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