Waterskiing is a lot like life. When waterskiing around the slalom course you are never exactly sure how successful you will be in passing through the entrance gates, around six buoys, and through the exit gates. Mentally I know what I need to do to complete the slalom course, but the trick is in getting my body to do it. It is easy to just go into an automatic mode and let the pass through the slalom course happen. Unfortunately, growth is impossible since the same strategy yields the same results.
I made good progress this year in improving my slalom course strategy by pushing myself outside my comfort zone. It is always difficult for me to attend waterski school since I have this fear of being unable to make my body finesse itself through the slalom course with a different strategy / form. I worked past this fear and received top notch slalom course instruction at April Coble’s Waterski School.
I was able to break through a plateau in my waterskiing with this instruction. I still struggle many times, I know what to do but am unable to get my body to bend to the will of my mind. I have the same problem in real life. I know the good I want to do but leave the kind word unspoken, the good deed unattended and the charity not given.
Fortunately, my waterskiing improved throughout the summer and I won the most improved waterskier award at the Ohio INT Championship banquet last evening. I was very surprised and honored to receive this award. My friend Jason probably deserved this award more than myself but I won’t complain. I won 1st place in the Men’s Slalom Expert division after getting bumped up from the Slalom 1st Class division at the last tournament.
I hope I am successful in applying my slalom course learnings to the rest of my life. The most important life lesson I learned this year was that equilibrium (or balance) in living is dangerous. Forcing myself to change by challenging old habits and trying new approaches was very refreshing while at the same time very scary. Having quality instruction, peers to hold you accountable and time to experiment with new strategies was a very successful equation.
A big thanks goes out to Jason for all his feedback, helping me to hang in there on the rough days and for giving me excellent tidbits to get around that next buoy. Jason is also very generous with his boat and taught me that I need to be more trusting with my toys. I thank God for the good health and opportunity to waterski. I qualified for and hope to ski again this year at the INT national championship.