What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Way of the Water May 28, 2016

I’ve never had the best relationship with water sports. I mean, I love water, and swimming, and boating. But the water seems to hate me. Either that or it’s trying to tell me I’m actually Poseidon’s daughter and is trying to take me home.

There have been a few head injuries on boats and one true near death experience, but while people start heading to the lake for memorial day, the waterskiing incident seems most appropriate.

For three summers in my early teen years I went to camp Waziyatah. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because of the Disney summer camp reality show Bug Juice. I wasn’t there the filming year; I started going to next summer, but a lot of the kids were still coming to camp and damn did that show mess with their heads! I’ll tell you all about it sometime, but for now, back to our story.

I had never been waterskiing before. My family is much more into canoes than boats with motors, but all the cool kids had signed up for waterskiing, and, my being thirteen, I wanted to try it. I went down to the boat, lifejacket strapped on, expecting a super intense lesson before we really hit the water. Nope. They just walked me into the water, strapped skis to my feet, and told me under no circumstances was I supposed to let go of the wooden pole that was my lifeline to the boat.

Probably sound advice, but I’ve always been a bit of a literalist. You tell me to do something, I’m going to do it. The driver hopped into the boat, and I clung onto my mini-pole for dear life. What I didn’t know was that the dude driving the boat had no idea WTF he was doing. He blasted the boat, jumping it as fast as it would go, ripping the pole from my hands. Wouldn’t have been a big deal, except I was holding on for dear life, but the boat was stronger than me! So when it pulled the pole from my hands, it ripped all the tendons in my right hand.

The first freakin’ week of an eight-week camp. Luckily, my parents were on staff, so my mom took me to the ER herself. I had to get a creepy half-cast and couldn’t use my hand for anything for the rest of the summer. To this day, my pickle jar opening game still sucks because of that damn dude who didn’t know how to drive a boat. #SummerCampCounselorFail

And no, I’ve never tried water skiing again.


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