JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 6 – YOGA DAY 240 :: and she skis!

3 Sep

Day 240: Up.

There were so many highlights and firsts on this trip, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But this day, Day 5, had many highlights to share. The saddest part was knowing it was our last full day at Wilson Creek Canyon. Maybe that’s why we made the most of it? Isn’t it always…

Lake Powell Day 5:

The highlight of the trip could have been rescuing the FLAMINGO for the THIRD time, before it was pounded at the base of the slide and left waterlogged with only two wings left. No neck. All wings. But still floating.

Or, it could have been watching everyone else get up on skis and cut across the water with so much ease and grace. This is what waterskiing is supposed to look like: smiling, fun, up out of the water…

But Ali wasn’t just waterskiing, she was surfing… behind the boat… and, yes, she was as graceful as she looks in this photo.

The highlight could have also been the ancient Navajo petroglyphs we spotted on our hike through Cha Canyon.

Some seemed more ancient than others…

But then we finally found THE ROCK. The one that was pictured in Mike’s guidebook and is an honest-to-goodness ancient Navajo petroglyph.

So, I, of course, took the moment to do a yoga pose. Well…. at least I TRIED to do a yoga pose but my legs were so sore I couldn’t quite lift them…

So I did an easy one instead… because, when in the canyon…
you do what you can do…

Then we passed heart rocks and purple rocks and red rocks along the path….

All of that couldn’t compare to seeing the smile on this girl’s face when she stood up on water skis for the first time.

After three days of floating in the water and bobbing inside a life jacket, hearing helpful commands and tips from those who knew what they were doing…

  • Knees in tight
  • Crouch like you’re taking a poop
  • Push the bush
  • Growl at the rope
  • Don’t lean too far forward
  • Don’t lean too far back
  • Push against the water

We finally moved Operation “Get Courtney and Jamie up on Skis” to the “Boom.”

The boom is a long beam that attaches to the boat. Like training wheels for waterskiing. After many attempts, I watched Courtney bob up and down in the water, fall to her left, to her right, behind and thought to myself, “There is no way I am going to do that again.”

Then, finally, on one last attempt, Justin leaned over the boat and said, “You’ve got this my little discount aisle banana!” He was referring to the bruises up and down Courtney’s legs. She laughed. We all did. And then on the next run, Courtney did it.


And that was the best smile of the entire trip. Priceless. I know there is a photo of it somewhere, and I will post it as soon as I can get my hands on it. But this I do know for sure and saw with my own eyes…that little Chiquita Banana can ski. Yay, Courtney!!!

And then, it was my turn. Somewhere between watching Courtney get up on skis and my own failed attempts piling up on top of my bruised ego, I made a promise that I was not getting out of the water until I got up on those damn skis.

Again, the commands were being yelled.

  • Knees in tight
  • Crouch like you’re taking a poop
  • Push the bush
  • Growl at the rope
  • Don’t lean too far forward
  • Don’t lean too far back
  • Push against the water

It was too much. Command Center Overload. My body had no idea what to do next. And I kept falling. I gripped the boom too tight and my skis flew out behind me leaving me in the dust. I didn’t hold on long enough and my butt fell in the water granting it another Powell Water Enema au gratis.

Then I heard my father’s words run through my head. From when I was a teenager and he was trying to teach me to golf. It was the same overload of commands. Head down. Elbows in. Knees bent. Swing through. Finally, in his own frustration, he said to me, “Oh, just hit the goddamn ball.” And I did.

So, as I bobbed in the water I repeated to myself over and over, “Just stand up. Just stand up. That’s all you have to do. Just stand up.”As the boat came back and I gripped the boom I said to myself, “Just. Stand. Up.” And then I did!

To which I immediately fell to the left and landed on my side (and I had no idea why.)  That had never happened before. I hit my hands on the water and screamed… “Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!”

I was tired. I was spent. My elbow was bruised. I wanted back on dry land. I wanted to give up. But COURTNEY had done it. Courtney’s smile had lit up the entire canyon and I wanted some of THAT.

And, that, is what is so amazing about FIRSTS. Those that go first pave the way. Those that go first show us the way. And those that go first prove that it can be done.

So I held onto the boom one last time. And said to myself…

  • Knees in tight
  • Crouch like you’re taking a poop
  • Push the bush
  • Growl at the rope
  • Don’t lean too far forward
  • Don’t lean too far back
  • Push against the water
  • Just. Stand. UP.

And then I did. Apparently, I was in so much shock I kept the growl on my face. But I was up. Maybe growling, but all six feet of this forty-two-year-old body was up, out of the water, skiing.

That night we celebrated. With dancing and deviled eggs.

It’s a good reminder to never give up.
And also to never underestimate how what we do helps others.
And, oh yeah…. Just. Stand. Up.
More tomorrow.


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