When I was growing up with a prosthetic leg, I could do almost everything. Ride a bike, climb mountains, play sports and swim... but I could never swim with the leg on. Swimming pools were not a problem, but the beach was a total nightmare. I would get sand in my prosthetic irritating the skin, and I needed assistance getting from my towel into the water. And boy, did I hate assistance. I hated depending on someone else to do simple things. It drives me crazy, honestly, to this day.
I had heard when I was younger about something called an aqualeg: a leg for the water. I asked around and came to the conclusion that, because it was unnecessary, that I would have to pay out of pocket. Obviously, at the going rate of $10,000-14,000 a leg, this was out of the question. And so life continued. I traveled the world and its beaches. From Bali to Africa, Europe to the Caribbean islands, West coast to East, I technically swam in 3 oceans (Pacific, Atlantic and Indian), 3 gulfs (Mexico, Aden and Persian), and 6 seas (Caribbean, North, Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian and Bali).
We have been planning our honeymoon, and we finally have decided on Turks & Caicos, which is supposedly not as rainy in the summer as other islands. We have looked at beautiful pictures on the net of the hotel, the island, and of course, the beaches. But this time, it will be different. While procrastinating on the internet, I came upon a prosthetic cover, which you slip on over, remove the air with a valve, and allows the wearer to shower, bath, walk in the water and (they claim) to swim! I couldn't believe it! I went to the order page.... $68!!!!! It hasn't really sunk in yet, but can you imagine how this makes me feel? Finally, I can take the last little piece of physical dependency and throw it out the window. On my honeymoon, I will walk out of the hotel onto the beach, run full strength, and dive into the water by myself. I am smiling uncontrollably as I write this. I will take a video of it for my blog followers. It will go down as a day I will never forget, especially because I will be doing it with my new bride at my side.