Learning to Shred

April 27, 2010
By , Glen Ellyn, IL
Thump! Thump! Thump! We heard the thundering of footsteps coming towards the dock and the excited chatter of the other campers getting ready for their lake activities. We could hear all these things as we headed towards the dock to go skiing and wakeboarding. It was a beautiful day. The sun was out and it was nice and warm hovering around 100°.

The counselors were barking out orders as we approached the dock. We needed to find a lifejacket that fit us before we could leave the dock and head down to the lake. I found a life jacket that fit me and headed toward a corner on the square dock. I took off my shirt and shoes and then set down my towel. We circled up and prayed. Then we started off the dock.

I took my first step onto the sand and winced. The sand was not only rocky, but it was also extremely hot, burning your feet as you stepped on it. It felt like I was dancing on the hot coals of a burned out fire. Because the sand was so hot and painful, we ran as fast as we could towards the boats. While at the beach we heard a group of girls screaming. We looked over in the direction the noise was coming from and saw a brown water snake. It was about a foot and a half long. One of the counselors grabbed a shovel and chopped of its head. Almost immediately, everybody started talking about whether it was a poisonous snake or not. After that, we turned and walked towards the speed boats in the lake. Our group split up and went into two boats to head out onto the lake.

The lake was amazing. The water was as smooth as glass and the sun was shining right down on us. We stopped in the middle of the lake and jumped in. The water was so warm. It felt like it was at least 90°.We all got back into the boat and the first kid went out to kneeboard. He did pretty well. He was out there for about five minutes and then we stopped to let another kid kneeboard. It was the same thing. He was out there for another five minutes, then we stopped. Finally it was my turn. The counselor asked me if I wanted to kneeboard or wakeboard. I had a quick debate between the two in my mind and settled on wakeboarding. I set the wakeboard on the wood platform at the back of the boat. I slid my feet in and fastened the Velcro. Then, I jumped in. I started swimming out to where the rope was, which took a couple of minutes because the wakeboard and the life jacket slowed me down.

I got to the rope and grabbed hold. Since I had never wake boarded before, the counselor was telling me what to do. He told me to sit back and have a little bit of the board out of the water. He asked if I was ready and I immediately felt butterflies in my stomach. I thought to myself, What if I end up like that guy who cut his face open on the board? I said that I was ready and felt a tug as the boat started to lurch forward. I stood up about halfway and then fell back into the water. I heard the counselor yell, “Good job! You almost got it. Just let the boat pull you up.”

I tried again and got up a little farther this time but still fell back into the water. I tried a third time and the same thing happened. Then on my fourth try, I got up. I was up for about five seconds then did a face plant into the water. And I heard the voice of the counselor again yell, “So close! Just keep your weight back when you get up.”

This was my fifth and final try because we were running out of time and I was the last to go. I set myself in the weird sitting position that you start in and grabbed the rope. I felt the now familiar tug of the boat moving forward. I let the boat pull me up and I got up! And this time I didn’t fall in the first five seconds. I stayed up for about five minutes going in and out of the wake. Then the boat stopped and I just stopped. I just stood there and sank down back into the water. I unstrapped the board and swam into the boat.

I was greeted by a bunch of high-fives and “nice jobs.” I was so proud that I had learned to wakeboard. It had always been something I’d wanted to do and now I had accomplished it. From this experience, I was reminded of a valuable lesson to never give up and keep trying until you reach your goal.





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Horns12 said...
May 7, 2010 at 8:51 am
What an awesome experience!
 
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