As an adult, have you ever seen a ride or attraction you wanted to go on really REALLY bad but were afraid to try? That was me this weekend, staring at the Flowrider Surf and Bodyboarding Simulator at The Great Wolf Lodge.
Child after child after child went on this thing, with either great success or complete defeat. But even in defeat the kids ran right back in line to try again.
The adults who tried it? ALL MEN. Some were incredible, others not so much. But it didn’t matter. They tried. The men all TRIED.
For a day and a half, I never saw a single Mom attempt this thing. On the Flowrider, water shoots up at you so hard and fast that you are able to bodyboard as if in a real ocean. But in a real ocean, the water is going WITH you, not AT you.
For a day and a half my inner self said, “YOU CAN DO THAT!” “YOU WERE PRACTICALLY BORN IN THE OCEAN!” “YOU WERE BODYBOARDING WHEN IT USED TO BE CALLED BOOGIE BOARDING!” “YOU GOT THIS GIRL. YOU GOT THIS!”
But I was afraid. Afraid I would hurt myself even more than I already am. Afraid I would fail. And even worse, afraid I would make a complete fool out of myself in front of hundreds of people.
By the end of our trip Sunday I knew that I would regret not trying this attraction. And so I put on my big girl panties and marched up to the line. And held my breath. And prayed.
My daughter was thrilled to have me next to her. That made me feel even more brave. I kept telling myself, “These people will never see you again. Who cares if you bail!” Breathe Katherine. Breathe.
Soon enough, it was my turn. I grabbed the oh so familiar board. I made sure it was right side up. I took a deep breath, looked over the ledge and leapt.
And then it happened.
I did it. I DID IT! IT WAS SO EASY! If you know how to bodyboard, you know how to do this thing. And that is exactly what I told my mother, who decided to go next. Yes. MY MOTHER WENT NEXT. AND SHE ROCKED IT. After all, she has been beside me in the ocean matching me wave by wave since I could swim.
When she got off her board, there were cheers from all of us. A woman walked up to her and congratulated her. “I won’t go on there myself, and there you are doing it!”
Yup. That’s my mom!
I have a video of me braving the Flowrider. But it is under lock and key. I am happy to show a few screen shots of it though. As they say, “If I don’t see it, it didn’t happen!”
The video that I WILL show you is of a great gentleman we met who bailed with STYLE just as my daughter was taping. Despite his few mishaps, this man kept on going back for more. And that is what it is all about.
The end of my story could have been different. I could have made a fool of myself. I could have hurt myself. I could have felt my age rather than 20 years younger. But despite any of these potential endings, the important thing is that I tried.
I faced my fear. I decided I would rather look a fool than miss the opportunity altogether.
The next time you look at something new with trepidation, DO IT ANYWAY. You only live once. Don’t live with regrets. Go stand in line and wait for your turn. It may end in embarrassment or it may end in greatness. Either way, it will end without regrets!