I was a nervous, bashful child who was scared of dangerous things such as water that was deeper than I was tall and sports that involved strapping my feet to a board and sliding at a high rate of speed over slippery surfaces. My first attempt at snowboarding involved me butt-sliding the whole way down the trail, over and over again until the people on the chair lifts started clapping for me. Apparently that’s insulting. Jerks! I put a fair amount of physical activity items on my 20 Before 21 list but they were all sports that I can do and actually enjoy – mainly biking – so I knew I had to put something more challenging on it as well.
The choice: Wakeboarding.
Before this summer I don’t think I had ever tried wakeboarding before. Or if I had it didn’t end well and I wiped it from my memory. Some friends of mine have a boat so I drafted them (they kindly invited me) to go wakeboarding. The first night we went out I tried about 5 different times to get up but never succeeded. I’m told that the one time I almost made it up but it definitely didn’t feel like it. The second time we went out I was determined to get up. I only have 8 more months to finish up this list and most of that time will be an Upstate NY winter which means no wakeboarding. I got in the water, tightened my boots, held on tight, yelled “ready” and…
It was amazing, fun, and satisfying to know I accomplished something intimidating. Of course, my brother got in the water after I was finished and demonstrated all his boarding skills.
Here’s a bonus clip of my brother failing a jump just to make myself feel a little less athletically impaired.