PEWAUKEE — Most of take for granted the ability to take part in water sports this time of year. That’s not the case for 28-year-old Chad Murphy-Price. He water skis despite having Cerebral Palsy.
Most of the time, Murphy-Price is the man making the music at the Pewaukee Lake Water Ski Club shows. Some say he’s a tech genius, but Murphy-Price does more than watch from the sidelines. He’s in the water too.
“I think it’s time that people start focusing on people’s abilities rather than their disabilities,” Murphy-Price said.
CP limits the use of Murphy-Price’s arms. He also cannot walk and has a tough time talking, but Murphy-Price jumped at the opportunity to get involved with the water ski club four years ago when a friend told him about adaptive water skiing.
“I have the same feelings, goals and aspirations as anybody else. ‘Impossible’ is not in my vocabulary. I never take ‘no’ for an answer,” Murphy-Price said.
Murphy-Price uses a special harness to demonstrate his skills a few times each summer.
“I’m sure there is some doubters in the public who think because you have a disability you can’t ski,” Murphy-Price said.
Jeff Freiss drives the boat when Murphy-Price skis. Freiss says his friend never lets doubters get to him — and quickly wins everyone over with his winning attitude.
“Everybody loves him and how can you not love him? I mean he’s an advocate for what we do and hopefully he feels just as big a part as anybody on this club,” Freiss said.
Murphy-Price says skiing has become an addiction.
“I did not know I would love it as much as I do. It’s very addicting and I just love being out there,” Murphy-Price said.
Murphy-Price may not be afraid of taking to the water, but he’s not unsafe. Colin Sherpet and at least one other skier are always by his side in the water.
“It’s something so cool for him and I personally feed off that as exciting for me as well,” Sherpet said.
Like anyone who’s ever participated in this sport, Murphy-Price does fall down at times.
“That’s the part of water sports. It’s unpredictable and you have to expect the unexpected,” Murphy-Price said.
The difference between Murphy-Price and most who hit the water is he never complains.
“You have to roll with it and that’s what I do. Every day of my life to the fullest, and enjoy every day. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I don’t let my disability of cerebral palsy get in the way of anything,” Murphy-Price said.