Gliding across Lake Tobesofkee, 7-year-old Mei Mei White, of Macon, paddles, swims, and even gives other kids tips on navigating the waters. She's doesn't let her prosthetic leg slow her down. Little Mei Mei is full speed ahead.
Mei Mei embraces the shores of Lake Tobesofkee with a smile and adventurous spirit.
"I said I want to try it, I want to do it. I said in my head, I would never give up. If I fell I'd go right back up," said Mei Mei.
Mei Mei lost her leg because of a birth defect but she's on the go all the time. Her newest venture is stand up paddling.
"Exercise, you pretty much bend down and you can pretty much feel the breeze on your face when you go fast or slow," said Mei Mei.
When Mei Mei first hit the water there was an instant connection. One of her favorite aspects of standup paddling is learning new techniques and form from her Coach Dana.
"I saw Ms. Dana do it and I said in my head she's amazing and I said I want to try it. I want to do it," said Mei Mei.
Her coach fully backed the young girl's ambition.
"You can do it. I mean there's no reason you can't and actually she's very good at paddling. Her center of gravity of course, she has to be extra good you know. She's got to use a prosthetic on one leg so she picked it up pretty naturally," said Dana Bittenbender, White's swim coach.
Family support surrounds Mei Mei and her mother attributes competitiveness to Mei Mei's success.
"She's the most strong-willed kid that I have ever met. If she puts her mind to something she does it," said Kelly White.
Mei Mei learns from her coach, but Coach Dana says she gains perspective from the young athlete.
"Even when I have a bad day, I look over at her and I think if she can do this, if she can get out here and give it her best, so can I. There's no reason for me to ever complain about having a bad day," said Bittenbender.
One paddle at a time, little Mei Mei moves closer to her dreams.
"I want to be a pro swimmer, biker and runner," said Mei Mei.
Mei Mei completed her first triathlon last weekend and plans to compete in the state swim meet this year.
Anyone interested in checking out standup paddling, can find out more information at Rodeo Beach in Mercer Village. You can reach them at (478) 744 2453 or go to their website by clicking here.