she was doing these things because there was a social message "that says people with disabilities can't achieve, can't succeed." Growing up, Girma said, "I was struggling not to internalize so I needed to convince myself and convince people." Now, on top of everything else she's accomplished she can also check off "make surfing look easy AF," off of her list.
Girma is all the inspiration you need to be great in 2016.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.