Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Empowerment


You probably know how I love to water ski.  Yeah -- I tend to gush over it.  But, let me give you a little history.  As children, my sister and I were not encouraged to participate in sports.  It's just not what little country girls did back then.  We were told to play outside.  We rode our bikes and flipped around doing gymnastics on a rusty swing set frame.  Unfortunately, I had horrible growing pains in my legs which earned me an excuse from PE class every year.  In fact, I did not participate in PE until I attended college.  An athlete, I was not.

Our family had a little river cabin on the banks of the Chattahoochee backwater.  It was here that my parents persuaded me to ski (bribed if truth be known).  If I had to guess, it's probably because the used boat my father had purchased came with a set of water skis.  My parents were not athletic, certainly not skiers, and obviously did not realize how strenuous it was.  It was not considered a sport but simply something my father loved to do with his girls.




A wonderful thing happened though.  Water skiing empowered me.  It was the only true challenging physical activity in my life.  I soon traded that set of skis for a single slalom ski and gained even more empowerment.   I learned to adore it and thanked my lucky stars for it.  You see, it gave a shy and awkward girl the confidence she sorely needed.   I could do something active!  And something pretty darned demanding!

All these years later, I still love it.  PoPo continues to support me and is my talented and willing boat driver.  I certainly couldn't do it without him!  I'm not professional by any means...far, far, far from it.  Heck, I've only attempted a slalom course several times in my life.  {A bucket list item is to attend ski school for a week.  Cool!}  But, I've got the endurance of a horse, can zip across the wake without pause, and can kick up a massive spray.  That makes me happy.  It empowers me.  Hmm...I guess on this Global Running Day it's fitting to admit those half marathons do a pretty good job of that as well!


What do you credit for your first sense of empowerment?



I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!



32 comments:

  1. Have you seen the video of that 6 month old baby that is water skiing? It was on World news last week. I guess her dad is a Pro and they wanted to start her early!
    I think it's great that you water ski. I've always been too scared to try but if I was given the chance today I might do it.

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    1. I did see that video! I was both shocked and impressed. I get the idea of starting early, but six months? I was terrified as a child to try. I finally took the plunge with a bribe of a Six Flags trip. Ha!

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  2. Beautiful Holly! It is quite the physical activity, as I have confessed to you, I wore everyone out just trying to help me get up lol There is a great freedom that comes with being able to zip through the water and excel at something you love, it is good you can have those moments!
    My first sense of empowerment came when I was young (high school) and I took off on a long bike ride.

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    1. A bike gives you such sense of freedom, doesn't it? We made little trails in the woods around our house. My sister, cousin, and I used to ski together--three across. We thought we were something else! Our own ski show! LOL.

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  3. Fun that you found something that you love to do! Me and water skiing just don't mix, just don't love it! You need to come to Florida we have tons of ski schools here! I think women's sports are empowering no matter which one we choose- it is a life changer!

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    1. Yes, I think any sport can be empowering for women. My kids didn't take to water skiing. They all tried. Our oldest probably skied more than the other two. I learned early on, you can't make anyone else like it. There's still hope for my grand kids though!

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  4. Did you grow up in my family? OMG, another parallel between us! No sports for this gal either, unless you count tennis. For some reason that was acceptable to my mom. And cheerleading which I had absolutely NO talent for.

    Seriously, if you go to waterskiing school will you let me know? I'd totally go with you. Wouldn't that be fun?

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    1. OMG! Ski school would be a blast! Hey, seriously. We do need to check into that. You are the ONLY other woman I know (other than my sister) who skis. Coolest thing ever.

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  5. That's a great photo of you with the ski! You definitely look empowered in it :) I think running had done something similar for me.

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    1. Our son took that picture and didn't tell me when to say "cheese". LOL. I also think running is empowering. It's probably why I'm addicted to it.

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  6. You go girl!! I remember the first time I got up on waterskis at camp...it was hard! As a snow skier, everything was backwards so it was never very natural for me. Slalom is super impressive! -C

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    1. Oh my gosh, I like to snow ski too! But where we live, it requires a vacation to make that happen.

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  7. My parents WERE athletic, but I was not. I was encouraged to try things, but PE was the bane of my existence back then!

    Even though I love to swim, I've never tried water skiing. Just never had the opportunity.

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    1. I never had that high school gym experience. But, that may have been a good thing. It's never too late to learn something new!

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  8. I am terrified to water sky Holly! It's so cool that you learned at a young age!

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    1. I remember being terrified of trying! But once I was bribed enough to take the bait, I fell in love with it.

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  9. I credit my parents for empowering me to life the life I want. I have no self confidence issues and I owe it to them. This has allowed me to go after many goals, and reach almost all of them.
    Love your water skiing photo !

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    1. What a wonderful gift to have received from you parents. I know you will pass it down to your children as well.

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  10. I enjoyed water skiing first on Lake Winnepesaukee in NH as a kid. The most recent time I tried waterskiing was in French Polynesia and it was simply amazing. However, I am not sure I would have the guts to try that again. It was about 8 years ago when I had not hit the big 60!

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    1. I have great memories of spending summer weekends on the backwater. Skiing in French Polynesia sounds wonderful! I have skied in Jamaica but it wasn't that great. The boat driver wouldn't ski me like I wanted.

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  11. I love the picture of a shy and awkward girl gaining confidence by finding an activity she loves! And that you've continued doing it through the years!

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    1. I've been very lucky and feel very grateful that I've been able to continue doing it. I would love to teach other girls too. It's just not in demand any more.

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  12. I love hearing your story about how you got in to skiing and how it empowered you! Especially that your dad wanted you to try because the skis came with the boat. HA!

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    1. My parents were not wasteful people. We had to get our money's worth out of those skis!

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  13. Running certainly empowers me (and a lot of my friends). I was not athletic either...I hated gym class because (way back then) we always had to pick teams, and I was usually towards the end of the line. I did not like any of my gym teachers, either, because they always seemed to favorite those chosen few who had the genetics to do great things. I don't ever recall any of those teachers encouraging the "underdogs" to do (or try to do) anything. Of course, that's my skewed perception LOL What I did learn (several years later) is that everyone can be an athlete in their own right. WE all cross the same finish line, after all ;-)

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    1. I've heard so many horror stories about gym class, I'm almost glad I couldn't participate. Having someone to encourage you sure does make a huge difference.

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  14. I've been knee boarding a couple times, and was so stoked when I was able to stay up! LOL! Running long distance is what makes me feel strong and empowered. I miss it!

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    1. We have a knee board. Our oldest did that some years ago, but I always thought it has so hard! Trying to get strapped in after you come out of the water is nuts!

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  15. What a great story! I got to water ski when I went to summer camp and being able to get up without doing a face plant into the water was very empowering!

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    1. I bet is was so fun learning to ski at camp! I went to camp one summer but there were no water sports.

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  16. I can tell that water skiing empowers you! We used to water ski in college, but I never mastered the slalom. I haven't had the opportunity to water ski for years.

    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. It's a dying sport. It's all about wake boarding now. I have no desire to try that either.

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