What do you do when the one thing you love most is the one thing everyone tells you not to do?

As a teen, Karen Putz lost her hearing while barefoot water skiing.

She had to learn a whole new way of living. Against everyone’s advice, she went to college, and eventually she married and had children.

More than 25 years passed, but her desire to get back on her feet kept burning within. Then one day, she saw a news report on Judy Myers, a 68-year-old competitive barefoot water skier (and the oldest woman competing in the sport). She had the inspiration she needed to get back into the water.

Once again, everyone told her she shouldn’t do it. Some family members even told her she was too old. But Karen had rediscovered her passion.

Watch her story and see how two women became friends and taught each other what it means to really live.

Editor’s Note: Growing Bolder has open-captioned this entire story so that Karen and other deaf/hard of hearing viewers can benefit from her remarkable story.