Five years! I can’t believe it has already been five years. I guess when you love what you are doing, life just flies by. It seems like it was just the other day that I was graduating college and starting the Orlando Wakeboard Academy. It is incredible to think about the number of friends that we have made and all of the experiences that we have had over the past few years.
It has been full of unforgettable memories, which I will treasure for the rest of my life. There’s the obvious riding accomplishments, which are all hard to forget due to all of the excitement at that specific moment. But what about all of those peripheral moments? I’m talking about harassing crew teams, enormous fires, building pool gaps, giving camp haircuts (along with shaving off eyebrows), turning our office into a skatepark, etc. It was these spur-of-the-moment things that took my amazing “job” to a whole new level. The photo gallery below is just a small sampling of the past and is unable to fully capture the complete essence of everything that has gone on here...but, hopefully, you get the idea.
Of course, none of this would have happened without the remarkable people who have come through the camp. I don’t think that it is possible for me to fully express how appreciative I am to have these people in my life. These are people who knowingly or unknowingly have left a drastic impact on me and have helped mold me into the person that I am today. They are people that I consider friends and think about on a regular basis whether or not we are in constant communication. They have pulled me into their lives and I have embraced our differences as well as our similarities. These people are the reason I feel so fortunate to do what I do. Of course, they are not just my friends, but a representation of the wakeboard community as a whole and we should all feel privileged to be a part of such an incredible group.
With all of this being said, I can’t believe that at the end of this month, the camp will be put on a temporary hiatus. This is such a bittersweet situation for me. I’m walking away from something that I have literally put everything into and have succeeded with and I’m taking a leap in a new direction. Instead of operating a school in one specific area, I’ve decided to go mobile and attempt to coach my way around the world for the next year.
When I say “around the world,” that is exactly what I mean. I’ll be traveling and coaching in the States until July 10th and then it’s off to Europe for a couple months. From there I’m hoping to do Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South and Central America, and finally head back home. This is a massive undertaking on my part, but I feel like I’m at the perfect stage in my life to make this happen.
While on the road, I’m going to do my best to document my travels and give you all a more intricate look at wakeboarding throughout the world. As of right now, I have quite a few places lined up, but in order to keep myself busy for an entire year I could definitely use some more. This is something that I will continue to work on while on the road, but if you happen to know anybody who’s interested in having an experienced coach come out to work with them, their friends, families, etc., please let me know at OrlandoWakeAcademy.com.