Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Boogie Boards and Big Dreams

Last week, I did something crazy.  I chaperoned a pre-teen trip to a local water park.  (That wasn't the crazy part.)  I wore a swimsuit, which was pretty crazy.  And scary.  Even if I did wear shorts with it.  A thirty something momma of two squeezing into a stretchy swimsuit...ugh.  But I digress.  No, as challenging as that may have been, that wasn't my crazy adventure.

I learned to boogie board.


I told my husband once that if we ever went to Hawaii or California or someplace with actual waves (which we don't have on the Texas coast) I want to learn to surf.  His response?  Hysterical laughter.  It was justified.  Let's just say that I'm not known for my gracefulness.  I'm known more for tripping on flat surfaces.  So I'm not a natural candidate for surfing skills.

Still, I've always wanted to try.  Last week, when we walked into that water park, what was the first thing I saw?  Surfing.  Ok, boogie boarding, actually, but close enough.  I knew I has to try it before we left.  But I couldn't talk any of the kids into it.  We warmed up on a few water slides - with me screaming the whole time.  Then we floated the river surrounding the park, where I flipped over in the rapids and hurt my knee.  (I told you I'm not very graceful.). The day wore on, until finally I knew it was now or never.

Image credit: Schlitterbahn Galveston

I made my way to the boogie board line.  At first, I stood aside, just watching, before working up the nerve to get in line.  It didn't take long to realize that I was the oldest person there, by quite a few years.  I guess that's why one kid looked at me so funny when he asked, "Are you going to try it?"  

My nerves almost got the better of me as I watched college guys and small children attempt it.  I was supposed to hold this board, dive down a hill into a rushing current of two-inch-deep water, then get on my knees on said board?  It had disaster written all over it.  When it was my turn, I stood telling the guy overseeing it, "Look, I have no idea what I'm doing."  He explained, then demonstrated, then turned me loose.  I held my board, took a deep breath, and dove.  

And it worked.  I caught the current just right, and stayed on the board, on my stomach, for quite a while.  I felt so confident that I got back in line for a second try.  This time, when my turn rolled around, I asked the guy what the secret was to getting on your knees on the board.  He explained, and again, I did it.  It was amazing.  By the time I finished the second round, I was exhausted, my knee was killing me from my earlier wipeout, and our group was packing up, so I headed out - but I've got to say, I felt great.  I rocked.

Okay, you're probably wondering what my boogie boarding adventure has to do with anything.  I've talked a lot about my dreams this year - my huge, crazy, God-sized dreams.  If I'm going to dream big, I have to overcome some of the same hurdles I overcame to boogie board.

1. Don't be afraid to look crazy.
I would have spent weeks kicking myself if I hadn't tried it that day.  I would rather look like the crazy middle aged woman on a boogie board than to regret missing the opportunity.

2. Take a deep breath and just dive in.
All I knew about boogie boarding, I learned from a thirty second conversation with a teenager.  I just had to take what little I knew and dive in.  We can only learn so much by standing on the sidelines - sometimes we just have to experience it for ourselves.

3. Celebrate taking the leap.
Okay, so maybe throwing my hands in the air and telling my oldest, "I surfed - and I rocked!" wasn't the appropriate way to celebrate.  But just taking leap is something to celebrate, even of things don't turn out like you planned.

Have you ever done something wild and crazy, not caring how you looked?  Tell me about it.  Please.  So I won't think I'm crazy.  

(Just incase you're wondering, I'm still recovering from the sunburn and the injured knee.  But it was totally worth it.)

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