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The Past 30 Hours

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And now for an ordered list (because I’m curious of what number I’ll reach) of what has occurred in Billy’s life over the past 30 hours at my dream job:

  1. Bailed water out of a sunken boat and got it on a boat lift for the remainder of the storm.
  2. Went home teaching. (It’s a Mormon thing, basically, visited some people.)
  3. Got up early to tend to said sunken boat and inform the boat owner of what had happened. (The length of this sentence takes away from the un-awesomeness of this one.)
  4. Organized some liability release forms so our campers could go into Orlando and ride at the cable park. (Work which should have been done by our un-awesome office manager.)
  5. Figured out a way to repair another boat which had overheated and melted some plastic joints involved in running the engine. (The overheating happened more like 54 hours ago, hence not in the list). This process included three trips to Ace Hardware.
  6. Replaced the melted plastic parts of second said (how do you say that properly?) boat and began to troubleshoot original overheating problem.
  7. Ate a sandwich while waiting for a call from the boat shop, it was delicious.
  8. Answered some emails and voice mails which were neglected by aforementioned office manager, who is on a 5 day vacation…a vacation which was made known to the camp owner and staff on day one of the vacation…yeah, not awesome.
  9. More boat work, came to a point where more parts were needed, will resume that tomorrow when the parts arrive.
  10. Helped Ben move his repaired couch back into his house.
  11. Finished cleaning up the now un-sunk boat and put its seats, lead (to make the wake big), and fat sacs (same idea here) away nicely.
  12. Got in a functioning boat with Ben and many campers and went wakeboarding…back to really awesome!
  13. Put that boat away.
  14. Looked for my shirt and sandals in the dark, since I was down to just shorts at this point.
  15. Sat and talked with a couple Kiwi (from New Zealand) coaches, venting a bit about the day, having some good laughs.
  16. Came home, sat down at my computer, hit some keys.

Lots of un-awesomeness, but ended in awesome, yay! If you’re wondering, I found the sandals, not the shirt.

Death Almost Happened

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So on Friday, we were out on the boat to watch Mr. Ben Greenwood ride. We had a whole lot of weight in the boat, so it was having trouble getting up on plane. I jumped up into the bow of the boat and, with another guy up there, got as far forward as I could. I ended up sitting right on the tip of the bow when all of a sudden I began to lose my balance…the wrong way. I’m not sure exactly my thought process at the time, but I think my survival instinct kicked in and I believe I shoved with what I could against the boat. I did this as I was falling into the water so I wouldn’t be in line with the boat’s propeller.

So I went down in the water and (again, not sure if I’m telling the truth, but I think it’s what happened) I gave a quick paddle away from the boat on the port side. After a few seconds had passed, I knew I was safe, and popped my head out of the water.

I was wearing Ben’s sunglasses before I fell in, and wasn’t wearing them when I emerged from the water. The boat had stopped, so I was halfway between the boat and Ben. I immediately began apologizing for losing his glasses. He shouted “I don’t care about the glasses. What about you? Are you missing any arms or legs? Are you bleeding?”

It wasn’t until then that I really realized the danger in which I had just put myself. I kind of laughed and said that I was totally fine. I got back in and after the water calmed down (some huge boat was joy riding), he had a great ride.

So the moral of the story is: Don’t be stupid like me!

Luckily I had a very smart and aware driver who continued to go straight when I fell in the water. He said he didn’t want to turn either way because the boat’s behavior when you turn the wheel is unpredictable enough to make that dangerous. He did the smart thing by going straight and backing off the throttle after he had passed by me. Good times!

Just Another Day in Paradise

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Yesterday was a great day. We’ve just got one student here at the camp this week, Ed from Sweden. It’s pretty laid back with just one fellow here. In the morning, after dropping the boat in at the ramp, I saw a tall white bird (I still don’t know what they are, I should find that out, some kind of crane or something) was trying to snag a lizard off of a palm tree. I watched it from about 15 feet away for a while. It was cool, its head didn’t move at all while it was creeping up in its would be victim. The bird’s neck was a good 18 inches long and it was swaying this way and that, but the head was perfectly still, weird stuff. He ended up giving up, that was too bad.

Then I rode in the afternoon. The other day I spent some time working on one wake stuff to reclaim some moves I’ve lost. So yesterday I went ahead and landed 2 of the 3 moves on the first try wake to wake. They were a HS BS 360 and a TS Backroll. Nice and easy. I couldn’t get my switch HS BS 3, but that’ll come. I may work on getting my TS 5 back first, since it has the same rotation in it. We’ll see.

The day ended with some tasty lasagna and then I popped in Ninja Gaiden Black that I just bought off of ebay. It’s an old XBox game that I was hooked on before, but now it’s upgraded and I’m super excited about it. So yeah, life’s pretty good right now! I should probably work on getting me a good woman now…and a dollar or two.

Wakeboarding Update

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I haven’t really posted just about wakeboarding since the move, so here we go. It’s awesome. I ride at least a few times a week. It would be more, but since it’s the dead of winter, some of the days are a bit chilly and windy, so we wait a day or two and ride in the warmth again. The Florida winter is warm most of the time with just a few cold days in a row.

