John Hargrove opens Beneath the Surface with a harrowing tale of an encounter with a killer whale while in France that purportedly lead to physical injuries. He then goes on to write about the toll the injuries took on his body.
By the time I was 34, the injuries were beginning to overwhelm me. I had to deal with pain that I didn’t have in my 20’s …. By 2009, I had injured my knee jumping off a killer whale onto the concrete while performing a surf ride in a show. The knee just never really got better … All the while, I never stopped working or swimming with the whales. I just dealt with the pain”. (BTS Pg. 210)
Sounds pretty rough.
So rough, in fact, that Hargrove retired from SeaWorld in 2012 on disability according to Beneath The Surface co-author Howard Chua-Eoan’s 2013 Cocktails and Carnage column for Roads And Kingdoms website.
Hargrove goes to great lengths to tell us about the toll and strain his body went through while he was with the whales. Our heart goes out to him for his sacrifice as he just “dealt with the pain.”
But throughout his career in the marine park industry, before he was selling a book, John Hargrove didn’t seem to feel the need to describe his suffering. In fact, John Hargrove remarked the injuries were “cool.”
Hargrove on Twitter on February 7, 2014:
But when John Hargrove had to sell some books, the story shifted. The injuries “overwhelmed” him (BTS Pg. 210). Strangely, these “overwhelming” injuries must not have taken too much of a toll. He seems to have recovered enough to enjoy some snowboarding.
Book selling John Hargrove bravely overcame the injuries that battered his body to do some totally awesome snowboarding in Utah while attending the Sundance Film Festival promoting Blackfish in January 2013:
photo credit: TimZimmermann.com
“The knee just never really got better.” (BTS Pg. 210) Hargrove wrote. But good enough for snowboarding, just don’t tell the orthopedist.
From the looks of this picture, Hargrove really shredded the slopes AND his credibility.