I’m not writing today’s article on account of the torrential downpour we are receiving in Sydney. However the rain and cooler weather is a welcome relief. Not only to extinguish the fires burning around the state, but also because I’m a bit over the hot weather.
I’m an outdoors person, however the recent heat has been getting to me, and I miss my wardrobe options.
I say that because all I’m able to wear in the hot weather is shorts and a singlet. Not that I mind. In fact, that’s my most favourite clothing choice. But I also like wearing a lot of clothes. Layering I mean. The older I get, the more I appreciate the cooler weather.
Being an outdoors person, I also spend a lot of time in the sun, and looking at my perpetually tanned skin (I have olive skin anyway), I often wonder if all the time spent in the sun will result in me looking like Donatella Versace in my older age. So yes, the cooler weather is a nice change.
So anyway, back to the title. Water, water everywhere.
I went to the Hawkesbury River again on the weekend. I made sure to wear my bikini if I decided to go water-skiing again. Upon arriving, I announced that today I had indeed wore my bikini.
“I didn’t bring the boat today” my friend said.
“Oh” I don’t know if I was relieved or disappointed.
We sat and chatted for a while. Like last time, I drank two beers, and chilled out.
I looked out to the river. There were a bunch of young guys fooling around on their speed boats. There was one guy zipping along in this funny looking boat. He was going so fast.
It was this flat boat, with an outboard motor and no seats. He was jumping waves and the boat was vertical at some points.
“That’s called a thundercat” my friend explained.
(Click on the YouTube link here to see what a thundercat is: http://youtu.be/Y6Wpe4CRUlM )
“Has he ever flipped it?” I commented as the boat was clearly unstable looking.
“Yeah once” my friends son answered. “You want me to take you for a ride in it?”
And the fight and fear began within me.
“Nah, I’m too old for that shit” I answered. They all laughed.
“C’mon. It’s fun.” my friends son answered.
Again, the combination of the alcohol coursing through my veins as well as my easily persuaded side overruled my sensibility.
“Oh alright. You’re such a bully” I responded, as my friend was already popping a life jacket on me before I had time to back out.
“You only get bullied if you give in” my friend told me.
So I made my way down to the boat, and clambered in.
“Sit back so we get more airborne” my friends son told me “and hold on”
I remember my friends son when he was a little boy, and now here I was, sitting next to this 6 foot tall 17 year old, who clearly has not developed the capacity for fear.
And off we went.
We were going so fast. I was clinging on for dear life. The wind rushing past with such violent force, that my sunglasses were literally embedded into my face. I was pleading with him to slow down a bit, because I was terrified of falling out at such a high speed.
Surrounded by the deep, dark waters of the Hawkesbury River, something I’ve always been afraid of, I desperately did not want to fall out. My friends son kept on reassuring me that we wouldn’t.
We jumped waves, we had the boat vertical. And my friends son would just laugh. I lasted less than 10 minutes, before telling him I’d had enough, and he relented and took me back to dry land.
“That was fucked” I told my friends, my hands trembling, once I got back. They laughed.
But after my heart rate had returned to normal, I admitted that no, it was actually fun. Not that I’d do it again, but it was certainly an experience. Or maybe I would do it again. Yeah. I think I would do it again.
So what is the life lesson in this particular experience?
Well, first, it’s necessary to give into your fears. Otherwise you will not get to experience new things. And you might end up having fun. Yes I woke up on Sunday morning with sore arms from holding on for dear life, but it was worth it.
Second, I was not really bullied into it. I was a willing participant. Until we can come to understand that it is what we agree to, we will always hold someone else responsible. The ultimate decision is always up to you. Yes, some of us are easily coerced, but you are the one who chooses in the end.
Third, have trust. I trusted my young friend to keep me safe. And he did.
And last, don’t overthink things. And be fearless like the young ones. And like Nike. And just do it.