Wakeboarding: Conquering Uncharted Territory
I used to know my purpose in life: to provide comic relief on a wakeboard and to be an example to my children of what not to do while strapped to a board going 20 miles an hour behind a boat. And since I take my responsibilities very seriously, I did a very good job of either timidly staying inside the wake or brazenly flying off of it and crashing while doing the splits.
We got a boat about four years ago and we live 10 minutes from a marina. We are avid boaters during the summer and go out two to four times a week. Growing up, I had barely been on a boat more than a handful of times, so when we got our boat, I was eager to learn how to wakeboard and waterski, but I had absolutely no skills. None. Zero. My husband, on the other hand, grew up boating and is so good at all of it, he makes it look easy. When I see him go super fast or catch air off a wake, I want to do that.
So I try, and each summer I get a little better. At the very least, our frequent boating expeditions--complete with high spf sunscreen, mind you--have made my skin permanently darker. No more looking like a toothpick. And we have so much fun, our two young boys, my husband, and I. We also tube, fish, wakeskate - pretty much anything you can think of to do on a boat with kids - we do. It's so much fun!
But now I find myself in somewhat uncharted territory. I'm a mom who's now good enough on a wakeboard that I don't knock myself unconscious when I crash (it's surprising how hard water is when you hit it face first, by the way). I want to get better, and even though I love my husband and he's knows what to do, I don't want him to coach me anymore. Enough of him calling me a "wimp" if I don't cross the wake, or telling me to "stop acting like a girl" as I'm waiting for the stars to stop circling my head after a crash. Is there some woman out there who's a good wakeboarder who can offer some pointers? We women wakeboarders need to unite! Or at least email each other!
My purpose in life now? To strap on a helmet and show my kids that a woman, yes, even a mom, can wakeboard. To catch that air, for the sake of all nerds everywhere. To rise above that wake, maybe even spin, to see that dropped jaw on my husband's face when I do. Say I've got that helmet on when I do said trick and I still look nerdy as a rocket scientist, so much the better. Maybe even better than showing that I can be a mom and a wakeboarder is to act cool while still looking nerdy. To show whomever is watching that just because I'm one thing doesn't mean I can't be another. Isn't that one of the lessons we all want to teach our kids - not to attach labels and stereotypes to everyone they see?
All this aside, boating is an awesome family activity. Spending time with your loved ones outside, under the sun, away from TVs and video games, on the water -- no matter what you actually do or what you may or may not be trying to prove - is a very satisfying way to spend a summer day.
Are you a wakeboarder? If so, please share your tips and tricks!