Archives for category: extreme sports

Recently my beautiful daughter and I were sitting on a bench in a city we do not live in but nonetheless love watching a slow train go by.  I told her I would not do this but I could see someone (not me) jumping on the ladder up to the platform betwixt each huge metal box and climbing one side then down to the other as the cars lumbered by.  I timed them-one Mississippi, two Mississippi and it took 10 seconds for each to travel from one side of the intersection to the other, slow, quiet, heavy-climb up, walk over climb down, jump off.

It only takes a second for a jump to go wrong, not on the hypothetical slow train but in a real basketball scrimmage-up one, shoot, full force of the other girl driving into my daughter’s knee.

Months later the kids tell me they thing we lost the indoor basketball that day.  We all know we lost more than that, coming so close on the heals of my spectacular gesture, ensuing protest and unraveling attendance at the ski ranch, leaving, being told to leave, when the ropes began separating, things falling in pieces, bodies in the murky brown water.

Basketball was supposed to be the rebound sport, but the breakup came too fast and we resorted to RICE, returned to MRIs, visited new ortho docs.

Each thing-the leave-yourself-behind move, the extreme sports, the regular sports, the injuries, just slow moving heavy boxes full of pebbles clicking slowly by-one Mississippi, two Mississippi, all the way down the line….

To rehab.  Not Amy Winehouse rehab-kneehab I coin it-another ordinary rectangular box, up then down, one Mississippi, two Mississippi.

I took M to rehab as soon as I could, wanted as soon as I could to assuage the hurt-fear-loss.  They iced it and I stayed with her or she would have been alone. 

Part One of two…


If you were to drive through sleepy a certain sleepy looking hamlet nestled in the farm-to market hypotenuse of I-10 east of San Antonio and I-35 south of San Marcos you would think it was a convenience store, a cafe, and maybe a bar or two.

If you approached that hamlet from the water side you would find a rather dazzling array of lake houses, boats, docks, and water sport paraphernalia.  All the houses say money and privilege but one stands out among them-a vast building or set of buildings so sprawling as to be a hotel or resort of some sort.

The, house, with its array of water skis, and wakeboards, belongs to an orthopedic doctor.  His patients could easily be his neighbors, and his collection of toys are often the vehicles for the injuries he surgically repairs.

Seems an uneasy tautology at best- knee surgeries caused by wakeboards, wakeboards bought by knee surgeries…

I think the boys kinda knew where I stood on the whole thing.  So when they said things like (insert name of famous wakeboarder) got a girl to do a push-up with him on her back!  I heard their frank admiration as I was registering my own very different reaction.

Someone or some ones had promoted the idea that a man on a public stage lying on the back of a college-age woman was great fun! Memorable.

I was not there when the coed let the wakeboarder ride her, but I do think it was memorable.  Plaintiff-lawyer, sexual-harassment, years-of-therapy, event-organizer-is-a-middle-aged-college-instructor, what-the-hell?!?-memorable.

Who had given these teenage boys the belief that this behavior wa not just socially acceptable but cool?

We all had.  Not just the adults who brought their kids to the event.  Not just the self-styled celebrity judges.

All of us. The churches who came to use the facilities.  Regular, ordinary wakeboarders who might go out of our way to avoid the bikini contest but did nothing to intervene.

Wakeboarding will be a boobs-n-beer sport until we shed light on the misogyny promoted by some people who are powerful in the sport and demand change.

Women in wakeboarding can do so much more than carry the boy-men of the sport on their backs.

We all believe you are the Zen Master, the Jedi knight of cable operators–quiet, but fearless.

I remember the long, long time I struggled with the process of getting off the dock.

There was phase one–total assistance.

Phase two–swing the board

Phase three–push and count to three

Phase four–just count.

And an optional loop of these last three phases for wakeskate.

I can do it all myself now, although never do I take it for granted.

There would be times–many, many times when just knowing that you were operating made the kids and I breath a sigh of relief.

It wasn’t just that you were a good cable operator, you made us calm.  You had our back.

And we loved you and admired you for it.

I don’t trust many people.  I trust you.  You are the best.

And because I trust you, and because you are the best, I will miss you so much.

As far as we are concerned you will always be family.  And you go on to the next step with our prayers and our hope to see you thrive.

On and off the water, may you thrive.

You will be forever a part of our story.

Thank you,

E, for all of us

I wear a mouth guard at night and a completely different one in the day

The night guards my nightmares
Things I fear will be
Because things I fear have been

The day guards my mouth
A boxing coach in the corner of each object I hit
Going 20 miles an hour

You can pray with your mouth open or resort to words you have needed
All your life Jesus I say over and over when all others fail

I say Jesus see Jesus
Never let go of my hand

I was exhausted when I went to bed. I tend to read until I can’t stand it anymore, hoping my fatigue will overcome my fear.

So when I woke up at 4:30 in the morning I pondered my insomnia–was it fear? Or the soreness in my chest from a wakeboarding fall?

I have not been writing. Writing, like wakeboarding, is something I do to process the pain and confusion of my broken story in this broken world.

Sometimes it is not enough.

I have contemplated both of these regular practices in my life–the writing and the shredding, and find that I can have “blocks” in both.

My husband helped me overcome my most recent wakeboarding block by taking me to a different cable lake.

The change of venue and structures helped. My sense of urgency helped. Prayer helped, as did a humbling reminder of my weakness, and the encouragement of my family.

And weirdly enough the pain of a fall helped as well–a reminder both that fear is sometimes justified and that learning a new trick can be a painful investment.

A painful investment, followed by joy.

Jesus is the master in this–for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross.. Jesus swallows all the pain of a broken world and gives us impossible joy in return–a demoniac returned to whole, a 12 year old returned to life.

Miraculous God: worth the sleepless nights to wonder…

In the end I realized
It wasn’t in my mind
The anchor had shifted
Turning the ramp askew

In an artificial light
Mirrored sea

I kept making excuses
For my broken mind
Not seeing the impossible
God in the storm

He is not sleeping
He is not far away
He is here
To stay