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Old     (drumnwake420)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-14-2004, 6:49 PM Reply   
Hello all, I am a new member of this forum, although Iíve lurked here for months since I started researching this great sport. I saw a post a while ago where someone asked the question of whether or not she should quit riding. I would have posted my thoughts on this, but I was in the midst of a life crisis myself. Because I am truly thankful for what this wonderful sport has done for me, and because of what a wonderful community this is, I thought I would share my little story.

I was always pretty athletic when I was younger, but as I got older I did not lead the healthiest of all lifestyles. I smoked, I drank, I partied, I neglected my body. About 8 years ago, as a college football player, I remembered being at the peak of my physical shape, doing nothing everyday for the past 10 years of my life but working out and leading a healthy lifestyle. After a career ending injury, I decided to indulge in all the vices before which I had never dabbled in. I began smoking, drinking, partying, and really neglecting my diet (man, how can food so bad for you taste so good?). Not long after, I landed myself in rehab with a serious drug problem. Over the years, all those things added up, and combined with my hereditary problems of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and all around coronary disease, I had done more damage to my body then I had ever realized.

This was all well and good, and I probably would be doing the same things to this very day had not something happened that would set a ball rolling that drastically changed my lifestyle. About 8 months ago, my father passed away very suddenly of a heart attack at a very young age. All of the sudden, all these health problems that I had always thought I was immune to (I was young and indestructible!) began to show their signs. One day not long after my father had passed, I was at work when I felt suddenly very dizzy and passed out at my desk. Luckily for me, I work at a Heart Hospital and I was checked into the emergency room with a blood pressure of 210/160. It was this day that I realized that I was NOT as indestructible as I thought.

Over the next few months of seeing cardiologist after cardiologist, taking medication after medication (I believe I was taking about 16 different pills at one point for various medical problems) I began to realize how badly I had treated my body. The doctors were telling me that it was a wonder that I hadnít already suffered a stroke, and if nothing was done, one would come very soon. When I received the news that I was also a diabetic, it felt like the whole world was coming down on me. The doctor wouldnít let me do any strenuous exercise (going to a gym and not being able to lift weights really sucks), and I gained about 40 pounds. Because of the physical state of my body, the loss of my father, my highly stressful work environment, and other personal family problems, I suffered from severe depression and anxiety as well. What a mess!

Well it was obvious that I needed to do something, and do something quickly. I have been a snowboarder for a long time, and last summer I had gone to the lake a couple of times with my friends and got a chance to wakeboard. I remembered that I caught on to all the basics very quickly and I enjoyed the sport very much the 2 times I had tried it so I thought, why not pursue it? I went out in the middle of May to a local boat dealership and bought a boat on a whim. Unfortunately, I was very naÔve about boating and wakeboarding, so I was talked into buying a brand new í04 Glastron inboard/outboard that you can see in my profile (going to buy a wakeboard specific boat next summerÖ havenít decided between a Mastercraft or a Malibu, but thatís the topic of another thread). Put a tower on it and installed a custom stereo and dove into the sport headfirst (no pun intended!) If I couldnít work out at a gym, I would get my workout at the lake!

I became a serious junkie, going out everyday, any chance I got, rain or shine. My friends all thought I was going crazyÖ.. but I was addicted to the pulls! But this time, the addiction was one that wasnít too bad for me. In a period of 2 months, I lost over 45 pounds, my blood pressure is now normal (just did my daily check and rang in at 120/69), and I have my diabetes under complete control. I feel much better about myself and I was able to stop taking my depression and anxiety medication. I maintain a strict diet, stopped drinking, and cut down on my smoking.

The main point Iím getting at is that my total motivation for my whole lifestyle right now is WAKEBOARDING. The thought of getting out every afternoon for a few sets of riding, listening to good music, and watching the sunset on the water is what gets me through work everyday. When I pass up the cheeseburger and a beer at lunch and go for the salad, I think about how becoming healthier will make me ride better. I truly love this sport, and I read the message boards for this online community everyday, any free chance that I get. Iím sorry if this post has drawn on and on and if my story seems cheesy, but itís all true and I am definitely convinced that wakeboarding has indeed saved my life. Thanks for letting me share.

Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       07-14-2004, 7:18 PM Reply   
Welcome Joe. Cool story man. I'm glad to hear you turned your life around. I can't say I've had as many hard times as you, but like you, Wakeboarding motivates me. Most of the people on this board indulge in wakeboarding for the same reasons as you. Sunsets on the water, hangin with friends, good music, and most of all, the wakeboarding.

This is also a great place to meet new friends. I have a 1/2 dozen new friends I hang and ride with thanks to this site.

