As most travelers have love for adventure and adrenaline, water skiing was on my bucket list ever since I saw my friend attempt to do it in Aruba.
The first attempt was in Varadero, Cuba. It was disastrous and I was sure it would be my last. Having seen my friend try water skiing for the first time and painfully twisting his ankle, I was determined not to hurt myself. As I slid my feet into the water skis for the first time and held the rope waiting for the pull of the boat, I was feeling determined to get up from the first try and avoid injuring myself at all costs! I managed to practically get up fully and stand with confidence, when I unexpectantly fell forwards face first into the water with my legs dragging behind me. Determination however got the better half of me, and I wouldn’t let go of the rope. Thinking that if I just bring my legs forward I can get up. Nothing could phase my determination, not the fact that I was being dragged through the ocean face first, swallowing a fair share of salt water, nor did the horrible stinging in my eyes stop me. But when I felt my bikini bottoms around my ankles and the water skis slipping off my feet in the open ocean, panic struck. I was ready for everything but this. Realizing that my bikini bottoms would drown in the deep ocean waters and I would have no choice but to get back into the small boat with the middle aged somewhat-sketchy looking man butt naked and head back to one of the most crowded beaches I have ever visited with nothing on but a bikini top was more than I could take. I quickly let go of the rope and grabbed my bikini as it began to slip off my feet just in time. Embarrassed beyond belief and having swallowed more than my fair share of salt water, I decided to get back into the boat and check “try water skiing” off my bucket list.
Years later, in Mango Bay Beach, Barbados, I was somewhat tempted to try again, this time wearing shorts over my bikini bottoms of course, as they offered free water skiing lessons at the resort. A talented older gentleman instructed me the proper way to get up and even go over the waves in a couple of days, and water skiing no longer became a funny story to tell my friends but a sport I now enjoy every time I go to a sunny destination down in the Caribbean.
The lesson in all of this? No matter how hard you fail the first time, no matter how unpleasant your first experience was, it can’t hurt (of course if you do not injure yourself) to give it a second try. You might be pleasantly surprised! 🙂