Some people get the luxury of taking vacations multiple times a year. Some can only go once a year while others can’t go at all. I have the good fortune of going once a year. My extended family owns a couple lake condos for one week in June. This week, actually. I get so eager to come down here when the time arrives. There’s a bunch of swimming, games, tubing, skiing, feeding ducks, and hanging out together. My favorite part is going skiing. I only get to go once a year.
As of writing this post, I haven’t gone skiing yet, but I did get to drive a waverunner today. I’ve driven one in the past, but briefly and today, I got to really test myself on it.
I always wanted a waverunner. Or at least, I thought it would be cool to own one. They’re the motorcycles of the open water and I love boating. It’s freeing to sit at the bow and feel the wind rush past you, like you’re flying over the open water. People always tease about that scene from Titanic where Rose is spreading her hands out over the bow of the ship, but really, have they done it? It feels amazing!
Yet, a waverunner is different from an actual boat. There’s less to hold onto and when you’re riding with your brother, there are moments where he has to the do the brotherly tease of speeding up and slowing down suddenly and without warning. It’s hard to predict the runner’s movement when you’re the passenger and I’ll admit, I was nervous about hitting the waves. We never fell off, but with it being a smaller boat, some of those waves can hit you pretty hard (just ask my uncle). My brother took me around for a couple turns around the cove…then he asked me if I wanted to drive.
Did I want to drive? I took a deep breath and made that 😬 face. The thought was kinda scary. I mean, I can’t afford to replace the waverunner if I mess it up. What if I flip it? The last time I was on a jetski, I threw everyone off of it and made one of the passengers cry! I didn’t want to repeat that! Yet, I wasn’t sure I would have another chance. I mean, I used to dream about owning one, and I can’t do that if I’m afraid to drive one! Plus, my brother isn’t going to cry if I throw him off. He’s a big boy and he’ll likely just tease me (then I would throw him off on purpose). My brother is also leaving lake week early and if I was going to drive that thing, he was the one I wanted with me. So, I steeled myself and said yes.
We get back to the dock so we can switch places (we didn’t exactly trust ourselves to not fall off if we tried it on the open water). My brother starts running through the controls when my younger cousin cuts in to “teach me” as well. I’m already anxious and I do worse when multiple people are yelling or trying to tell me things. Since my brother knows this, he snaps at my cousin to shut up. My brother finishes up the lesson and we ship out.
I start off slow to get used to the throttle. It reminded me of when I was first learning to drive my truck. Go. Sudden slow down. Go! Killed it. Gooooo. Too fast! Panic! Let go of the throttle! Sudden slow down! Gah!
Good thing you can’t kill a waverunner like a stick shift truck. It’s just bunch of sudden speed ups and slow downs that your poor passenger is rocking back and forth like a loose bouy. We weren’t getting anywhere, so I took a deep breath, pulled myself together, gradually increased the throttle, and willed myself to not let go. It was thrilling to be flying over the water. I got it up to 47 miles per hour and that was even in the rain. We hit a couple waves that I didn’t see, and hit a couple waves that I went for. We held on, handled it well, and kept on going. I even dodged a piece of debris after seeing it last minute! And we still didn’t fall off (unlike my cousin and uncle. They stopped in the middle of the wake and it was a hilarious, slow motion tip over)!
I didn’t want to hog the waverunner or use up my godparents’ gas, so we pulled in to dock. I would go again, though. I’ve not been able to drive a watercraft myself and having that control was a new experience. Plus, I would love to test myself on some higher waves.
Just goes to show you can’t let fear hold you back. Fear or past experiences. Driving a waverunner may not seem like a biggie, but you never know what could happen on the water and you certainly don’t want to pay for something you can’t afford. If I let that fear hold me back, I wouldn’t have been flying with tears streaming from my eyes as the wind rushes past my face. The spray of the water splashes up at the waves and the rain pelts down in teasing stings. It was exciting and the water was crisp and refreshing.
So, if there’s ever a moment where you get the chance to try something new. Take it! You never know how you might like it. If fear tries to hold you back, take a deep breath and ten seconds of courage to say “yes.” Get yourself right in the middle of it and do it. Fly the water. Chase a dream. Do something new!