We’re back in the time machine today although it’s a bit different than the usual Lisfranc tale. Here’s a little story about something that I used to do—wakeboard and make videos. Since I made my list of 101 Things I Want, I remembered the summer of 2008. I basically spent the entire summer going out on the boat as much as humanly possible learning how to wakeboard. Here’s what happened: It was hard. I was determined. I got better. Kind of like what the future holds as I see it.
Late in the summer of 2007 was the first time I tried it. I hadn’t ever done any sort of water sport before and at the time didn’t really think of myself as an athlete or even all that coordinated. I definitely didn’t see myself as a fish in water type. I originally tried wakeboarding and wakesurfing in order to encourage my niece to get in the lake and try it. She was reluctant to get in the water and needed encouragement.
I wanted to be a good example and show her that it’s fun to learn new things and it’s okay to fall down. The important thing is, you get back up from those falls and try again. I always got back up and I learned in a pretty short amount of time how to ride. I learned how to get up and stay up that autumn. I couldn’t do much more than that before the season was over but it didn’t matter; it was too late for me, I was hooked.
The feeling of pulling myself up and out of the water and then riding across the surface was amazing. I wanted more. (Some is good, more is better—right?!) That winter, I bought an Indoboard and trained. I started jogging to help with cardiovascular endurance. I did strength training on the Indoboard to work on my balance and core strength. I committed to daily yoga. I was laser focused. I knew what I wanted. By the next spring, I was in great condition and ready to wakeboard again!
My first few times out, I fell most of the time. My muscle memory hadn’t kicked in and it was frustrating. I knew I could get up and stay up; I just needed to let my body remember what to do. After a little practice, it did. I got up and stayed up and was able to do much more.
I was finally able to pop over the wake without falling. I was stronger; I had more endurance and more confidence due to my winter training. I was pretty impressed with myself the first time I caught a little bit of air going over the wake. I tried riding switch and it was fairly easy for me since I ride goofy anyway. I think it’s because I’m left handed and when learning something new I always make sure to practice both sides. It’s going to be awkward anyway so why not learn both at the same time?
I was ecstatic when I did my first 180. It was very difficult and incredibly scary. If you’ve ever caught an edge and bit it face first at 20 miles per hour, you know why it is scary. So, here are a couple of fun videos I made back when I was wakeboarding. It’s been a while now since I have wakeboarded or made a video. I need to change that. I miss both. More on that later…
This first video is called “What Not to Do” and it shows me falling. A lot. It is set to the brilliant and very apt “Get Off Your Ass and Jam” by Funkadelic.
The second one I called “Sweet Home Hartwell” and is a mash up of the Kid Rock song “All Summer Long” and us wakeboarding. It was on the radio a lot that summer and kind of caught the spirit of hanging out at the lake and riding. (And you can see me do a 180 with DRY hair because I hadn’t fallen yet that day!! Woot! Talk about improvement!) I’d like to remake the video and include less Kid Rock and more wakeboarding. Alas, here it is in its original glory!
This last quickie is another mashup involving Bret Michaels a la Rock of Love and my friend wakeboarding. He wore a bandana one day and my other friend started calling him Bret and the video was born.
It’s fun to revisit that time in my life. I was determined and focused and passionate about what I wanted. I had fun making those videos and didn’t feel too self-conscious to show them to people. Not unlike how I am beginning to feel now.