Women’s Barefoot Week 2011 Highlights

The 2011 Women’s Barefoot Week started off with a rainy Halloween, but the gals got into the spirit donning some costumes. The boys, David Small, Keith St. Onge and Swampy joined in on the fun. The gals planned to barefoot in the costumes, but with the rain coming down, that idea was tossed out.   Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (Karen Putz) had painted red glitter shoes on her feet, cinching her for the “Best Halloween Costume.”

The gals came from all over– including Mandy Wood, who managed a 27 hour trip from Australia.  Judy Myers was recovering from knee surgery and after duct-taping her $1,400 brace, she went out and did  everything she could do before–including a long line back deep and back toe hold.  (Yeah, she’s baaaaack!)  Joann O’Connor employed the Patience, Persistence and Perseverance policy all week long as she worked on her back deep on a 15-foot line–she spurred the rest of us on!  “My new trick was learning to do one foot cut outs  on shoes– KSO had me doing them like a pro on my fused ankle!” said Joann. “I never even thought I could go one foot on that side, but the cutting angle works great. I can’t go straight on that foot but I will be able to learn one foot wakes!”

Claudia Landon worked on her back one foots with both feet.  Sharon Carlson was nursing a sore knee, but she joined Claudia in the quest for back one foots along with Mandy. “I’m very excited that I did back one- foot–I picked it up, and put it down three times in a row in one pass,” said Claudia.  “According to John MacDonald, the 82 year old from Texas whom we ski with in the summer– after you do a trick three times in a row, you own it!”

Debbie Fahrenthold was back on the water for the first time– five years after surgery for a brain tumor.  She tackled the water with gusto, first on shoes, then her feet, and even on one foot with shoes!  Carolyn Scott nailed her back deep on the short line and tackled some forward wakes.   Karen Putz accomplished her first back toe hold on shoes– and Keith introduced her to a couple of back-to-fronts on the last set (she still has to learn to ride them out.) Diane Schaupp was the youngest gal in the group. She worked on wakes– both forwards and backwards, and succeeded in a back one foot crossing on a shoe!

“The best part of women’s week was meeting some incredibly inspirational women,” said Diane. “All you ladies have had some difficulty that you’ve had to overcome in life. It would be easy to use a fused ankle or screws in the wrist or being deaf as an excuse to not get out there on the water–but instead, these difficulties are used as a reason to work harder and keep trying to accomplish new tricks.  For me, the two days I spent with you ladies was more than just about learning new tricks on the water… it was about an unexpected lesson in life… and one I’ll never forget.”

A special thanks to Women’s Barefoot Week sponsors:  Vibram5Fingers, Coconut Bliss, Badger Balm, and Popchips — it was a great week!

WOMENS WEEK 2011 from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.

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