I book-ended my summer yesterday by learning a new trick.
While not on the Hood River or some beautiful ocean, I cut my teeth on a Minnesota lake learning the basics of the sport.
See, my dad is a huge fan of wind surfing. Back in the day, when I was but a little tyke, he was big into wind surfing with some of his friends. Last summer he rekindled his love of the sport and began buying up old boards and sails. On the last day of August, he finally got me to try it.
I was hesitant. I pictured myself biting it hard and flushing out my sinuses with lake water. I envisioned fractures and concussions.
None of that happened.
I watched my dad set up the board and the sail, remembering back to times I spent on a family friend’s sail boat — terms like “boom” and “mast” ringing a bell in my memory.
Then, in Blue Crush fashion, I waded into the water with the board. There were waves. White caps (I think I saw one or two). It was windy. Opposite of skiing water conditions. Once the board was ready my dad anchored the board and let out fifty feet of rope to prevent me from sailing across the entire lake (very likely situation). I felt safer knowing I was literally kid-leashed to my dad.
I listened to my dad tell me the first steps. I placed my hands on the board and pushed myself up. I fell off. Then I got back on, this time holding onto the rope. I up hauled the rope and pulled the sail out of the water. I focused. I re-focused. I fell again. When I got back on, I placed my feet in a wider stance on the board. I was determined to figure it out. I shifted my weight, moved my feet. And then, suddenly, it worked. I somehow figured out how to pull myself up, get my feet in position, up haul the rope, and grab the boom simultaneously. Laser focused on my technique, I barely noticed that I was actually moving until my dad said, “Megan, you’re sailing!”
I looked back and realized I was far away (fifty feet to be exact) from my dad. I was sailing. I had done it. Learned a new skill. Accomplished a new sport.
I did it again. And again. And again. And again.
And today, I’m a better person because of it. Stronger, albeit sore, but proud of myself for doing something new and not giving up.
This is a lifetime achievement for the books.