Ariana Koehler: Don’t Kick Rocks

I have been very fortunate to have never had any serious injuries, even after all the years of waterskiing and barefooting (knock on wood).  I have never broken a bone in my body and have kept myself pretty healthy.  There is only one major setback that I can remember and it kept me out of commission for a few weeks.  It was a silly injury and sometimes I wish I had a better story to tell, but what had happened was I kicked a rock in the water.  I was getting up on the dock and kicked a rock that had zebra muscles on it and it sliced the bottom of my foot right open.  Every barefooter cringes at the news of a foot injury, especially one to the bottom of the foot.  In this sport our feet are a tad important to say the least.  When I looked at my foot and saw the blood I was in tears, but it was not because of the pain.  What I was upset about was that Barefoot Nationals were just a few weeks away and I needed to train.

I was quickly brought to the hospital where they told me I needed stitches.  That was my first time ever being in a hospital as a patient and I hope it was my last.  The stitches certainly didn’t make my life easy, as I had to stay off my feet as much as possible.  For someone who is always active and used to being on her feet, this was not easy for me.  Fortunately, the stitches were taken out just in time for nationals, but the cut was still open.  For barefooters who have ever cut the bottom of their foot, they know that there is nothing that a little superglue and Newskin can’t fix!

I was very fortunate to be able to ski at nationals, even though I may not have gotten in as much training as I had wanted to.  This injury was quite the set back for me, but I am thankful because I know that it could always be worse.  Not being able to ski for just a few weeks, out of all the years I have been skiing, isn’t too bad in my eyes.  I thank God everyday for keeping His arms around me and being there for me not only every time I go out on the water, but everyday of my life.

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