Tuesday, July 14, 2009

4th of July

This 4th of July we went up to our usual stomping (splashing) grounds at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, GA, but this year was different. I had one of my best friends come up and join in the festivities of family, fireworks, cycling and skiing. Now, when the two of us get together, general mayhem inevitably ensues. This year, we kept the mayhem to a minimum because Rick came bearing gifts that would leave a grin on my face and bruises on my feet. No, these types of results are not considered mayhem at all...seriously...

The addition to the water ski war chest? A barefoot boom.

Just days prior to travelling up to the lake, I got the go-ahead from the doctor to "lift some light weights" after breaking my collarbone into several pieces in March. I figured, "It's water? How can you get hurt with water?" With that, I decided to try to get back to skiing. Now this is pretty funny based on my past 4th of July water skiing performances. (i.e. 2 ER trips due to wake boarding)

I put all the negative thoughts regarding my old injuries out of my head, and climbed out on the boom. Before we took off, Rick taught me how to execute a quick tumble turn, gave some other vague instructions about hanging on for dear life, smiled mischievously, and hit the gas. I was immediately skimming across the water on my belly with white spray flying and the engine roaring.

At around 3,000 mph...I'm guessing here... he yelled "GO!", which was surprising since I have never heard any instructions from the driver of the boat in all my years of skiing. Being 5 feet from the boat is really cool.

I rotated onto my back and pulled myself around on my rear which was comfortably covered by the most unattractive pair of neoprene padded shorts imaginable. Unattractive, that is, until you are screaming along just under the sound barrier while hanging from a bar off the side of a Mastercraft. Then these shorts take on the aura of something Versace would have easily sold for thousands of dollars on the Paris fashion show scene. As a side note, Rick didn't seem to like the stylings of these fabulous shorts and developed a serious aversion to wearing them properly while rocketing across the surface of the lake...BUT...we won't go into that to protect the innocent.

To finish the story of my first attempt at barefooting, I planted my feet after tumbling around and I felt the pressure on the soles of my feet. It was amazing! I had enough speed to actually get my weight out of the water on about 1/3rd of each foot. I stood up and was up and going! The water hammering on my feet did produce a bit of pain, but it was so cool to try a new style of skiing after years of slalom, wakeboarding, wakeskating, I was up over and over again no matter the pain. I love learning to ski new ways.

Not bad for my first try if I do say so myself...

I took Rick for a tow and he showed us some really good "Feet Skiing", as Bryce would call it. I must say Rick really is good at this stuff! It's great to have him as coach.

Another benefit of a Barefoot boom is teaching kids to ski. The coach/driver can be right next to them and talk with them as the boat takes off. We got Bryce up for several hundred yards and Ansley even tried it too. Ansley would just giggle as she was pulled along. It was wonderful to see the family and friends enjoying the water.

I will post more kid pictures once I get the camera's memory card back from the lake house where I managed to leave it, so stay tuned for a second post!

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