Summertime means boating time.
Since childhood, I have been a boater. I love floating around a lake making a wake.
I love the feel of the lake on my face, the spray off the waves, the sun beating down on my locks.
I live for the sound of the boat motor revving to life. The feel of the boat as it speeds over waves and cuts through smooth waters.
Lest you think I am one to sit and watch, to relax and sun tan, think again.
Sitting still and hanging out gets old. As much as I love reading a great book, I love even more to dive in and get wet.
I click, snap, and buckle my way into my life preserver. Stretch out my soon-to-be-used muscles. And grab my ski. I dip my big toe into the water. Testing it. Anticipating it.
Before I can jump in, my ski takes a quick dip – I ensure that the boot is thoroughly wet. Then I shove my left foot into the boot – a boot I could wear everyday.
My tow rope is placed in my hand, and I take the plunge.
Water surrdounds me, covering me with Minnesota love. Cold or warm, the water is perfect; ready for me to play in.
Idling, I let the boat prep to propel me out of the water and across the lake. I tense my muscles, check my form, and yell two words that will forever change your life, “hit it!”
Gravity and whatever other physics terms I don’t recall (maybe because I never took physics…) attempt to keep me down – to hold me back. But I fight through, I let the ski do the work. I ease my right foot into position, itching to cut.
When I see my opening, I take it. I shift my weight, I lean, and I hold my breath. The first cut is always the hardest – the wimpiest. It is a test of my strength, of my body’s ability to perform skills I work to master. The second cut is harder. More intense. Better. My rhythm comes the more I move. The more I cut. The more I dare.
I take in the views. The houses and trees lining the lake. The wildlife jumping, swimming, and flying. The other boats sitting and shifting. People sunning and fishing, skiining and jetting.
And I know that I made the right choice many summers ago when I chose side one: ski over side two: tube.
How do you prefer to spend your days on the lake? Ski vs. Tube.
Only you can say.