Peace, Love & Waterskiing

Abuelo in Acapulco!

Ski Amigos,

I promise I have not forgotten you.  I cannot believe over a month has
gone by and I have not found the time to check in with you all.  I
haven’t really found the time to check in with myself.  These
newsletters always provide me the joy of reflecting and reliving some
really great times.  I apologize for my absence but promise that this
newsletter has some gems!

2011 has been off to a great start.  I can’t believe we are 54 days
into the New Year; it has gone by like a whirlwind.   There have been
some pretty awesome skiers including, Will Asher, Kris LaPoint, Marcus
Brown and one clear standout (which we will get to soon).

Will Asher was fine company as my roommate for a week at Ski Paradise.
He is a very professional, professional water skier.  Though he
didn’t care to give away any of the secrets that make him the best
skier in the world at the moment, I still learned a lot from hanging
out with him.  He and Kris LaPoint were testing HO Skis and in doing
so honing the various skis non stop.  I learned that I have a lot to
learn about working on my ski and fining my ideal settings.  Though he
essentially took the week off from working out, I can tell he is
incredibly fit.  When he just jumped into p90x yoga and had no problem
with it, I had a pretty good clue about his fitness level.  I think
part of the reason he is the world’s best skier at the moment is that
he takes everything too the limit and pushes himself hard.  In his
words, “I figured if I’m going to do this, I might as well DO IT!”
The man can ski too.  He ran 39.5 off in Gordon’s ambidextrous
(reverse) slalom course in hard wind – a feat I’m not even ready to
attempt.  He did have world class driving at least. Ha ha.

Kris LaPoint was a very humble and hard working guest coach for a 5
time world record holder.  He was also Will Asher’s mentor.  Kris was
ripping up the water on different skis and is considering skiing some
pro 36 mph events this summer, as well as “Legends Events” with his
brother, Bob and Andy Mapple.

As I dropped off Kris LaPoint and Will Asher at the airport, I scooped
up Marcus Brown and a possee of eager skiers and fun folks!  Marcus
was a great coach and this group was the best of the year.  Now before
anyone’s feelings are hurt, please note that this group had an unfair
advantage.  Granddad arrived as a part of the group as well and I knew
it was going to be a great week.  I just didn’t know how great of a
week it was going to be.

Granddad (drum roll please) took his first ski ride in 7 years last
week! Talk about a PB!   After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s,
Granddad thought his skiing days were over.   It didn’t take much
(any) encouragement to convince him that he should try while he was
here where our drivers, Carlos and Coni can use their special Mexican
deep water start technique to get him up.  They got him up with no
problem and as Gordon pointed out “he could ski better than he could
walk.”  Now how many people can say that? It was magic.  I was
electric, the guests were totally pumped, as they stood and cheered
and screamed and I can only imagine how it must have felt to Granddad,
himself.   This event brought this collection of great folks together
and kicked off such an awesome group dynamic.

Before we knew it, Rob Sterne had us all producing a video.  It was a
full group collaboration and as soon as it is finished editing, I will
let you know how to access it on youtube.  I don’t even want to build
up the hype for this amazing feature film and would like it to speak
for itself.  I will say that if Mexico has an Independent Film
Festival, our video is going to have to enter.  The video further
brought the group together and by mid-week we were just one big
family.  There is also video of all of Granddad’s ski rides last week
thanks to Todd (Video 1).  I plan to figure out how to put this video
on and I will let you know when that is
done as well.  For now, the best I could do was attach some pictures
to this email.  Though I think all of the best photos will be on
Granddad’s disposable camera. I can’t wait to see what comes out.

It was sad to see these great new friends leave and I was beginning to
feel sad about having to say goodbye to Granddad, until I realized
that he should just say.  Once again, he didn’t take too much
persuading.  Granddad found his adventure bone (maybe it was in his
first ever tequila shot last week) and is loving life in paradise this
week as well!

At the moment, he is enjoying being asleep and I am jealous.  I will
have to join him, as we have some eager skiers (including Granddad),
who are ready for a great day tomorrow.  He is getting his training
sleep, as I will be soon.

While we are talking skiing, I would like to make a couple of other
quick notes.  Skier/Author/Speaker/Ski Dad, Dave Benzel is putting on
a free webinar (web seminar) on the subject of “To Push or Not to Push
– A Parents Dilemma.”  I do not know all of the material in this
webinar but I have read Benzel’s book “From Chump to Champ” and it was
right on the ball.  If this is a subject that you are interested in or
know somebody that would be, I have pasted the information on the
webinar below in this email.  The webinar is tomorrow night at 8pm

Also, The Virginia Junior Development meeting is to be held this
Saturday 2/26/2011.  This Jr Development program is possible the
greatest organization in the world.  It has certainly provided me with
some of my finest memories, both as a kid in the clinics and as a
coach.  If you would like to help out or if you would simply like to
know what Jr Development is all about and get your kids involved,
consider attending this meeting at Lake Anna, VA.  If you need more
info on this, please email me!

Well, that’s all the reflecting I get to do for tonight.  It’s almost
11pm here, which is way past my bedtime!  For those of you who are
reading this from a place where it’s bitter cold outside, keep
thinking warm thoughts.  Summer is getting closer everyday.  And if
you just can’t wait, paradise is only a plane ticket away.  I’ll also
end by saying that I really learned a deep message from Granddad’s ski
ride last week.  He lived from the ages of 73 to 80 with the reality
that he was never going to get to enjoy his favorite pass time again.
Then an incredible opportunity was thrown in front of him and because
he simply had the right attitude, a “miracle” happened and as Marcus
Brown proclaimed it “he shred the water at age 80.”  Being able to be
with Granddad for this experience was pure ecstasy and it reminded me
that nothing is impossible.  It was a FACT and a certainty that
Granddad would never ski again, and now it is a fact that he is going
to be shredding the waters of Bumpass this summer at the age of 81.
Rock on Granddad!

Buenos Noches y Hasta Luego,


P.S.  By verbal contract, I must mention Taylor and Maddie Miller in
all newsletter P.S.’s.  Congratulations to both for an outstanding
track season.  Maddie leaped loooong and Taylor vaulted hiiiiiigh to
help their school, St. Catherine’s  win the VA state championships.


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