The title, part a myopia success story.
Will went to Gainesville, came back with all the 20/20 gains. He started with high myopia at -6.50 D and reduced it to almost half that, at just -3.50 D. Just another success story.
Let have a quick story time. Jake vs. the ocean.
Jakey’s been learning to kitesurf. Sport involving the ocean and a board, like a snowboard of sorts, and a big kite that pulls you as you’re riding that board. You fly the kite, you ride the board, and Bob’s your uncle. Easy peasy.
Except of course your darling eye guru lacks all manner of coordination (let’s blame growing up behind glasses, rather than genetics – although, genetics). Plus he scares easily and he’s got tendencies to hang back and observe and analyze risk, instead of like the cool guys and their GoPro videos, jumping all into the mayhem head first. Trust me, nothing awe inspiring going on here when use the words Jake and kiting in the same sentence.
How does the saying go? You can take the glasses off the nerd, but you can’t take the nerd … something something.
The spot to kite here isn’t like you see in the pictures, with the magical crystal clear flat waters and all. Instead, here you get waves. Big waves some days, especially around full moon. Big waves, big wind, big gusts.
Ok so not nearly quite *that* big.
It’s not exactly either nerd, or beginner territory.
But after a season, even your favorite nerd manages to ride on calm water days. Not in big waves, but hey. But hey also, it’s been huge waves for days and days, and days, leading up to today. 10 foot shorebreak and no exaggerating. Picture standing in the surf and waves crashing way over your head. Big undertow pulling you in and then a giant roller to finish you off. Not cool.
Washing machine, the locals call it. You’re smart, you don’t go out in that.
But then you can only sit on the beach so many days, watching the awesome riders playing the waves. Eventually, sooner or later, you say screw this. I’m going out. And so you pump up your kite, put on your harness, and wade out into the washing machine of yee impending doom.
Let’s skip straight to the end of that story. It didn’t work out well. No sir.
Undertow grabs legs, loose footing, the board becomes a giant lever that the crashing massive wave turns into getting sucked completely under.
Realize that at this moment you’re still at the controls of a rather powerful kite that’s flying overhead, that’s securely attached to a harness that you’re strapped into. Liking driving a car down a winding road lined with big trees, with the foot planted on the throttle while having your head dunked into a waterfall.
And as your hand jerks wildly from the wave mayhem, your hand holding the bar controlling the kite, that kite powers up to full and goes flying at high speed straight into the waves.
It just gets ugly from there. Till you hopefully and very quickly find the emergency release and dump everything.
What, you say, Jake, what if ever you get to it, is your point with all this unwiseness?
Wait for it.
Picture Jake slinking back to the beach, well and properly defeated. There’s no way this nerd can get out there with a kite and a board, past 10 foot waves. Spend the afternoon on the beach, watching others play. Getting various pieces of advice from the skilled ones on how to beat the surf.
And the next day (day before yesterday), same weather, same waves yet again. Taunting. And you know what? Your favorite fool goes out again, testing the widdeling patience of his (is it still there?) luck.
This time using the sage advices to not confront the wave head on, but rather pick up speed and go along side it, downwind. Sneak through it that way. Keep the kite high and fully powered up so it pulls you up and over the wave quickly. Keep the board tight and close and move decisively through the whole mess. No hesitating, no guessing, just full power and get through it.
You know what’s the crazy part? It actually worked! Words are stupid crappy little letters that do that part no justice at all. The giant wave comes crashing the undertow comes pulling, the puckered up “oh shit” feeling, powering up the kite, heading downwind with the wave. And bam like magic, coming out on the other side. In the ocean. Mayhem behind. Sudden calm and peace and a gentle white kite flying calmly overhead, waiting for you to tell it that it’s time to go play.
And then you spend an hour, maybe more, riding around in the waves out there and having a great time. Even make it back to shore in one piece.
A furry face enjoying the calmer ocean days, too.
So. What’s the point?
Reversing your myopia isn’t like taking on the prospect of drowning your silly self in some ocean on the other side of the world. But it can be daunting, lowering diopters, it can feel like it’s impossible to actually beat this “condition”, voices can and will tell you that you’re crazy, even thinking about it.
And then you just go anyway. And you fail, and you get advice, and you try things, and you learn. It’s never like drowning but it’s sometimes difficult nonetheless.
And then one day you look back, and the big unknown and the big challenge is behind you. You’re finding yourself making the 20/20 gains. The diopters are reducing. You know what you’re doing, you’re in control, the whole undertaking is no longer questionable and confusing. You got this. All you have to do now is stay on course, and enjoy the fruits of your diving in and conquering the whole glasses mess.
Nobody is going to do any of this for you. The gains are yours to earn, if you want them badly enough.
Here’s Will, who did just that:
Can’t nobody argue with success.