Barefooting– Accomplished!

Monday, March 29– definitely a fun day that I’ll always remember.  But before I explain, let me back up a bit here.

Last fall, the hubby sent me a link to the TODAY show featuring Judy Myers, a 66-year-old gal who took up barefooting on a dare at the age of 53.   This was not long after my 44th birthday when I was feeling a little down and discouraged.  As I watched the video, I started feeling that old excitement about barefooting, a feeling that I had long ago given up on.  It had been ten years or so since the last time I barefooted.  It had been 25 years since I became deaf from a fall while barefooting. Heck, if a 53 year old gal could take up barefooting for the first time and compete at the age of 66, why couldn’t I get back on my feet in the water again?

I got in touch with Judy and before I knew it, the plans were falling into place.  The hubby and I arranged a spring break vacation and I set up plans to join Judy at the World Barefoot Center run by Keith St. Onge and David Small in Winter Haven.

I was pretty excited when I arrived and right off the bat, I spotted Judy.  What a great gal, I felt as if I had known her for years.  Keith welcomed me with a big smile and then introduced me to the three other skiers, Rick Meskers and his son Brody and another kid, ten-year-old Devin.  Rick is a show skier up in Wisconsin and nine-year-old Brody is a competitive skier who has won the Nationals three years in a row and going for his fourth this summer.

Brody and Devin went first– I was in awe of what these kids could do at their young age.  Rick went next, and he worked on a backwards deep water start and after about his fourth start, he was nailing it.  Judy practiced some tumble turns– take a look:

And then it was my turn.  Gulp.  Keith and I had gone over some pointers on the dock and I was reminding myself of those tips as I slipped into the water.  I had never used a boom before and the grip felt thick.  I wrapped my legs on the cable and looked at Keith and said, “Ready.”

And 25 years after becoming deaf from barefooting, there I was barefooting again.  And it felt so good!

More on Judy Myers:  Judy Myers Inspires Deaf Mom

Brody Meskers in the news: Meskers Joins World Barefoot Center Team

More on barefooting and why The Best Years of Life are Still Ahead

I hang around old people: Barefooting with a Senior Citizen

Numerous deep water starts:  Barefooting, I Mean, Butt-Riding

Inspire someone, the way Judy inspired me:  Start a Ripple, Inspire Someone Today

Face your fears:  When Fear Holds You Back

16 replies
  1. Susan B. Wojcik
    Susan B. Wojcik says:

    Karen, that was great.

    We took Chris to The Barefoot Ski School near West Palm Beach. It was pretty scarey as they did it in the canals. After on big gulp of orange water, he vowed to never do it anywhere but Lake Cora.

    Later he did under water deep water starts at the end of the ski rope and also from sitting on the pier. As he is your age now, he doesn’t do this anymore, at least when I am present.

    Well, you accomplished one thing on your bucket list.. When our instructor greeted us, he was on crutches with his heel wrapped in gauze. When we asked what happened, he explained he had skied into a half submerged floating plastic BUCKET. I don’t think he would have looked at it quite the way you did!.

    You are a gifted writer. Really enjoy the articles. Hope to see you this summer. Susan

  2. Jeanie Griffard
    Jeanie Griffard says:

    Naw, us sisters have no more to loose hearing-wise,

    Wouldn’t it be great if it would come back if we bumped our heads?

    You better not move to Florida unless you want me to live with you.

    There….there goes that “thinking of moving to FL”! LOL

  3. Aubrey Millar
    Aubrey Millar says:

    Ah, so this is the video that you bragged about a couple days ago, asking me if I’ve seen it. This is great Karen, I’m glad that you got your bucket list filled up alittle already :]

    Love you!

  4. Karen Putz
    Karen Putz says:

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments! Glenda, LOL, no the hearing didn’t come back. I still climbed into the boat deaf as a doorknob.

    Susan, I know what you mean about the Michigan lakes compared to the Florida water– there’s no comparison!

    Joanna, what’s next? Barefooting backwards!

  5. selena
    selena says:

    Hi Karen,

    I was just linked via your comment on chicagomomsblog. Your blog is so inspiring! I’m adding you to my Google Reader and will definitely stop by often.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] foot, and earlier this spring, she mastered the tumble turn.  Back in March, I sat in the boat and watched her spin around on the water–thinking to myself– I want to learn […]

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