Great Barrier Reef

April 22, 2014 — Leave a comment

I have always wanted to visit the Great Barrier Reef and finally had the opportunity while doing a Barefoot WaterSki clinic in Cairns, Australia.

My wife and I decided to take a few days off and go snorkeling on the boat called, Reef Magic. We were both disappointed we didn’t have our scuba diving license. We promised if we ever made it back out we would get certified.

The reef was as magical as everybody says it is. The different species of fish and the array of hundreds of colors were amazing!

Here are a few pictures of us and the most wonderful fish they call Wally.

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My wife made fun of me because I wanted to get married on the beach with a sunset in the back ground. I figured she would also love it but she would’ve preferred getting married on a vineyard on the West Coast.

Either way, the point I want to bring up is how sunsets make people think about life. We gravitate and flock towards them like seagulls on the beach.

When I see gorgeous sunsets I have fun and weird thoughts like: Why are we here on earth? How can I be so lucky to witness this? The beauty makes me wonder how people could think this magnificent sky decorated with hundreds of colors was caused by a “Big Bang?” I’m sure many other people have thoughts similar but to be honest sunsets never gets old to me.

Memories are made & thought of with sunsets in the back ground. They are most likely the most photographed thing in the world! My wedding pictures had the sunset in the background.

Sunsets slow time down and allow us to live within the moment. It let’s us appreciate the beauty this world has to offer us. We can relax at the end of the day and take a moment to breath at the end of a busy day. More importantly, sunsets allow me to appreciate this awesome world and gift we have. That GIFT is what I call life. It’s not to be taken for granted and the people that do take it for granted don’t appreciate the little things that make life so wonderful.

By: Keith St.Onge

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Tommie Copper

December 29, 2013 — Leave a comment

 

Tommie Coper

Tommie Copper

One of my students (Karen Putz) at the World Barefoot Center that co-authored Gliding Soles and became a good friend of mine came across a water skiing video while flipping channels one morning. She caught the words, “Water Skiing Accident.”  It was a story about Tom Kallish (owner of Tommie Copper) hitting a large submerged log just under the surface of the water while water skiing on a lake.

He was injured quite badly from the impact and his knees were most effected.  Tom had been doing some research on health benefits from copper.  He knew of a company that could infuse copper into yarn and it instantly sparked an idea.  He had the copper infused in the yarn and made a few knee sleeves that he would wear when going to bed.  This seemed to help his recovery and he decided to make a few compression wear items with the copper infused into the yarn/material and Tommie Copper was established.

Karen tore her ACL and immediately ordered a knee sleeve to quicken her recovery.  After wearing the sleeve most of her pain and aches went away.  She then explained Tommie Copper wanted to come down to the ski school and do a story on her.  I was blown away at the opportunity and then told Karen about my tennis elbow I was suffering from for several months.  She contacted Tommie Copper and they immediately sent me a few elbow sleeves down to try.

Tommie Copper woman's knee sleeve

Tommie Copper woman’s knee sleeve

To be honest I was skeptical about the product.  I thought it was a good idea to infuse copper into the compression wear but didn’t think it could make a difference.  I did however own and wear a magnet bracelet my mom gave to me and I did experience benefits from it.  Here is a funny story about how I know.

When I wear the magnet bracelet and have a few glasses of wine I don’t feel it much.  If I get up and walk around I also have good balance and don’t feel the alcohol.  If I have a few glasses of wine without the bracelet on I instantly feel a buzz and when walking around my balance isn’t nearly as good as, if I had the bracelet on.  Everyone will react slightly different but it’s good proof to me it works.

Tommie Copper Mens Elbow Sleeve

Tommie Copper Mens Elbow Sleeve

I began sleeping with the elbow sleeve on at night.  The first morning I woke up my elbow wasn’t stiff and achy.  It wasn’t healed by no means, but I had relief and that was enough to sell me on the product.  When I’m in pain every morning, a little relief can go a long way!  I kept massaging my arm everyday and all day as I was doing that before the elbow sleeve came in.  I kept wearing the sleeve and the stiffness in the morning never came back.  If I didn’t wear the sleeve, my elbow would be stiff in the morning.

After that I tried the knee sleeve as my left knee was sore once in a while and it also helped the ache go away.  I moved onto wearing the shirt when my back was stiff, the compression shorts when my hips were stiff and so on.  Being a professional barefoot water skier at the age of 36 can take a toll on your body!  I practically live in Tommie Copper wear and I guess I can say, “I am Tommie Copper.”

I was fortunate to meet Tommie Kallish when he came down to the ski school this past spring.  He loves hearing stories on how his product helps others, but what stuck out to me was his generosity to the people around him.  He is genuine and it shows in his personality.

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Gliding Soles Keith St.Onge with Karen Putz

Gliding Soles
Keith St.Onge with Karen Putz

To be honest, my first book signing was nerve racking.  I have competed in National and World Championships before, but this was different.  I guess it was fear of the unknown.  Would one person show up or would there be many?  Stepping into a new world of being an author while doing book signings was different than standing on the dock preparing to barefoot water ski.  One thing I knew for sure, my intentions were to help others and I was confident my book, Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water, would do just that.

L-R, Kendra (sister), Lauren (wife), Mother & Father. Thank you for your loving support!

L-R, Kendra (sister), Lauren (wife), Mother & Father. Thank you for your loving support!

