A Water Skiing Experience- A TRUE Story
It was mid 1981, and the summer was almost near. My girl friend, M. B. had just invited me out for drinks and fun in the dance club here in Baltimore MD. I was a student in Nursing School and I had just ended a relationship with a young man who was in my parents' eyes, a distraction during my studies. I was not going to say no to an invitation for socialization. M.B. and I showed up together at the club and I was exhilirated by the ambiance of the music and the scenery. We were greeted by a friend from the community college that M.B. had attended. He was with his friend, G.M. G.M. had a stocky build, about 5'10', approximately 180 lbs, a red head, with an impeccable smile under his rugged mustache and with charming, friendly brown eyes underneath those sturdy framed glasses.
The evening was great and it lasted until almost one a.m. It did not take long for G.M. to ask me for my number. He was only a few months older than I. He was an Engineering student in college. I felt it was a safe relationship since I found out how serious he was about finishing his education.
By Tuesday of the following week I can recall sitting in my Daddy's den speaking to my new friend on the phone. School was about to close for the summer, and so my study obligations were just about finished. The triple day holiday weekend was coming up and I was anticipating lovely weather. He interjected, "How would you like to come with my friends on my boat and go water skiing?" I could not say no. "I don''t know how to water ski." I replied. He said in response, " Oh, I can teach you." And then he went on to talk about how he could slolom ski, which is balancing oneself on one ski. I agreed, and the date was set. I was so excited.
When I entered the front room, my Mom saw the smile on my face. She said, "see I told you you couldn't wait all summer to be without a boyfriend! My girlfriend, A.M., who was sitting next to my Mom could not do anything but laugh. So now I had to get a new bathing suit for the occasion! I was thinking as I left the room.
Not only did we plan on going water skiing, we had the interest in snow skiing when the winter months would come. G.M. also taught me the basics of College Football 101. Going to College Park, Maryland for University of MD games was fun and exciting too.
The SKI BOAT
I had never been on a ski boat before. I had been on row boats and maybe a canoe in my time, but this was the first. The boat had a huge Outboard Motor, and it was blue and white. I was greeted by G. M. and his high school buddy, M.J. who did not have a girlfriend. I believe, his friends, J.S. and his girl friend, K.W. were there too. Wow! I was happy to also make new friends. G.M. also had another ski boat which he was fixing up. It was yellow and beige and it had an Inboard motor. There was a big difference in each boat. Then he would pull it out of his garage attached to the trailer on his friend's big pick up truck. Going to the River sitting in the back of a pick up truck with my new girlfriend, K.W. was pretty interesting.
The breeze was very nice on the water. Each one of us had to share the same set of skis and the safety vest. I waited to be last to take my turn. Then, with a lot of cheering and encouragement, I became brave. The water was cold, and murky. Bird River was not the cleanest. But it was an isolated spot which was used by other boaters and water skiers. My friends did not seem to mind. I'm glad that K.W. was there. I did not want to be the only female on the boat.
Here were my instructions:
First, put on this floating safety vest.
Then, jump into or climb out of the boat into the water, but don't touch the bottom of this river (It was muddy).
Next, wade out to about fifteen feet behind the boat and grab the tow rope with the handle. This is what I was to hang onto during the skiing process.
Next, with the handle around the elbow, grab the first ski tossed out to me. Boy, this was fun because these skis float and they move fast depending on how far they float in the water after being tossed. So I had to reach for it .
Next, put on the ski on my foot, mostly by feel. Oh Boy! This was a challenge.
Next, repeat this process with the other ski. It took longer because I couldn't hold down my already prepared right foot which was dealing with the buoyancy of the applied right ski. At least we were all laughing about this process.
Now, position both skis in front, wide apart, with the both hands holding the handle like a pole. Keep the knees bent, and the back straight. Wait for the boat to start, pick up speed, and, then...
With elbows bent, back straight, stand up while being pulled and HOLD ON!!
With careful listening, during this strenuous task of holding on for dear life, I followed instructions from my new dear friend, who was becoming more charming and more handsome as the day went on. He instructed me how to move to the left to go over the wake of the water, by leaning pressure on the left side by bending my knee. And then I learned how to cross back over the wake, by leaning pressure on the opposite leg, going to the right, and then continue to go over the right side wake, and then back again, doing the same to the left side.
Another challenge was a visual one. How does a visually impaired person without her eyeglasses or contact lenses, see where she is going, especially with the bright beautiful sunshine in her eyes?!
I eventually had my picture taken, as you can see, it was worth the challenge!
That summer, every weekend was rainless. and warm. There was so many opportunities to water ski that summer due to the great weather. I had a fun time. I had a great relationship with Mr. G.M. until he graduated from college.
The last time I went water skiing I remember falling flat on my back hitting the water very hard. I felt that I had injured my back, but never had any spinal exams at the doctors. I did not want to be told that I couldn't ski anymore. But then the relationship ended, and I never had the opportunity to ski again. Our career paths took us in different directions. By then, I was into my final year of education for my Nursing. Too Busy? Or maybe I just wasn't looking for another one who owned a ski boat.
I cherish the fact that there was an opportunity that I tried to have a talent at this sport. I was amazed and also gave glory to God for this wonderful experience!
Where I used to Waterski in Maryland, USA
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