Learning to wakeboard behind a ski boat is a lot like life. Hard to get up, quick to fall down and painful when you make a misjudgment on your skill level.

We have a lake house on Lake Lanier in Georgia just north of Atlanta. As with most lake houses we have a ski boat, Sea-Doo’s and all the water toys.

We have skied for years but back in 2005 we decided to learn wakeboarding. A wakeboard is basically a short fat ski that you stand sideways on. Think of snowboarding and wakeboarding is basically the same thing except on water instead of snow.

I remember we took a trip to Orlando in spring of 2005 to take a wakeboarding class with an instructor. We were all in the boat and when it came my turn I put on the wakeboard and jumped into the water. When you ride a wakeboard you are standing sideways like you have seen people do on a surf board.

So here I am, in the water ready to be pulled on a wakeboard by the boat. The boat takes off, I get up on the board and start riding on the water and having a great time. I am a left foot forward skier so on a wakeboard I am sideways with my left side toward the boat. Get the picture?

So about half way on my ride I look down and think, why don’t I swivel the board around to right foot forward. Sounds easy right? So I start to pivot the board from left to right and I learned a very big lesson in the process. When you wakeboard you are strapped in boots that are attached to the board so your feet don’t just slide out. You have to unbuckle to get out of the boots. Back to the story, so I decide to pivot on the board from left to right and the front of the board dipped in the water and I splashed face first in the water. Now it is not just face first, it is face first at the same speed the boat is going. When I fell, the boat was going about 24 miles per hour and therefore my face hit the water at 24 miles per hour. Now 24 mph may not sound fast but if you run your face into a wall at 24 mph it is going to hurt. Ha. I remember I actually saw a few stars when I realized what had happened.

So why this story? Life is like wakeboarding because you need to look at the details before you make a move. Had I given any level of thought on the wakeboard to what could have gone wrong, I would have seen that big fat font lip on the board and said to myself, I need to keep that out of the water because it will hurt. I didn’t do that and it did hurt.

I find that the best wisdom in life decisions is to think ahead two or three steps and ask yourself, if it doesn’t work out like I plan, will we still be ok? Pretty simple right? If you ask yourself that question and the worst result is still ok, then it is probably alright to go ahead. If the worst result could be devastating if your plan fails, then you probably should give the decision a lot of thought. So tonight in the shower just bust your face against the wall at 24 mph and you will know what it is like to make a misjudgment. Ha. KT

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