MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) - They say you're only as old as you feel. If that's the case, then one Marshall, Illinois man might be just hitting his twenties, instead of his eighties. It's all thanks to a water sport that is keeping him young.
All summer water skiing is the water sport of choice on Wabash Valley lakes and creeks. A hobby that's as challenging as it is fun, for folks of all ages.
Perhaps for no person does this ring more true than Joe Blagg.
"Well my brother he bought a boat it was about 60, 59, we went over to Charleston Lake and that's where we learned how to ski," Joe said.
For more than 50 years, Joe spent summers careening behind a boat.
"Its the zigging and zagging that's fun.(It does nothing)for you just going straight. I could go all day just going straight," Joe explained.
If you were wondering how old Joe is, he won't take offense. He is a spry 82 years-young and no where near quitting his hobby.
"Not as long as I can get up. Sometimes I feel like I'm old, but then when I get out here and get up, I feel young again," Joe said.
But about five years ago, Joe thought he'd seen the last of his water skis.
"In 2007 I was diagnosed with cancer in August, after August I didn't get to ski anymore and didn't get to ski any the next year," Joe said.
Skiing was the furthest thing from Joe's mind.
"Did you ever think you wouldn't make it out here to go skiing? I figured I wouldn't, in fact I didn't think I'd make it for a while," he explained.
But after two years Joe's cancer went into remission. That next summer the water was there waiting to give him another chance at new life.
"It was wonderful to get out on that water. I love this water, (Mill Creek) lake especially," he said.
You see for Joe skiing is more than a hobby, its life. His secret for skiing works just as well on land and throughout life.
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