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“Check out what this girl is doing!” That’s all my friend wrote when he forwarded me Sheree Perez's Facebook page. So I gave it a look: She’s really pretty, rocks blond and blue (sometimes pink or purple) hair, and has great steeze. As I click around her photos and posts, I noticed that she wasn’t riding a traditional board. It didn’t look like a wakeboard… or a kneeboard, and she wasn’t standing on it. I was intrigued… so I cyberstalked her some more.
After a few more clicks, I discovered that Sheree currently has little to no use of her legs due to a spinal cord injury, yet has found a way to wakeboard — and rock spiked heels! Who says you can’t be glamorous in a wheelchair? “That’s my kind of girl,” I decided, and friend-requested her immediately. She accepted and we set up a time to talk.
A former gymnast with an incredibly athletic background, Sheree found herself living the good, active life in Colorado: snowboarding all winter, wakeboarding in the summer. She was always doing something fun, active, and adventurous. Five years ago, she was snowboarding and as she went for a jump, she found that she had overshot the landing… and injured her spine.
I can't even imagine being as active as Sheree was one day, then totally immobilized the next, unable to do any of the things you love to do. It's heart-breaking. Spirit-crushing. In fact, most of us would probably just curl up in a ball and give up. But not Sheree.
Over the next few years, Sheree worked on healing her body and doing therapy. One of the hospitals she spent time at put together an amazing program for adaptive sports that are both spirit and sanity saving, helping recovering patients get back out there and active. She found wakeboarding again — and she has soared ever since.
She decided it was time to start a new life, and once again follow her passion for action by doing adaptive wakeboarding — using boards developed by http://www.ronixwake.com. She packed up and moved her entire life to Orlando —knowing only one person, and just the will to wake. I think she’d say it was one of the best things she could have done in life.
The wakeboarding community is a small, tight knit family and they have welcomed her with open arms. OWC (Orlando Watersports Complex - www.orlandowatersports.com) even built a ramp for her at the cable park so she could get down to where you strap in and ride. How amazing is that?
I felt it was so important to share Sheree's story and how she lives her life. She is a total inspiration to all of us. We could only hope to live our lives with a shred of the attitude, style, and gusto with which she lives hers. She completely embodies, in every way, the SheShreds message and mantra. “… It doesn't matter what people say you should or shouldn't do... no one can hold you back now. Shred on, Sister. Shred on!”
Shred on, Sheree. We'll be watching!