I Was With My Knees Bent And Together

  On a bright Spring-Break morning long ago, I was with my knees bent and together, head up, weight back, and arms straight. My skis were pointed forward, and I held the tails of the skis down as the driver was beginning the pull. A coach was besides me giving me all directions.

    By this time the Acapulco Bay was gilded with sunlight. The pure morning breeze of the air and salty ocean water was really delightful. The tow boat should be maintaining the proper speed and start in a gradual firm pace and steady course. As a novice skier I was unsuccessful, I started again, and again and again. Two hours passed.

    It was time for lunch, I was tired, and confused. Swimming to shore was the only thing I thought it was needed to be done, but I was so tired that  I dragged my body out of the sea using all the strength I had left when I put my feet on the wet sand, and wavelets where to my hips. To reach the sand I needed to walk some more. That distant was one of the longest few yards I needed to cover in my life.

     Surprisingly classmates from the University poured forth from all sides of the beach in small groups. I wanted to disappear. I tried to compose myself. I looked up hurriedly. I had a true horror of tears, or emotion of any kind, and most of all, I dread to see my classmates mocking me.

   They had strolled the beach to tan, made some exercise but mostly they were there to look at all the beauties at the shore. All college students did that, including me at that time; and boys and girls will keep doing it. Now I placidly remember it as one of the treats of the divine treasure of youth.

    I was walking the last steps out of the ocean when I recognized one of boys, he was talking with another one, and yes, I do not remember their names only that they were handsome and juvenile; they walked towards me and in a grave voice they asked me. “Are you OK?”

    I was somewhat abashed.

One of them gently said. “It must have been hard to try to learn to ski upon such choppy waters”

    “I’m OK.” Was my answer in a whisper.

     I ran to my hotel where my family was waiting for me. Daddy was really upset; he explained to me that the initial speed of the boat was too fast, too soon; and that was the result of my terrible experience. Then I got angry.

    The worst was that after lunch Mom had the wonderful idea to have a pep talk about marriage with me, my sisters and my cousins  before any other activity. She started asking questions about what were our plans about marriage. What? I was just trying to learn a wonderful sport and my Mom and her questions. To get out of the conversation I blunt out; “I’ll never going to get married I have other things to do!”

    To my surprise everybody wanted to talk about that and their dreams and their plans. The plans were very precise. One said she was going to make cookies in the oven and wait for her husband to arrive from work. Other said she was going to work with his husband helping him in the operating room; that was because she was in the faculty of Medicine and had a boyfriend there. Yet, another said she was going to travel worldwide with or without a husband. Over the years our life took different  paths nothing of what they had planned or I said happened.

     I will remember that day as “The day I couldn’t get up on the water skis. Or, marriage plans are nonsense if you want to do it by yourself.” Which for me the last one was obvious then.

     Other vacations came, the end of a semester was this time. I invited  friends to our family cabin in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. The cabin was situated in front of  a beautiful lake.

     My parents were very happy to accommodate four of my friends also classmates. My sisters and I were incredibly joyful to spend the time with the boys. And the lake was the place to have fun. I wanted to sail; but they wanted to water ski. Oh no! I wasn’t sure what it was going to happened.

   The perfection of summer weather was indeed that day. All over the level landscape laid  the warm sunlight. The Lake was placid and calm like a mirror. Everything was ready, and I took a deep breath. With a confidence I did not know from where came from; I put my skis and I started the ride of my life.

    I remembered all the instructions and I knew it needed to work or Physics didn’t exist. So basically I wanted to prove the theory of my body skimming the surface on two skis while being pulled by a boat. If all the numbers were right and my position was correct , and if the same were  in regard of the rope, the speed of the boat and else. Then nothing in the Universe could stop my accomplishment.

   My confidence grew by the minute I was pulled by the boat. I started to savor water skiing like I wanted for  a long time. I was possessed by the spirit of motion, I couldn’t stand still. My skis were part of me. I looked like bewitched. My body was like a cork-no, it was iron or I could have snapped  at that! I was a bird, a rabbit, a sprite, all in an instant. I went sideways, straight, one hand waving, I made a wake of water. I was deliriously happy.

    In my return nobody was there. I was the first skier and after my wonderful performance nobody wanted to take a chance.

    None of these boys were going to be my husband or even my boyfriend and after that  day they made comments about the size of the cabin or if they had been in beautiful and distant lands with a lot of entertainment. I was so naive I didn’t understand what had happened. Why they were sour? I was in relative pain because nobody could take away the exhilarating moments of the conquest of dominate the physics of water skiing.

    Many sources of water are the place for water ski lovers after all. Where else can many boys and girls perform feats on the water that could attract a crowd if seen at any moment? The sport started circa 1922. Today people can do many tricks or do it in slalom, bare feet, doing pyramids, jumps and marathon. Water Ski is not in the Olympic games but it has been in many exhibitions and competitions worldwide. In Long Beach, CA, the last competition took place in June of this year. I should say the oldest competitor was 79 years old, and he did most of the race from Catalina Island to Long Beach. Amazing! I don’t want to do water ski now; but I would happily go to see the performers at any time.


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