Shoes and Soul


If the shoes fits…say thank you. Especially when it’s a gift from a virtual-stranger-turned-dear-friend from way across the country.

I am blown away by the generosity of spirit that I have experienced on my journey to train for the Texas Water Safari. In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I am thrilled to take a little time to say ‘Thank You’ to a few people who have stepped up to help get this odyssey underway. I urge you to click through and support these Paddlefish supporters if you have the opportunity. If for no other reason, they’ve got soul.

So let’s get started. Many thanks to…

Bill Farnum and the NIKE Livestrong Team for sending running shoes and training sweatshirts, both of which have already proved invaluable. Yes, I am actually running which is no small task for me. I’d rather do about a thousand other things, but I am getting moving thanks to my new kicks! And the sweatshirt is perfect for paddling on chilly mornings.

Chaco Footwear provided gift certificates for training shoes. I’ve already been sporting the Paradox multisport which is ideal for carrying a canoe through the mud, then letting my feet dry while paddling for two-to-three hours.

melissa's trail mix Of course it’s not all about shoes. I owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Melissa, a sports nutritionist in Boulder Colorado who has literally changed my life. An FFC blog reader, she was inspired by our adventure and has donated time, money, and professional counseling to our cause. She has already spent hours with me, helping to do the cleanse, helping me lose weight (7 pounds so far!), sending me care packages. Her homemade trail mix will blow your mind and saved me from dipping into Little Chick’s Halloween candy. Melissa and her husband are even working on getting gear donated for Team Paddlefish. I am truly blown away by her spirit of caring and her energy to make a difference. Someday Melissa and I will meet in person, because I know we have forged a friendship that will last a lifetime. I am grateful to her every day (even when I slip away to Mobile and eat ribs and oysters and fall off the food plan for a day or so!)

Melissa has a wonderful blog called Gluten Free For Good which has excellent recipes, info and pictures. Thank you, Melissa, I love you to pieces!

A very special thank you to friends, family and FFC readers who have opened their wallets and donated to our charities, Rett Syndrome and Project Healing Waters. It’s all I can do not to tear up every time I see a new contribution. Thank you!

Of course I must give special mention to our first two sponsors, the first companies to step up to the plate and partner with Team Paddlefish…cheers to Ruta Maya Organic Coffee (available at Costco in-store and online) and 1379 Kids. Don’ forget….both of these sponsors have great items for Christmas gifts.

Special thanks to Craig with YT Lawncare, Pavillion Pilates, and FFC blog reader Tom Birdwell in Pensacola.

I am so grateful to Rancey, Ella, The Texas Rett Club, and the IRSF for inspiring and educating me.

And a big gigantic thank you to Little Chick, my loudest and most enthusiastic cheerleader.

I am humbled by all of this support. I wish I could say the work is done, but truthfully we are just getting going. Pennies add to dollars and every cheerleader makes it more fun. Are you interested in helping Team Paddlefish and our charities? If so, here are some easy ways to wave the flag:

  1. Become a fan of Team Paddlefish on Facebook. Every time someone joins, it is a huge morale boost for us!
  2. Donate to Team Paddlefish to help underwrite race costs by clicking here and using DONATE button in bottom right corner
  3. Donate directly to our charities and receive a receipt for tax purposes
  4. Spread the word. Email this post and our facebook page to others who might want to follow the story
  5. Hug your family and friends and have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Eat well, stay warm and indulge in the magic of the holidays.

Finally, thank you for reading FFC! Thank you for subscribing, thank you for commenting, thank you for your camaraderie. I am more grateful than you will ever know. Happy Thanksgiving friends!

6 Responses to “Shoes and Soul”
  1. Wolfy says:

    FFC – I really believe the best thing that has happened to me since starting my little blog has been making friends with people from all over the globe. It’s an amazing, unintended benefit to someone who just felt like writing about fishing.

    i have an idea re: helping out Paddlefish, but until I can bring it t ofruition, I’ll keep my mouth shut!

    Happy Thanksgiving


  2. Melissa says:

    FFC (aka Backwater Barbie) – you are sooo sweet (thank you, I appreciate that and love you to pieces, too). I’m with Little Chick on this, I’m just a cheerleader. Shish-boom-bah! Go, paddle diva, go! I loved your photo on the Team Paddlefish FB page yesterday. The one where you’re actually showing off your fancy finger-nails. That was a secret nail pose if I ever saw one. I double-clicked on it to get a close up view. Wow, nice manicure.

    Wolfy’s right, blogging is such a great way to meet new best friends and have fun in the process. Yes, we were destined to be friends, FFC! We’ll meet, no doubt in my mind. We’ll toast to your adventure.

    You’re a doll. Keep up the good work!
    P.S. Don’t feel bad about the ribs, pork is full of B vitamins (B vitamins help your body use fuel — energy metabolism). Now the sauce, that might be another story. So, in this case, the professor wins the pork vs beef debate.

  3. Rob says:

    Nice Chaco’s. I might have to look into those when the Teva’s bite the dust.


  4. Emily says:

    Hello, there!

    I edit a section of Blood Knot Magazine devoted to lady anglers with a strong sense of adventure and a healthy dose of attitude.

    From what I’ve read of your blog, you’re quite the accomplished angler and a good writer to boot. If you’re interested, I’d like to feature some of your work (and your blog) in the magazine and/or on the website. You can e-mail me at for more details.


  5. Eran says:

    That’s great to see such generosity indeed. Well done.

  6. Pantofi says:

    Great comunity here,i love the fishing shoes,they are the most comfortable!

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