Yuba Lake

So this weekend I went water skiing with some friends. I have been invited to go water skiing many times but, let's be honest, I am terrified of water deeper than my waist. I remember even when I was on the swim team in high school sometimes going to the deep end of the pool got me a little anxious because I couldn't see the bottom and I was certain some creature with tentacles, probably Ursula rom the Little Mermaid, lived underneath the water polo net.

I know it sounds stupid but after seeing JAWS as a child I have never quit been the same. My first attempt at water skiing was when I was fourteen with the scouts. Brother Bennet took us out and said that he could get any one to water ski. I wanted to be brave so I hopped in the water and strapped on the big skis. I was skimming along the surface alright, but it was mostly face first with my mouth wide open. Each time I would fall into the water I remember the boat going what seemed to be a mile away to turn around to pick me up. As I sat in the water bobbing up and down there was always this very loud silence, and then I would start to imagine that first scene in JAWS where the girl is swimming and all you see is tug on her leg, and then a nudge, and the the next thing you know she is being jerked all over the water. I would then start to breathe hard and felt like I was having a panic attack. I would promptly ask to be taken out of the water never to explain that I was scared to death, and that I never, ever wanted to get near water again.

I had never been on a boat again until this weekend. I was still worried that I was going to experience the same fear that I did when I was 14. I was dreading getting in the water and almost felt sick as we drove further and further from shore. But as I lowered myself into the murky water I found that I wasn't scared at all. I enjoyed being in the water and felt confident in my ability to fight off a shark if the situation presented itself. (I have watched shark week and know how to poke them in the eye or hypnotize them by touching their snout.) I found it so relaxing just to lay back and look up at the sky.

I am happy to announce that after 28 tries I finally got out of the water. That's right friends, I water skied! It was one of the highlights of my life to skim across the water like a flat, slick rock. I felt like I overcame by boyhood fear and I crossed over into manhood. So great.


Erin said…
Manhood, indeed. I believe it is a true test of manhood, and I am happy that you can now move onto the next phase of your life.
I'm a bit scared of deep water myself. I don't like not knowing what's beneath me. And while there may not be any sharks in our lakes, there is still the unknown (which, let's be honest, is worse than the known). Da-da-da-da... DADADADADADA---- aahhh!
Bart said…
OK. This made me resolve to try it next time I'm invited. I don't even have a fear of the water (LOVE the water) but I have a fear of never, EVER being able to get up. Like 28 tries might just be the beginning for me, I still may have another 238 tries before I get up. (Or more? Gulp.) Is that possible? I think it could be for me. Well, it's time I just hunker down and do it. Thanks for the faith-promoting experience.

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