First Time Up

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate June 2001

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Having been up late trying to convince my brother that I was better than he at water-skiing, it was difficult to wake up early. Our parents told us the night before that in order to catch the best skiing conditions we would have to be on the water around 7:30.

The thought that I might hurt myself while water-skiing and then I wouldn't be able to play soccer kept popping up in my head . I was scared that something might happen that wouldn't allow me to start the season with my team. This fear kept me from sleeping throughout the night. Not wanting to face my fear, I pretended to be asleep in order avoid going skiing as long as possible. I stayed in bed, hiding until I heard my mom's footsteps coming to wake me up. Then I jumped out of bed and threw on my suit.

While I ate my breakfast I couldn't stop thinking about how much I would rather be in my bed than out in the cold water doing something that is one of my biggest fears. I remembered what my dad had told me numerous times about fears. He said that the only way to overcome my fear was to face it. So therefore I was skiing this morning for a couple of reasons. One, to prove to my brother that I was better than he was, and two, I had to overcome my fear of injuring myself. Even after having a good breakfast I still had a bad feeling about going out on this gloomy, overcast, morning on the cold, dark water.

I walked outside and a morning Tahoe breeze sent the chills down my body as I began to put on my wet-suit. As I walked down the rocky path towards our boat I heard my mother yell to me over the birds chirping: "Don't worry, everything's going to be fine, you won't get hurt, you'll do great." Hearing this made me worry only more. I then realized that someone shared my fear of getting injured. I didn't want to say anything to my mom Tozer 2 because I didn't want her to know how scared I was. If she was aware of my fear, she might possibly take away my opportunity to show up my brother and overcome my fear.

After trying to convince our friend to go before me in hopes of watching someone else fail, I put my skis on and sat helplessly on the back of the boat. Dangling my legs in and out of the dark water, the fear came back. The fear wasn't only of hurting myself, but it had now grown to being scared of failure to ski. As a result of not skiing for over a year and a half, because my family haven't been able to get up to the lake, I felt pressure from everyone there: My brother, whom I was trying to out-ski; my parents watching from the deck, who think I can do anything; and my little sister who looks up to me. Even though my family would be happy with me for just attempting to ski, I don't want to let them down by not performing good enough. If I were to disappoint them I would feel horrible.

So after taking one more quick glance around at the anxious faces of my family and friends, the water, and the cloudy sky, I hopped in and swam to the rope.

As the engine revved up and the boat powerfully jerked me forward, I surprised everyone including myself by popping out of the water onto my dark blue skis on the first try. Minutes later as we ripped through the once calm water, I wasn't sure what to think, for I hadn't planned on staying up as long as I had been. I soon realized that I was overcoming my fear by doing something that I used to be terrified of. Moreover, my strength and stamina would soon be tested as other boats started flying through the water.

After being up for fifteen to twenty minutes, my legs had become quite weak and my skis had some how become looser than when I first slipped my feet into them. Combining with these two was a massive boat zipping right past. This boat left for me its malicious wake. Having thought about how I was going to go about falling previously, due to my tiredness, I was afraid of making a mistake and hitting the water. By this time I was just trying to stop safely. As I tried to get back over our wake combined with the passing boat's wake I fell forward sooner than expecting and both of my skis fell off.

Tozer 3 Now sitting in the water I realized by the flow of blood coming down from my face, that when I flew forward my ski had followed me and struck me in the left temple.

Floating in the water with the taste of the salt-water in my mouth and my feet freezing , I helplessly waited for the boat to arrive. While sitting there in the water I realized that I may have hurt myself bad enough not to be able to play soccer. I would have to wait for the answer from the driver of the boat, Dr. Coward, who is a well known doctor and would decide if I needed stitches or not.

Before I knew it I had been rescued from the icy water and helped into the boat.

Shivering in my seat with two towels around my body and one on the cut, we speeded back home where the doctor could examine me further and clean the wound. During whole ride home I couldn't stop worrying about what he was going to tell me. Everyone at the cabin had grown nervous by the time I arrived, because my sister had jumped out of the boat as we docked and ran and spread the news. Anxiously, I sat down with Dr.

Coward and he began to clean it. In a couple of minutes I heard the good news that I didn't need stitches and that he would just bandage it. Most importantly that I could still play soccer.

Along with the exciting news about being able to play soccer, my mom informed me that my brother didn't wasn't going to even try to water-ski after seeing how good I did. So I walked up the wooden stairs and sat in the hot spa with my head bandaged up. There, I realized that by facing my fear I was able to conquer it and have a good time.