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#86 Getting up on skis for the first time

GETTING UP ON WATER SKIS FOR THE FIRST TIME – You’re scared to death. You’ve never done this before, and you’re thinking that the boat will pull you so hard that you’ll fly forward, the skis will fall of due to the sheer force of the water, and you’ll lose your entire bathing suit, leaving you to be dragged naked across the water on your stomach. Yep, that’s the image. So your blood is pumping hard, preparing your body for a fight or flight experience. I’m not sure how you could fight against the force of the boat, but your body does what it wants to, despite your brain activity. You put on the skis while your knees shake, buckle up the life jacket tight as you can, and slowly slide into the water, which is freezing beyond imagination. You pull you knees in tight against your chest and straighten out your arms, as the smoking-hot ski instructor told you, and hold on to that rope for dear life. The ski boat inches forward, pulling your rope tight as you say a silent prayer to return the dock with your entire bathing suit still on your body. The boat lunges forward at full speed, but you keep your knees bent and your arms straight, which causes your body to slowly be pulled up to a standing position on the skis. You’re up! It’s a miracle. Now just stay inside the wake, and you’ll be all good. It’s glorious. You’re getting the hang of it now and feel comfortable enough to wave to the passengers in the boat and enjoy the scenery before you. You got it!

That was when you were nine years old. Now you are thirty-nine and haven’t skied in twenty-four years. But your son is seven years old, and during his first visitors day at summer camp, he takes you to the ski docks. When you ask whether he’d like to go skiing, he tells you how scared he is. You try to talk to him, but it’s just not working. The only choice remaining is to show him that there is nothing to be afraid of. Aside from the fact that it’s been over two decades since you last skied, people are wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts because it’s cold outside, and you’re less than thrilled about being in a bathing in suit in public. But as I said, you have no choice. This is an opportunity as a parent to get in the ring, and model courage. So I give myself a quick pep talk and get my thirty-nine year old ass into skis and into the water. Would I remember how to do it? Would I fall flat on my face, instilling further fear into my son ? No way hozay! The boat lunges forward and within seconds I’m up on my feet, waving to my little guy in the boat ahead. Twenty-four years later, you still got it!


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