Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bryce Learns to Ski!!!

I had wondered when Bryce would want to give water skiing a try. I wanted him to learn last year, but I didn’t push it, because one lousy experience trying something new could turn a kid off to the whole idea. I waited for Bryce to say he wanted to give it a go instead…and waited……and waited.

This 4th of July, the magic words finally came out of his mouth. “Dad, I wanna ski.” Imagine bubbling excitement in his voice…and in my response. Sure! Let’s go!!!

I started off playing a game with him near the dock instead of just chucking him behind a noisy boat with all manner of parents and paparazzi like camera flashes. We found a pair of well used yellow Cypress Gardens training skis in the back of the MasterCraft, and I sat behind the boat fixing the little ties that would keep the skis from taking off in opposite directions. Bryce and I hopped in the water, and I helped him put the skis on just like we would when the main event was going to happen. I gave him all the little instructions for new skiers, arms out straight, stay in a little ball and don’t stand up too quickly.

The best advice was in the form of a question, and it displayed his attitude toward the whole adventure. I asked as we floated behind the boat with a ski rope and unwieldy skis on for the first time, “What happens if you don’t get up the first time?”

He answered, “You get really wet!” Perfect…

After he was used to what skis felt like and was comfortable with the things we would do just before the boat took off, I played around by pulling him through the water holding onto the handle. This may not have been effective at giving him any more than just another reason to splash and laugh with his sister, but maybe the hard tug of the handle would get him used to the boat taking off. It certainly doesn’t take much to get a 55lb kid out of the water.

Then the time came. He was excited, and I was really really excited…nobody could tell of course…

Look at that grin...

Bryce behind the boat After a try or two where he lost the handle or flopped to one side he got it. He only skied about 30 feet that first go, but he was on his way.

I am so proud of him and excited for him.

We tried it again the next day, and he improved more than doubling his distance before falling. I even got around to the instructions of, “You are up now. It’s time to start standing up a little more.” I hadn’t anticipated him getting that far in just a few tries.

Unfortunately we didn’t have the camera videoing his more proficient attempts, but there will be years more. Eventually he will end up doing goofy things to entertain the boat like someone else we know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This truly a wonderful time, isn't it?! Congratulations to Bryce. Yes, he'll take over the goofy antics role, I suspect, and the gliding, slicing through the water on glassy lake mornings, too.

Go Bryce!