Many people have said at one time or another, “I should write a book!” My family and I have always had weird luck, which in return makes great stories. After several incidences from traveling the country I found my parents and friends laughing at their debacle and saying, “We should write a book…we have the craziest things happen to us that would make a great story.” Well, after hearing that comment many times over, I always wanted to write a book about my life and the things I’ve experienced.
The only subject I could think about writing on was me. I have had great accomplishments in my life. I’ve traveled the world as a professional barefoot water skier and met people from all walks of life. I also made many bad decisions as a young man. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been blessed with a supportive family when I was younger but I fell off the wagon when it was time to step it up and make choices that could have brought better out comes. My career, health and business spiraled down hill. The only dream I had was nearly lost. In this book I wanted to share my life story so others would not make the same mistakes as I did or better yet, make the right decisions.
I’m a firm believer in learning “some” things the hard way but not “all” things.
My oldest cousin Matt contacted me out of the blue on day. He asked me if I would be interested in writing a book about myself. Of course I am, I thought to myself but I knew I would need help. We tackled the project but quickly realized this project was going to be more complex then writing a college paper. Both of us decided it would be too time consuming and bailed on the project before the first chapter was written.
I figured I would pick back up where we left off when I was ready as I really wanted to write a book. A deaf woman named Karen Putz visited my ski school. She saw a 66 year old women’s video of her barefoot water skiing on the Today Show. Judy Myers whom I taught for years worked for me at the ski school and Karen contacted her. Karen had not barefoot skied for twenty years and decided she would give it a go since she missed it so much. Karen got up on her feet on the first day and continued visiting the ski school. Karen asked me what my plans were in five years time. She is not the shy type as you can imagine but I said, “I would like to write a book and get into speaking in the next five years.”
Karen had her own blog and was an experienced writer but never wrote a book. She sent me an email asking me if I was willing to start the book again? I was excited to finish the book within a year but to my surprise it was worse than what my cousin and I figured it would be. This was a very time consuming project that took up all of our spare time and lasted two and a half years! Karen and I joke, if we knew it would’ve taken this long ahead of time we would have never followed through with it. It has been a long and tuff road.
So, after many late nights, early mornings and our spouses cursing us under their breath we have completed Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water. We have heard great stories how this book has helped many people understand particular situations in their lives. Karen told me the other day she started to cry after someone expressed their thankfulness in us writing the book. I asked Karen why she cried, “All the hard work and endless hours put into this is paying off and it feels so good knowing the book is helping others.”
One evening at the half way point of writing the book I looked at my wife and said, “If this book only helps one person, it will be worth it.” That became my priority and motivation. I pray this book continues to help others and I hope everyone will share what they have learned from my experiences.