The Boat Guy wakeboarding video is a testimony to not getting scared of doing something you want just because everybody says, “It’s too hard,” It’s too dangerous,” “You’ll never learn it,” and so on. So much of what I enjoy in my life I was told I shouldn’t do, or even attempt.
Want examples? In high school, when I told people that someday I was going to be a successful professional race driver, everybody said, “It ain’t gonna happen, man!” Well, it worked out okay. I was also told I “wasn’t college material,” and I actually enrolled at Washington State University just to prove people wrong. Just between you and me, I didn’t think I was college material either, but I was going to go and give it everything I had. I graduated Cum Laude and my college experience is a part of my life that I am very grateful for. It changed who I am and how I think today (I also learned that chocolate cake and tequila don’t mix). When I started playing flamenco guitar in my 50′s, people said, “Learn something easier.” But, I loved flamenco. Playing flamenco is now a huge part of my life. I wouldn’t give it up for anything!
Not too many years ago, I rode my motorcycle from Seattle to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and back with my friend Art Jones. Everyone said we were completely crazy, that we were going to be kidnapped, murdered, held hostage, or worse. Well, we made the trip and it was an amazing, wonderful experience! People could not have been more friendly or helpful to us. Well, we did have one problem. Art fell and broke his leg on our second day in Mexico, while we were in some tricky sand. Art rode for two more weeks, never went to a doctor, never complained. He was a “happy camper” the entire trip. When we returned home, he had to have his leg re-broken, so it would heal correctly. Art’s a tough guy and he treasurers our trip as much as I do.
So, people said, “You’ll never get up on a wakeboard! It’s for young guys!” I’m 59. Well, I did get up, thanks to some great instruction from Greg Young at Northwest Riders. It was actually easy, really. It’s a ton of fun and something I would like to do more. And it really piqued my interest in watching the Hyperlite Wakeboard Experience competition at Seafair this year!
I like to tell people about my “nursing home test.” I don’t fear being old, infirm, sick, and dying in a nursing home. That is going to happen some day. It’s just life, no worries. My fear is being old, sick, infirm, and dying in a nursing home with regrets about not trying something because people said, “It’s too difficult, too dangerous, too hard to learn etc.” Look, if you think, when your life is coming to a close, that you might regret not trying something, then get off your ass, find someone to teach you and give it a try! Frankly, it has made my life richer. Life is short, “active” life is even shorter, so get out there! Oh, and check out the Hyperlite Wakeboard Experience on Seafair Sunday. Look for a skinny, old guy with chicken legs. You never know, I might give it a try!