My first signing was at the local bookstore in Berlin, NH hosted by SaVoir Flare.  We started at 3 p.m. and nobody showed up.  I had several books set up with my Sharpie in hand.  A few costumers rolled through the store– not knowing I was doing a book signing and bought a book.  Shortly after that, around 3:15 p.m., faces I hadn’t seen in years began coming through the door.  I had teachers that followed my career since they had me in school buy the book.  It was great catching up with everyone and I thank them for their support.

I was ecstatic by the end of the night.  I had only five books left out of many and the bookstore bought them to resell.  I walked away with an empty box and a full heart after rekindling relationships with friends and teachers.

My favorite teacher Mrs. Provencher & I.

My favorite teacher Mrs. Provencher & I.

The next day, I had a book signing between 2-4 p.m. in Gorham, NH at the White Mountain Cafe & Bookstore.  I was nervous again, but since the response in Berlin was so positive, my spirit and attitude were kept high.  I had a few more teachers visit the store to purchase books. I never realized how many teachers followed my career.

High school teacher Mr. Stever and I.

High school teacher Mr. Stever and I.

 

I was speaking to one of my past teachers, Mr. Stever and he shared a story with me.  For one of my projects in his class I had to do an oral presentation.  I chose to speak about barefoot water ski jumping.  I had to be precise on how I jumped and landed.  He then explained that he had been using my presentation as an example for his classes the past seventeen years.  I was blown away.  He also showed me a pin I left for him after using it for the project.

Enjoying the moment while seeing my book on the shelf!!

Enjoying the moment while seeing my book on the shelf!!

Like all authors, I hope my book can climb the ranks and be a part of the Bestsellers list someday.  That is no easy task, but for now I have been enjoying the wonderful comments people are sharing with me personally and under the customer reviews on Amazon.  If you are reading this and have read my book, I would welcome a review.  It would be appreciated by me and others who may be thinking about buying the book.

It would be a dream come true if my book made it to the Best Sellers list one day.

It would be a dream come true if my book made it to the Best Sellers list one day.

I would like to thank everyone who made my first book signings a success and I sincerely hope you enjoy the book.  There are great life lessons we can all use, as we never stop learning.

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Keith St.Onge as a teenager at Lake Umbagog in New Hampshire

Keith St.Onge as a teenager at Lake Umbagog in Northern New Hampshire

 

Passion can burn deep down inside. I remember falling while I was training on the water as a teen. I began to cry. I tried to stop myself from crying before the boat came back to pick me up, but they asked why I was crying.

I could not answer. I just knew the passion deep down inside of me was like a ball of fire. I had failed to do the trick and paid the price in a fall, but I would not give up until I mastered it.

“Passion is when you cry from failure and have no idea why, but you will do anything to figure it out and succeed.”

22 years later, Keith St.Onge is keeping the passion alive!

22 years later, Keith St.Onge is keeping the passion alive!

For a long time, passion pushed me above and beyond. It’s 22 years later and I sometimes wonder where that old passion lies?  As the years pass by I continue to dig deeper and deeper to keep the passion alive.  At times we get complacent with where we’re at.  It’s not that I don’t have the passion anymore but everything needs a little rebirth at times.  I used to say, “Ron Scarpa has been barefoot water skiing longer than I’ve been alive.”  It’s now my turn to hear that from the younger skiers and I sit in disbelief.

I remind myself of my first dreams I had, wanting to be a professional barefoot water skier and owning a barefoot ski school in Florida.  All of that can be taken away in a second and someday it will vanish.  The old memories and titles will be there forever but being able to physically compete at the highest level will some day be gone.  I need to push myself more than ever so I can finish my career off strong.  Nobody ever told me it would only get harder as time went on but it does.

The reality of it is, finish strong knowing you put everything into it so, there won’t be any regrets.  I’ve learned a few valuable lessons while being around my partner David Small.  Don’t sweat the small stuff and live in the moment.  Learning and living like this is a much easier way to not have regrets.  Regrets are decisions made that you will not be happy with later in life.  Living in the moment is just that…the moment…do what makes you happy and understand that they’ll be more great things to come instead of thinking about the things that have passed.

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Ben Groen from the World Barefoot Center produced a new video capturing some fun on the water and a bit about me:

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“Launching your first book is kind of like giving birth to your first child,” Dave Ramsey said to me after Gliding Soles went to print. After two and a half years of writing this book, it feels good to finally give birth to it!

Here’s what Dave has to say about the book:

“I have been a barefoot water skier since age 16. I never learned the right way to do thing, so I got Keith St. Onge to spend a week with me, my son, and some guys to show us how it’s done and teach us some tricks. As my family and I spent some time with Keith, getting to know him on and off the water, what really impressed me more than anything was this guy’s character, his integrity, and his relentless determination to succeed. I learned a lot from him and you will too. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to win in life.”

Karen Putz and I shared the book with several people to get some early feedback. We were literally blown away by some of the reviews:

Gliding Soles Reviews

The whole process of writing and launching a book was a lot more than we could have imagined when we started this project two and half years ago. We are also launching this with some sadness at the passing of Zig Ziglar, a man whose life lessons have impacted many. We have the honor of having his son, Tom Ziglar, endorse Gliding Soles. For all the struggles we’ve had due to our lack of experience in writing a book, it brings to mind one of Zig’s quotes:

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly–until you can learn to do it well.”

This has definitely been a learning process and we’re still learning as we go. If you’ve read Gliding Soles, I would love your feedback either via email at glidingsoles@gmail.com or as a review on Amazon.

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Gliding Soles on Amazon

Gliding Soles Digital Copy

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Celebrating the release of Gliding Soles with Karen Putz