A mission to report the progress of a group of athletes venturing into uncharted waters of adaptive water skiing has rapidly become a smorgasbord of positivity with days blending into each other and greasy grins easing the team into sleep each night. This is a work trip for some, an opportunity to grow and discover new found abilities for others and a barrel of laughs for the natives, yet the lines have been blurred and the High Fives Foundation is proud to report that the Mississippi adaptive water skiing trip to Unlimited Skiing has produced a strong bond with a new set of friends.
Days 3 & 4 in Brandon, Mississippi have been a blast! Each morning begins with a cacophony of sounds akin to a dorm room in our Wildwood – Salem Travel Trailer and the excitement to begin each day is contagious. Evol burritos and Red Bull are consumed with haste like a child waiting to unwrap a new present. Despite the excitement, everyone on this trip has their own respective pace in getting ready to go water skiing as life-altering injuries make the even the most routine activities for most a tedious practice in patience. However make no mistake, once on the dock the fire in their eyes is impressive and game time begins.
The drive and determination in each athlete (Landon McGauley, Phil Hoban, Steve Wallace along with Roy Tuscany, Mark Urich, and Alana Nichols) is evident. Slams and crashes are no deterrent for this team of adaptive superstars…
Alana has moved from simply cruising to tricking with “wake backs” and “wake fronts” (180 degree rotations over the wake). Landon progresses each time on the water, now having skied both a trick ski and jump ski, with big air in the forecast for tomorrow. Roy has mastered independent starts with a standard water ski handle and is learning the slalom course. Mark is absolutely incredible to watch; he has moved to a standard water ski and handle and can now ski with his powerful leg behind anyone’s boat. Steve has also achieved standard water ski handle mastery and continues to improve. Phil is figuring out a sport he used to know well and the subtleties of the muscle memory he has within are coming back in a hurry – regardless of the difficulties of overcoming an injury that is masked by a remarkable recovery.
The world is your oyster and in this case, your Brandon, Mississippi.
Mississippi hospitality has eased sore muscles…huge thanks to Bret Dunnaway (Regional Sales Manager – US Food Service) for the donated dinners each night! From Jambalaya to a whole smoked pig with baked beans and a perfect potato salad, evenings have been a southern cuisine dream.
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