Could you handle the murder of your father during your childhood? Surgery to repair a cleft palate? A broken neck and jaw at age 24? Numerous surgeries and hospitalizations. Lawsuits. Depression. Unemployment. Bar fights. A brutal beating outside a Hollywood nightclub. The choice to become a single mother. The birth of twins. Breaking both shoulders…at the same time. And then, just when you think you’re “done,” a broken wrist and another surgery.
For former Cypress Gardens champion water skier Shellie Blum (pronounced like “plum”) most of these are the not-so-highlights of her life thus far. But if you didn’t know her history, you’d never guess what she’s survived. Not just survived but triumphed over. And wrote a tell-all book about.
Last December Shellie gave me a copy of her memoir, Water Ski Girl Wonder. I resisted reading it for several months because I’m not much for memoirs. Once I started, I sometimes had to put it down, because parts of it are painful to read. As near as I can tell, Shellie held back nothing in telling her story. Not even her lowest points and the depths of her despair. As an author, I know how difficult that is to do. That kind of brutal honesty takes courage, and it’s another reason her journey is so inspiring. No matter what you are going through, if you read her story, it will make you believe you can survive anything life throws at you.
In a recent interview I told Shellie that as I was reading Water Ski Girl Wonder and telling my husband the “highlights” of her story it seemed as though there was a black cloud over her head. She told me of a tarot card session just a few years ago. The reader told her “you’re done” (being injured). But that was before the born performer that is Shellie broke her wrist while showing off her moves roller skating…
When I asked Shellie if she was fearless, she said, “Yes,” with zero hesitation. So I crossed out my follow-up question: What are you afraid of? Certainly not physical pain. Shellie is tough but not hardened. Her children have never seen her cry, but that is not to say she doesn’t get emotional. Enthusiasm for her purpose pours out of her. She is determined to see a movie version of her story made. If sheer persistence can make that happen we will soon be buying a theater ticket for the film version of Water Ski Girl Wonder. (Check out the book on Amazon and you will see my 5-star review.)
To learn more about Shellie go to:
Connect with Shellie on Twitter @shellieblum and on Facebook.com/shellie.blum