Living the dream, Chapter 1: The Big Dawgbacle
Gonna kick off a sub-series of blog posts, with no consistent timing nor reason amongst the lot of them: "Living The Dream". Just a series of posts, aiming to do nothing more than shed some light on the life, existence and purpose of a pro water skier. My goal with "The Word" is to give people entertaining things to read, provocative ideas to mentally chew on....and maybe a few challenges to help folks find a new perspective on something. Well, this is a prologue to my response.... to a challenge that seems to have surfaced without much effort. I will do my best to keep this positive, because nowhere in the words "entertaining", "provocative" or "challenging" is there any sense of inherent negativity. I'll try hard to keep The Word within those boundaries. The challenge, or attack I could say, is on the very idea of a professional athlete within the world of water skiing. Wanna know how it came about? TWITTER! Can you believe that? The work flow went something like this:
- I'm driving to lunch one day, on my lunch break from a REAL JOB (that could have some significance next month, or whenever I have time to get to "Living The Dream, Chapter 2"), and I see a Twitter post regarding something called the Big Dawg World Tour*
- *the Big Dawg Series of water ski competitions, for folks who aren't tournament skiers, is a 35 yr old+ series (think masters) of semi-self funded tournaments in which a bunch of decently well-off folks with the passion and desire to train hard enough to be pretty damn good, travel around the country (or World) and compete. Sounds harmless enough, right? Hell, my brother even skis in the thing, so believe me when I say I see value in the Big Dawg World Tour. But more on that later....
- So without much thought, other than the few electrical impulses it takes to recall some earlier conclusion stored deep in the center of my brain...I started writing a tweet. Pretty much exactly the same manner in which all tweets start...without a whole lot of thought. AND, I remember the moment before I posted it...my finger hovered over the button...the traffic light turned green...and I had a tiny feeling that I might tick someone off....and then I thought "tough shit" and I hit post. I had good reason for what I posted...and it wasn't some self-centered, greedy reason seated in a sense of entitlement and laziness. Unfortunately that's what folks thought...and apparently I pissed off more than a few people.
- The Tweet: “Hate to say it but @SkiBigDawg World Tour cld B really bad fr Pro Skiing. Sport isn't big enough 2 support 2 sets of pros.”
- Better than anyone else in the world, at what they do
- Have good style (in the arena AND in front of the camera)
- They Inspire EVERYONE! Young, but ESPECIALLY old people (are you kidding me?...this is Golf and Cycling we are talking about,..old people everywhere) are driven to the fairways and highways in record numbers to find their own sense of accomplishment and release....their own piece of "the moment". Simply because someone was able to reach all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, piercing thunderstorms and blurring country borders, to find us in our homes or man caves and grab us through the TV screen, by the throat, with a squeeze that said "HEY, you ain't getting any younger....look at what is possible....now what the hell are you waiting for?"....all without ever taking his hands off the wet, cold, blood and sweat-drenched bars of his road bike. Now that's powerful.
- A Normal Life....with a normal job, and a normal routine in a normal neighborhood.