[Wakeboard lingo warning] My riding has improved since coming down here. I’ve got my switch toeside threes consistent now, even grabbing some of them. My moves I had dialed this summer are still there for me real consistent, and now I am working on getting some of my old moves back. Next week I plan on getting my heelside front flip back, then some of my threes. Namely, heelside backside, switch heelside frontside and backside. I’ll probably do some toeside fives too, since I haven’t done any of those in over a year. I think I can land it within two or three tries.

The people I ride with are all great. The coaches all spin to win. Most sets consist of a lot of grabs, 180s, 360s, and some 540s, most of them grabbed and poked. Then they all have that one or two inverts that they like to throw in there. One rider who lives about two minutes away is Ben Greenwood. He is still a coach here, but doesn’t coach unless he’s been requested or we need another coach for some reason. The reason behind that is that he was the rider of the year recently, and he stays busy enough keeping sponsors happy to make decent money from that. I get to ride with him regularly too, which is awesome. If watching him ride doesn’t inspire somebody, they can’t get inspired.

So with that, here’s a little clip of Mr. Ben Greenwood, so you can see what I get to see on a regular basis, in person. Oh, and the song is Destroy Everything You Touch by Ladytron, whom I dig.

Life’s Panic Moments

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Yesterday I got the wind knocked out of me. It was no big deal, I didn’t think much about it for the rest of the day. Today my back is a little sore from the wakeboard wreck that made me lose my breath for a bit. That got me thinking about some stuff hardly blog-worthy, which is exactly why I’m blogging about it!

As a wakeboarder, I get the wind knocked out of me from time to time. It’s kind of funny when it happens whilst floating in the water. Usually after a hard wreck, I struggle to get my mouth to where I can breath in some air, because I have just exhaled most of it upon impact. When I can’t breath when I get to that point, it’s a pretty unique feeling I suppose. I’m used to it now and just wait it out, but I imagine there are people who can’t remember the last time they had their wind knocked out. I love that phrase. It’s the only time our breath is referred to as wind, neat.

Anyway, I bet most people won’t get the wind knocked out of them 5 times their whole lives. Something I’ve only done once that I remember though, is falling down a flight of stairs. That’s another panic inducing moment. It’s one of the worst feelings because it lasts for what seems to be a very long time, and you feel like you should be able to stop yourself with each bounce, but just can’t stop until eventually you land on the floor. At that moment, your brain catches up to your body and you realize what just happened and wait for the pain to set in.

There’s no real point to this post I guess. I think I just realized that my panic level got much lower with getting my wind knocked out because of the frequency with which it happens. I wonder if other panic situations are similar in that aspect.

Neat, I just found an explanation of what happens when the wind is knocked out of a person. And as we know from Michael Scott, anybody who wants can edit Wikipedia, so we know we are getting the best possible information:
Having the wind knocked out of you.

What the Florida?

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I just got offered my dream job, woo! How much money does my dream job offer? Not much at all! Neat! So what is it? Coaching at The Wakeboard Camp in Clermont, FL. Freaking sweet.

Most people who know me don’t need to ask why it’s my dream job. But I’ll ramble on about it anyway because I’m as giddy as a school girl about it. For the past decade or so, I’ve been addicted to wakeboarding. I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of the pro riders who show up in videos and magazines. I’ve met Tony Finn, the inventor of the Skurfer, the original wakeboard. I’ve seen some pretty sweet things and been to some cool places because of wakeboarding. But with all of that, I’ve just kind of been a lurker around the wakeboard world. Most of these events have been for a day or two, then it’s back to normal life.

So now, I have a chance to live inside of the wakeboard world. I’ll explain. Wakeboarding was invented in California, and has spread world wide. People everywhere ride. But the Mecca (if you will) of the sport is Florida. And not just Florida, but more central Florida, around Orlando. And not just central Florida, but namely, Clermont, Florida. That’s because The Wakeboard Camp is in Clermont. It’s been there since 1996 and has been the starting place for many pro riders like Dallas Friday and Aaron Reed, to name two. Many top pro riders live right around the camp and stop by often to ride there and dial in some of their more difficult moves.

Many videos have been, and still are, filmed on Lake Minneola, where the camp property sits. New products are shipped there for testing and reviews. It’s THE hot spot in the wakeboarding world. And I’m planning on becoming a broke board bum who resides right there in the thick of it!

Now, the pay I’ll get to start off isn’t even worth mentioning. I’ll probably have to get a job in the evenings to even make a buck or two, but it will be well worth it. My riding will be all paid for, and with top riders from all over. This isn’t just getting my foot inside the door of the wakeboard world, this is diving in head first. I can’t wait!

Update: I just saw this awesome site linked to from the main Wakeboard Camp site: Why One Camp is Better. See, they have the best coaches, that means I’m one of them! Jolly good fun!

Dallas Friday Talks About Her Broken Femur

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A couple months back the most dominant female wakeboarder over the past few years, Dallas Friday, broke her femur on a whirlybird attempt. I was wondering how she wrecked so bad on a move she can do very easily. Turns out she was trying it while missing a fin, and when it went bad, it went really bad.

This is my first story I’ve read on somebody with a broken femur, sounds pretty bad. And to make matters worse, fluid started entering her lungs which put her in ICU for a couple weeks. Tough results for one bad move on the water.

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