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Carol Perkins: Why all the fuss about the lake?

Carol Perkins' first attempt at skiing led to a vow never to do so again. Lake lovers have fun and water is a great stress reliever - but writer says she'll take a nice swim in a hotel pool and then go to a movie
The next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Bursting Forth in Song

By Carol Perkins

Although I am not a lake person, I can understand the obsession many have with being on the lake in the summer. A ride around a lake for an hour or two on a pontoon or a houseboat is relaxing, but I don't think I would want to spend a weekend in a cove with nothing but nature's beast. However, I have had some good times on both Barren River and Dale Hollow. The following wasn't one of them.

When Guy and I were dating and he was spending his last summer at home before leaving for basic training in Norfolk, VA, and I was leaving for Eastern for my first year of college, we spent a lot of time together. One of those times was with his sister Carolyn and his brother-in-law Arnold Berry. They had a roust-about and we went with them to the lake, which was not something I had done very often in my life.

My dad and mom had a fishing boat, but I avoided those trips as best I could, volunteering to babysit my younger brother instead. Never fond of deep water, I preferred my outings to be at pools or in creeks. So, going with Guy's family to the lake was a stretch because I didn't feel comfortable on the lake, especially knowing we were going to water-ski.

Knowing my trepidation only encouraged Arnold more to get me on those skis. With his wry laugh, he'd say, "You'll learn fast. It's easy." I was too timid at the time to say, "But I am TERRIFIED." Plus, I didn't want Guy to think I was a chicken or not a good sport, so I tried. After becoming part of the family, I soon learned that Arnold's personality was one of loving a good laugh. I gave him one.

Guy was in the water with me when the process of putting the skis on my feet began. The only skiing I had seen was from the docks, so I knew nothing about putting them on, taking them off, rising from the water, or falling. I am foggy on the details, but I must have been ready to begin, because I do remember Arnold yelling from the boat, "Begin to come out of the water and I'll go slow. When you are ready to quit, just fall."

Sounded simple. So, he gave the boat a little gas and I came out of the water and skimmed its surface, feeling a sense of pleasure with the water splashing and the breeze blowing. That didn't last long. I guess Arnold saw how well I was doing and decided I might like to go faster; wrong. I didn't want to go faster so when I began to cut the water rather than skim it, my confidence was replaced by fear. Panic. I didn't know how this was going to end.

Seeing my desperation, someone yelled from the boat, "FALL." So, I fell. What they failed to tell me was to release the rope FIRST. My hands were locked to that rope as my body (about 100 lbs at the time) skimmed the waves like a Seadoo and the pain became much as I imagined one would feel being dragged behind a car. To make matters worse, a black cloud opened and dropped lightning bolts like swords.

Finally, Arnold and Guy jumped into the water to help me out of the skis and onto the boat. The bruises would come later and so would my vow never to ski again. My waterskiing days were Over. Done. Finished.

Lake lovers do have fun and water is a great stress reliever, but I'd rather take a nice swim in a hotel pool and then go to a movie. - Carol Perkins

This story was posted on 2012-07-01 06:30:50
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