Saturday, February 12, 2011

Don't fight the rope

Image copyright Ian Ho 2011

What a bobbing experience I had this morning! Tried wakeboarding for the very first time!

It's quite a bit of fun, but I'm experiencing the consequences now:( My head still feels like it's bobbing up and down, and there's a little bit of water stubbornly stuck in my ears. Not to mention being totally burnt.

I thought it seemed simple enough. At least it looked simple enough. You slip your legs into the wakeboard, grab the handle, crouch down low, then wait for the motorboat to slowly pull you up. Once you're up, you just.. simply ride the wave!

But boyohboy was I wrong. On my first few attempts, I struggled to stand up. I could never hold onto the handle more than a few seconds after the boat moved. At the instance I tried to stand, I would fall back and then drown in an overwhelming torrent of seawater. The boat would then turn back to pick me up, the instructor would correct me, and this frustrating cycle continued for a while and I was like OHH SO IT ISN'T THAT EASY AFTER ALL.

What was my problem? Well, a few things. I remember the instructor telling me, "hang on to the rope, don't hold on. Hang on!!" The first attempt I didn't grip the handle properly. I needed to really hang on, grip onto it firmly and not just hold it. Second problem: I was trying too hard to fight the rope, i.e. I was exerting strength against the boat trying to pull myself up. The trick was to straighten your hands and then let the boat move and naturally pull yourself up, not the other way around. The instructor sarcastically told me, "this boat has 200 horse power, you don't even have 1 horse power and you're trying to pull on the boat?!" HAHA. Besides that, I also had problems with my getting-up posture. I found it a little amusing how I was treated like a small kid learning how to STAND-UP -.-

The first round I didn't succeed in standing on the board, not at all. But thankfully, upon the second round, I managed to effortlessly get myself up! At that instant I felt a sudden sense of accomplishment and freedom, to feel the wind against my chest and the churning waves beneath. But I only managed to remain surfing for a short while before falling off again. :( Thankfully, long enough for my friends to snap a shot!

I did what they said - not to fight the rope, to hang on tight, not to think too much about balancing and just getting up naturally. AND I DID IT. I WAKEBOARDED FOR MY VERY FIRST TIME! =D

But I took back more than a skill today. Yknow what? I took back a precious lesson.

I saw that riding the ocean waves and riding the waves of life aren't any different. God is my 200 horse power boat that's always steadily pulling me along. And I'm always the small guy behind clinging on desperately to the handle that's called life. God pulls me along in life. And in order to stand up and ride the waves that come my way, I gotta HANG ON TIGHT AND NOT FIGHT THE ROPE.

I gotta let the boat pull me, not struggle with the boat. God has to pull me, because alone I'm powerless and weak. He's doing all the work - steering the boat, powering the boat, and all I need to do is hang on.

Simple enough a reminder for all of us.

Hang on tight and don't fight the rope. That way you'll survive and not fall.

You should try wakeboarding too:)

1 comment:

Wai Jia said...

What a beautiful post n photo, keep writing n shooting!:)