Our family just returned today from a 12-day roadtrip to Arkansas and Missouri to spend time with both of our extended families. As usual, we spent a lot of time on the water. Because, as I’ve written about before, my family was pretty much all born with mega watersports genes.
Well, everyone, that is, but me. Somehow, I didn’t really get any watersports skills genes at all.
I’m not kidding. Trust me on this one.
So, for years on our trips to Bull Shoals Lake, I’ve contented myself with tubing, riding in the boat, watching kiddos, and (let’s be honest) hanging out in the cabin reading. Because I’ll take a good book over waterspots any ‘ole day.
I usually at least make one attempt at water-skiing on each trip to the lake. Just to make sure, you know, that I didn’t magically get injected with the watersports gene in the past 12 months. 🙂
And the attempt always ends in failure. But that’s okay, because I’ve really owned the fact that I have other gifts and core competencies and I’m good with leaving the watersports proficiencies to others.
This year, my family brought a knee board and most everyone learned how to knee board. I didn’t even consider trying because, well, I’m not good at watersports.
But as I watched others in my family learn how to knee board, it really looked like fun. Then, Jesse tried his hand at it and had a blast.
I didn’t try the knee board while we were at Bull Shoals with my family last week and I sort of regretted it. So when we were with Jesse’s family this week and they rented a boat in Branson and also rented a knee board, I started working up my courage.
I watched Jesse knee board and then watched as both of his brothers learned, too. I was inwardly debating whether or not to try.
The thought of going out and failing at it was sort of discouraging to consider. But as the afternoon wore on, I remembered how I’ve been working on being intentional about not letting “I can’ts” hold me back from trying things.
While I know that I’m not ever going to be a professional water-skiier, I don’t want to let the belief that “I’m not good at watersports” define my decisions… especially because I really did want to try knee-boarding.
So instead of chickening out, I volunteered to be the next one on the knee board. I told everyone in the boat that there was a good chance I wouldn’t make it up, but I decided to jump out in the water and give it all I had.
And y’all! I couldn’t believe it: because I GOT UP ON THE VERY FIRST TIME.
I was pretty sure I must have been dreaming or something. But no, it was true. Me, the very-inept-at-watersports girl was actually knee-boarding. And I had the time of my life!
I dropped the rope and had them circle around so I could try it again. Just to make sure that it wasn’t some fluke accident that I got up the first time. 😉
And no, it wasn’t. Because I got up on the knee board again and even attacked both wakes! And it felt amazing!
This victory inspires me to keep putting myself out there, keep trying new things, and to not let fear of failure hold me back — even when I think I won’t succeed at something. I want to stop letting the belief that “I can’t” or “I’m not good at that” hold me back from jumping out and trying things.
You never know… maybe next year I’ll even figure out how to water-ski on one ski instead of two! For now, though, I’m committed anew to stop letting the belief that “I can’t” or “I’m not good at that” hold me back from jumping out and trying things.
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