Good luck.
Old    walt            07-14-2004, 7:39 PM Reply   
Joe, I'm glad to hear You landed on Your feet and Welcome aboard ! You might find that WakeWorld is almost as addictive as wakeboarding.
Old    shanny            07-14-2004, 8:27 PM Reply   
I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your father. but I think its gr8 that you and wakeboarding changed your life. I love wakeboarding and I wouldnt give it up for anything.
I litterally live to wakeboard and wakeboard to live
Old    essy            07-14-2004, 8:38 PM Reply   
Welcome to the board, Joe! just the salad for lunch bit makes me wanna good to your body doesn't mean to starve yourself. it's more important to maintain a balanced diet, esp being in a strenous sport like wakeboarding. Stay cool and wake hard dude!
Old     (malibuboarder75)      Join Date: Jan 2004       07-14-2004, 8:51 PM Reply   
awesome joe...i struggled with a weight problem myself until i learned about proper eating habits. I was 240lbs on the football team at age 16. I quit football and decided something had to change. I excercise everday and eat healthy. I am now 165lbs. My wakeboarding has increased tremendously. The reason I wanted to lose weight is to wakeboard better. Wakeboarding is more then a hobby, it is a lifestyle that gives everyone something exciting and healthy to do. Keep it up. Its one of the best things to do...go out on the boat and ride with friends all day and just improve.
Old     (bill)      Join Date: Feb 2001       07-15-2004, 5:58 AM Reply   
thats awesome man ,pretty inspiring and uplifting story...keep up the good work..

welcome ..............
Old     (wakeguru)      Join Date: Feb 2003       07-15-2004, 6:21 AM Reply   
That's a killer story, Joe. Keep riding and stay strong.
As Dane (WakeWorld regular) would say; "your life is your biggest depreciating asset".
BTW, that's a good looking boat you've got - the graphics on the side are sweet.
Old     (mango)      Join Date: Mar 2004       07-15-2004, 6:40 AM Reply   
Wow, nice turn a round, Sorry to hear about your father though but Keep wakeboarding and staying healthy. I've got a '02 Glastron...hopefully buying a 2005 malibu next year.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-15-2004, 6:44 AM Reply   
Joe, from your story it's obvious that you are lucky to have found wakeboarding. I've been an avid skier for 25 years and picked up on wakeboarding in the 90's. OWC (the cable in Orlando) has been a real help to me in my personal life. A couple years ago my ex filed for divorce at the same time a company I worked for ran out of money and stopped paying everyone. The divorce was emotionally difficult because my ex tried every dirty trick in the book to get me out of the home and get our kids and all of our assets.

I started wakeboarding every day at OWC and the stress relief allowed me to maintain my cool and let my ex burn herself out. In the end it turned out that I kept the home, custody of my two daughters, and avoided a financial disaster.

While it may not be obvious to others that OWC and wakeboarding played such an important role, it is to me. I'm sure that things wouldn't have gone nearly as well in the divorce if I didn't have that stress relief that allowed me to keep a clear head, even keel, and play the divorce game smart.

I look forward to wakeboarding every weekend. And every evening after work when I'm not too sore to ride or the Florida weather isn't acting up.
Old     (drumnwake420)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-15-2004, 11:29 AM Reply   
Thanks for the welcome guys...

Walt and J-rod: Yeah, I've been addicted to this site ever since i came across it months ago... hell it's even my home page when i open up my explorer... my girlfriend thinks i'm a freak cuz I read it every night lying in bed before i go to sleep! J-rod, i'd love to make friends from this board... any okies out there?

Essy: Was just using the salad as a point... i am on a strict diabetics diet made for me by my nutritionist that stresses total balance... i eat the same number of carb grams each meal and each snack... it has worked incredibly and the diet really doesn't suck all that bad... i still eat what i like to eat, i just watch my portions.

David: Thanks for the compliment on the boat.. some friends of mine work at a graphics shop and they do some nice work... just told them that i didn't want my boat to look like everyone else's, gave them design ideas, and i'm happy with the outcome... simple, looks clean.

Mango: Hopefully I will be buying that '05 bu next year too!! I've been hanging out at the malibu dealership here trying to build a relationship and educate myself before i make my new boat purchase at the annual boat show.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       07-15-2004, 11:51 AM Reply   
Try creating a thread for "any okies out there?"
People will usually respond.

You can also try the "Find a third" section
Old     (goth2o)      Join Date: Sep 2003       07-16-2004, 2:09 AM Reply   
I am actually moving from Cali to OKC, well actually Norman, in Sept. I wanna live near DirtyBird. MayBe we can hook up. What lakes do you ride?
Old     (bigdad)      Join Date: Apr 2002       07-16-2004, 7:01 AM Reply   
Hey Joe,
Congrats on your accomplishments. It is something to be proud of but what is up with your user name... "420"
Old     (drumnwake420)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-16-2004, 7:58 AM Reply   
Gary: Are you going to school at OU? I usually go to lake Stanley Draper during the week, and on weekends I try to get to as many lakes as possible in Oklahoma like Eufaula, Tenkiller, Murray, Texoma etc. We have a house at lake Eufaula (will be going to Southern Plains Festival on Aug 6-9th). If we want a closer ride, we usually hit up Keystone in Tulsa because it's not too far to drive, and even though the water isn't the cleanest, you can always find great water to ride on at that lake. I don't really get to DirtyBird much because I had a bad experience with a "floater" a couple years ago.... but peeps have told me it's not all that bad anymore...

A.P.: It's just been part of my all my usernames for years.... hell the name of my boat is the Wake N Bake.... Most of my closest friends do smoke, although I don't do it much anymore, I don't have any qualms against it, nor do I make any judgements against those that do... and they don't judge me either when I pass it up... Given my past stance on the subject, it would be pretty hypocritical of me. I hope that makes some sort of sense...


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