The Ups and Downs of Barefooting

At the moment, I’m in a cranky mood.  I’ve just gotten off the boat at the World Barefoot Center, hung up my wetsuit and sat down to stew a bit.  Just a few hours earlier, I was pumped up, looking forward to some backward barefooting– wanting that feeling of skimming backward on the water on my feet– like I did several weeks ago.

But this is how I spent my afternoon:

Did I mention that I was a bit cranky?

I’m juggling the feelings of frustration that resulted from an afternoon of trying, trying, trying to accomplish the backward deep water start to no avail.  Swampy finally pulled me off the water– there would be no more barefooting until we did some dry land practice.   I grumbled, but I knew he was right– insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  It was time to go back to the basics and learn again from the beginning.

“I’ve had days like that,” said Ben Groen, a skier from New Zealand.  “One day I can do my turns– and then I’ll go out there and I can’t do them.”

I’m learning some lessons on the water, and they’re not just about barefoot water skiing, they’re about life.   No matter where you are with your skills, you’re going to have some days where everything lines up– and days when nothing seems to work.  The gals–Kim, Judy and Claudia– remind me to have patience, that the learning curve is a steep one.   Two steps forward, and sometimes twenty steps back.   “You have to remember where you are in the process,” said Kim.  “You can’t compare yourself to someone who is far ahead and expect the same results.  It’s a process to get there.”

Tomorrow is another day– another day to apply new lessons and develop new skills.  I’ve already shifted my attitude as I ponder the day and put it in the proper perspective– because a bad day on the water– surrounded by friends on a beautiful, sunny Florida day– is a good day indeed.