Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Shafer from the TV show, Growing Bolder, which is broadcast on PBS stations nationwide. Bill, and cameraman, Jason Morrow, were on hand at the World Barefoot Center to capture the story of how I met Judy “The Old Lady” Myers and went back to barefoot water skiing after becoming deaf from a barefooting fall as a teen. Bill is the Executive Vice President of Growing Bolder Media and was a news anchor for WESH Channel 2 for 25 years. From the moment I met Bill, I was instantly comfortable with him and it was easy to see why he is considered one of America’s best storytellers– within minutes, he was entertaining us with stories of people he interviewed over the years!
I first discovered the Growing Bolder website while doing some research on Banana George for a book that I’m working on. From the first moment I set eyes on the site, I was intrigued by the stories of people living bold, exciting lives. Growing Bolder is about folks who break the boundaries of ageism, and it’s reflected in their motto: “It’s not about age, it’s about attitude.” Growing Bolder reminds us that we don’t have to settle for ho-hum lives as we get older– we can break the stereotypes and reinvent ourselves along the way.
After interviewing me and Judy– Bill and Jason joined us in the boat with Keith St. Onge. “Watch me fall in front of the camera,” I dryly remarked to Judy as we walked toward the dock. Sure enough, I went tumbling in the water on the first deep water start. There’s a lesson right there– don’t go entertaining negative thoughts or you’ll put them right into action.
“Watch what she does on water,” I told Bill, as Judy got ready to do some barefooting. “You won’t believe she’s 68!” It was amusing to watch Bill’s mouth fall open as Judy did one foots, toe holds, tumble turns and backwards. When it was my turn, I shakily lifted my foot for a short one-foot ride and then did some backwards barefooting on shoes. I ditched the shoes to try a backwards start on my feet and made it up for a very brief ride before falling over. Judy claims it is an official “you got up and rode it” start, but I’ll have to wait to see the evidence on the Growing Bolder show.
Growing Bolder is broadcast on over 250 PBS stations. To check if it will be shown in your area: Growing Bolder TV by Zip Code. If you don’t see your local station listed, you can contact your station and ask them to add the show to their line up.
“I feel like I’ve known you for fifteen years,” Bill said as he hugged me goodbye. “Except you’re not that old!” he grinned.
Karen, Bill and Keith