Don’t Let the Boat Pull You Over


If you’ve been reading my blogs for any amount of time you’re probably ready for yet another meaningless life event blown up into some grand over thought analogy right? Well, you are in luck! This one begins with a tale from The Adventures of Dale Hollow Lake, a book that I will someday win the Pulitzer for… or maybe not.I love being on the lake, but I’m not an avid water sports woman by any stretch of the imagination. My adventures usually involve a chick-lit novel, a floatation device (worn like a diaper) and a cold Corona with lime. I might get a little crazy from time to time depending upon the heat of the sun and wind up mildly tipsy and radically sunburned, but that’s usually where the excitement ends.

This past weekend I was invited on a houseboat trip with some friends. In typical Elicia style, I stretched out on the top deck to get my tan (burn) on with a good book and good tunes. Unlike my usual accomplices on such trips the friends that were with me were much more into activity than relaxation and someone threw out the idea of wakeboarding. After some friendly persuasion, I put down the book and decided to give it a try.

My mind normally convinces my body that it is better, stronger, faster and more agile than it really is. Wakeboarding was no different. I looked easy enough. Relax in the water and wait for the boat to help you to a standing position and then glide across the water. I strapped on my board and floated out into the water waiting for the ski rope to be tossed to me. As I tried to get the board to cooperate with the direction of my feet while I merely floated, I realized quickly that I was sorely mistaken in my perception of the ease of the sport.

As much as I would love to say that I got up on my first attempt, the boat actually ripped the rope from my hands before I even realized we were moving.

The second attempt was strangely similar.

On the third attempt I did actually hang on but as soon I was partially up out of the water I was pulled over and landed flat on my face.

The boat circled around and the captain shouted over at me, “Girl, don’t let this boat pull you over! You’ve almost got it!”


Five blisters, a pulled muscle and twelve attempts later I decided that I wasn’t cut out for the world of wakeboarding. My friends pulled my exhausted body back to the boat and I barely made it out of the water before collapsing on the swim deck. I could have easily felt defeated, especially when everyone that followed me was not only able to stand up but could glide, spin around and even jump. However as I recovered and examined my bruised and blistered hands I couldn’t help but feel a little proud. I had given those waves everything I had.

Every day for the past few months has had the boat-like potential to pull me over onto my face and leave me wallowing in the wake of my old life. A life that sometimes feels almost like it never even existed. I’m moving on through the sadness and tears, confusion and grief and I refuse to let the boat pull me over.

Sure, I might fail. I might fall flat on my face a few times, but I won’t go down without a fight, a few blisters and humming the Rocky theme song.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.” – August Wilson


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