The Worst Day of My Life
I believe my story is a message of hope that will encourage you.
In case you don’t know, I am married to my best friend, Cindy, for 25 years and I am a father to my two ninjas, Zane and Peyton who we adopted from Korea and China.
You probably already know that I was a member of the World Champion US Barefoot Waterski Team which won every World title from 1992-2006.
Last year, I was inducted into the Waterski Hall of Fame.
I have spent most of my adult life traveling the world teaching people to learn to barefoot ski at slow speeds and without falling.
It is now May 15, 2018, and I am out on my lake in sunny Winter Haven, Florida in the middle of a beautiful morning with glass calm water as far as the eye can see.
I am getting ready to slip into the water and I glance up to take in 2 ospreys battling a much larger eagle in some sort of territorial dispute with moves that resemble F18 fighter jets jockeying for the kill shot.
It is already 100% humidity and the water temp is 89 degrees. The outside air temp is already 90.
As I am ripping across the water at 43mph, I breathe in and smell the orange blossoms.
I snap my ultra-thin spectra rope in my signature style to let the boat know that I am getting ready to shred this glass calm water like a master painter covering a canvass with violent splashes of color.
This feels like paradise.
Normally I am experiencing fearlessness, explosive power, and euphoria, but instead, I am battling some dark feelings and sluggishness that I have been trying for years to keep buried deep beneath my normal uber-positive outlook.
Something does not feel right.
I lost my younger sister, Tiffanie, to colon cancer only months earlier. My dad and twin brother (DC) have been bugging me to get my colonoscopy, ERCP, and blood work redone.
I have been avoiding this with world-class stubbornness fueled by the kind of fear that puts you to sleep at night and is in your face when you first come out of rem sleep.
Trying to keep my “Expect-a-Miracle!”-attitude while swallowing down my real fears feels like anaconda cinching up on my chest.
Many times throughout the day, I feel like I have to FORCIBLY take a full breathe to relieve this pain deep down inside me.
Even worse, I starting to believe that my best days are behind me and maybe I am not the guy that my barefooting family thinks I am.
Everything is starting to hurt and I am moving less and less as I settle into being an older has-been “NON-athlete-dad.”
The cumulative result of barefooting flips, inverted jumping, pioneering feet-to-feet barefooting, jumping out of helicopters, 2 broken necks, destroyed shoulders, crushed lumbar discs, and getting run over by my buddy, Jim Drown’s MasterCraft Barefoot 200 OB, is taking a toll on me.
It is now June of 2018, my hepatologist expert here in Winter Haven, looks at me with steel-eyed intensity and says the words that officially make this the worse day ever…
“Lane, you need to check into the University of Florida Shands Hospital and get on the liver transplant list. You have too many problems and I am only an expert on one of those. Your best chance is to get a team of Dr’s who can coordinate their findings.”
Have you ever felt all the air leave your body and the world go out of focus while your mind goes into a sort of frozen safe-mode?
I am now pondering what my life is going to be like if I have a “team of experts” looking for problems while I spend what I am guessing will be many many visits that are 150 miles or 2 hours each way.
How is this going to affect my family, my business, my life?
Along with my strong faith, I believe God designed our bodies to heal themselves even though I have no idea what this means for me practically or where to look.
I start searching for answers.
It is 12:30 am EST, I am sleeping in my lazy boy chair in the living room so I do not wake my wife with my constant moving from all my discomfort…
My iPhone vibrates with a FB Messenger notification. My Aussie friend, Nick, messages me he has found some “new technology” that might help me.
I am skeptical.
I am pissed about wasting time.
My joint pain is keeping me awake every night.
I am worried about wasting money…
I am desperate.
I order the magic “juju” and wait for the box to arrive.
I unbox this “new tech,” and in only 10 minutes, my discomfort in my joints changes from a level 8 to a 1 or 2.
For me, Level 8 is just under me-losing-it-and-swearing 🙁
It is now 8 weeks later and the changes are so dramatic that I realize (or I should say “hope,”) that this could turn around my “incurable” autoimmune problems.
It is now February 6, 2019, and I am actually “giddy” as I go to the Bond Clinic to have my Dr’s interpret my new bloodwork, weigh me, and go over the new colonoscopy/ERCP results.
The bloodwork tells the story.
My Dr’s are now looking stunned as they explain my numbers to me in layman terms. They start interrogating me as to how this could happen in such a short time.
They seem to be reaching for an explanation by saying it could be the Crossfit, but I was already years into Crossfit when they diagnosed me. They definitely let me know with their posture and expressions that they do not believe these miracle molecules are the game-changer.
These same Doctors told me my liver disease is “incurable.”
These same Dr’s told me that I need a “team of Doctors.”
These same experts told me I will need a liver transplant.
These same Dr’s told me I would need to replace my joints.
One of my Dr’s looks at me with a smile and says,
“You have the urine of Bear Grylls! and you look leaner and more muscular than the last time we saw you.”
It is now a week later and my long-time friend, buddy Dean Jackson, tells me,
“You and Cindy are the only friends I have that actually looks younger today than when I first met you over 20 years ago.”
It gets better…
I got my athlete back better than I could have imagined.
In March of 2019, I ranked #34 out of 5000 Crossfit athletes worldwide in my age division (55-59).
I am now leaner, stronger, and in better shape than I was 25 years ago.
If you dream of getting back to that passionate, healthy, active barefooter and parent who can enjoy the water with your family, you need to speak with me.
Message or contact me today and I will share with you a video I made that the company asked me to make as a testimonial.
Have a great day and
“Expect a Miracle!”
Lane “Dawg” Bowers