After this long 4th of July weekend (although not long enough, am I right?) I was reflecting on the last long weekend: Memorial Day weekend. I’ve been in my “Try New Things” mode for a while, and that weekend I was given a chance to test it.
But first, background. When I was but a young girl, I went with a youth group to Hagg Lake in Northwest Oregon. It’s a manmade reservoir used for boating, picnicking, and frolicking. One of the families that came brought their boat and took groups of us out on the lake.
An inner tube was attached to the end of the boat and let out into the seemingly innocent waters. Then a group of two to three would sit on the inner tube while the boat moved through the water. Sounds lovely right?
Except instead of gliding on the waters, the boat captain cut through the waters at full throttle! Taking sharp turns to create huge wakes into the water. This maniacal driving would continue until all members of the inner tube had flown off.
So here is my 14 year old self, a girl who has never been fond of water despite six years of swimming lessons (sorry mom and dad, but those were a bust!), watching these kids fly off, and willingly go on again. I tried really hard to make myself invisible, but on a boat of about seven people, it becomes obvious quick who hasn’t had a turn yet.
In order to save some face, I finally allowed myself to be seated in between two bigger boys, in hopes that their weight would hold the inner tube upright and my small tush would remain seated until the ride was over.
When the engine started, my stomach clenched. My fists clung tight to the inner tube’s handles. We started moving and I, with a grin plastered to my face trying to hide all fear and anxiety, kept reminding myself to breathe.
We started gaining momentum and it wasn’t long before the boy on the left flew off, hitting the dirty waters. I looked to my right to check on the other boy. He flew off as we went over an unusually large wake. My iron grip became fused with the inner tube in a false hope of survival.
As we started whipping around, the inner tube would lift up on each side, leaning as if trying to shake off the dead weight of my body. In a last ditch effort, the driver whipped around with such force, my body rolled off the inner tube and skipped on top of the water’s surface, until melting into the depths.
A fellow passenger on the boat from Hell, remarked that it looked like someone was skipping rocks on the lake, only except using rocks, they used my body, which he described as looking like a helpless Barbie bouncing along the water.
Based on this only slightly exaggerated story, you can imagine my thoughts when a few friends of ours called to invite my husband and me to an impromptu boating extravaganza. But, hey, trying new things means trying things that scare you into tears right?
As it turns out, not all people who drive boats want you to fly off. Although we didn’t use an inner tube this time, I did try my hand at surfing along the wake of the boat.
Unfortunately, all the pictures of my surfing look like I am in seriously uncomfortable pain, which is also known as fear. Turns out my fear of boating and the activities you do with a boat still scare the heck out of me.
I fell pretty quickly into the water on my first attempt. I was so nervous about falling into the water, I forgot to hold my breath. Praise life jackets. After I spent a few minutes choking on water, thinking this is the end, the boat came and got me and I gave it another go.
My second try, I got a little more help balancing the board on those finicky wakes and managed to keep going. However, after a few minutes on my own, I was ready for the anxiety to stop and since I didn’t know how else to stop, I fell in. This time, remembering to hold my breath.
After it was over, I was glad I did it. But if the next time I go boating isn’t for a long time, I won’t mind.