Lizzie Rhea: Girls Can Jump!

I have always tried very hard to do whatever my big brother does, and catching up with him has always been my goal, especially in barefooting. When he learned to jump last year, I wanted to learn too, but I was scared to ask. Then, when we were at the WBC in December, David Small told me that it was time for me to learn to jump.

I was very surprised and also nervous about it, but he was so encouraging. He started me off on the boom, then moved me to a 3 foot rope, and then a 5 foot rope. The next day he moved me to the 10 foot rope. After a few turns he said, “Are you ready to go behind the boat?” I said, “ I don’t know!” Then David said, “That was a rhetorical question! You are going behind the boat!” I was scared at first, but then I realized that if he told me I was ready, then there was nothing to be scared about. I actually landed my first two longline jumps and it felt awesome!

After I was done, my parents came and they were very surprised that I had jumped longline. My Mom asked David, “What made you decide to teach her to jump already?” David said, “She can do anything she wants to do!” I think that was one of the most inspiring things I have ever heard!

I just met a really nice lady in Australia named Deb Williams. She competed in junior girls barefooting in the 1970’s. She told me that when she wanted to jump, they would not let girls do it yet. She was actually told by an official that she could not jump because she was a girl. She got together with her friends, and pressured the officials to let girls jump. I think she told me that she was like the 4th girl ever to jump in a tournament. I thought that was so cool, and my Mom told me that I should be very thankful that they paved the way for girls to jump.

I am so glad that I got to meet Deb Williams, and hear about the history of girls jumping in barefooting (She even took the picture of me jumping during practice time). It makes me very thankful to have such an encouraging instructor like David Small, who says that I can do anything I want to do! It is also awesome to watch girls like Ashleigh Stebbeings and Georgia Groen jump better than most of the boys!

Lizzie Rhea

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One Response to “Lizzie Rhea: Girls Can Jump!”

  1. Deb williams says:

    Hey Lizzie
    That’s a fantastic blog
    It was so lovely meeting you in Aus
    I look forward to following your barefooting career
    You are an awesome young lady and deserve lots of success
    Keep on footin

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