Way back in the mid 80s, I was just a teenager, struggling. Struggling with school. Bad grades, frustrated and angry. I had just three things that I loved and they were girls, snowboarding and waterskiing. I was smart, resourceful and hard working but I hated being in class all day. Flunked out of German, first period because I was waterskiing at 0-dark thirty in the morning. My dad was furious. Finally, he asked me what my favorite ski was. This was weird, but I played along. "Dad, my favorite ski is an HO Mach I, 67", double high wrap boots. Dad said, "OK, I will make you a deal. You bring your grades up to a C+ or better and I will give you that ski. If you don't, you will work for me all summer with no pay and you will not go out on the boat once." Needless to say, I took that deal and hustled my butt off. Teachers, took notice and gave me time to make up extra credit. I did it. I brought me grades up to a B average and had one of the best summers of my life. My friends, beautiful girls and great times. Today, I just finished summerizing my Moomba and was turning off the lights in the shop when I saw that ski hanging up on the wall. A little faded, but it is still there. It remains as a reminder that hard work pays off. It doesn't hurt to have a dad that was pretty cool too. Years after he gave me the ski, he confessed that he would be in trouble if I did not get those grades. He had already bought the ski before he made the deal. I guess he had faith in me.
A lot of great stories in this thread but man this is a GREAT one. Obviously some solid lessons in there. Don't think it could have been more perfectly matched for this thread.